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Publisher's Summary

The American approach to law enforcement was forged by the experience of revolution. Emerging as they did from the shadow of British rule, the country's founders would likely have viewed police as they exist today as a standing army and therefore a threat to liberty. Even so, excessive force and disregard for the Bill of Rights have become epidemic in America today.

According to civil liberties reporter Radley Balko, these are all symptoms of a generation-long shift to increasingly aggressive, militaristic, and arguably unconstitutional policing - one that would have shocked the conscience ofAmerica’s founders.

Rise of the Warrior Cop traces the arc of US law enforcement from the constables and private justice of colonial times to present-day SWAT teams and riot cops. Today relentless "war on drugs" and "war on terror" pronouncements from politicians, along with battle-clad police forces with tanks and machine guns, have dangerously blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. Balko's fascinating, frightening narrative shows how martial rhetoric and reactionary policies have put modern law enforcement on a collision course with the values of a free society.

©2013 Radley Balko (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great read/listen!

Very informative. I enjoyed the narrator as well as the content in the book. It was great.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Very Informative

Where does Rise of the Warrior Cop rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book did a good job of presenting problems that face the LEO and the communities they represent. I believe it could have presented more information that is current though. Much of this is out of date.

Has Rise of the Warrior Cop turned you off from other books in this genre?

No not really.

What does William Hughes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nothing to my knowledge.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not really

Any additional comments?

I feel that this book should have offered some solutions to the problem that it harped on throughout the content.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Take notice!

Any additional comments?

Offering perspective on the situation in law enforcement in the States, this book should be a wake-up call to American citizens and a warning to the rest of the democratic world.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Donald
  • Discovery Bay, CA, United States
  • 10-27-16

Every should read

Every high school student should be required to read this book. If more states legalize weed maybe some of this madness will end.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Book

Good Book but very dry has good points and bad towards Law Enforcement. Good research.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Eye-opening

Balko offers incredible insight into the disturbing militarization trend in police departments across the country. One of my favorite titles yet.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting but shallow

The history of SWAT is interesting but the analysis is annoyingly shallow. Mostly a recounting of dozens of cases of police abuse and a lot of shocked indignation.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Probably better as a regular book

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I think the subject is very interesting. Much of the book goes over history (remote and recent) including case law to get where we are today. This would be much better as a written book. It also would be convenient to use as a reference to case law as a written book.

Any additional comments?

Skip the audiobook and buy the written book instead.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

SCARY but sober view of US as police state

Where does Rise of the Warrior Cop rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the most insightful descriptions of the developement of policing in the West, and particularly the US

What did you like best about this story?

Exposure of a constitutional outrage with no outcry

Any additional comments?

Setting the books obvious political bias aside, it gives a chilling overview of how policing has become a battlefield discipline rather than a bulwark of the community.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • Henderson, NV, USA
  • 01-17-15

Well written, but extremely naïve.

What would have made Rise of the Warrior Cop better?

Radley Balko is a good writer, and this book is very well put together. However, there are a great many problems I have with this book, unfortunately I have no answers to fix them.

Chief among them is that Radley is an author, not a cop. He takes anecdotal stories, unverified accounts, dubious and out of context statistics, and stuff that (if true) any cop would tell you is stupid police work, and paints them as the norm. It's simply not the way it is. If you're not a cop you'll have no context in-which to judge his statements. After all, it is a compelling story. If I wrote a book about the news industry, all the research in the world wouldn't get me the in-sights that Balko has. All the stats, research, and talking to old cops in the world doesn't even begin to come close to the realities of the streets.

I've worked in the field for many years and spent a good amount of time training through out the country. 80% (that's not exactly a scientific number) is absurd or out of context. He put a lot of work into this, but it's painting a picture of law enforcement from a person that apparently has never spent a day as a cop. He's never spent time doing the thing he's criticizing, so how accurate can it truly be?

I'd like to introduce Radley to the concept of the "Availability Heuristic." Simply because you remember an report of a "botched" warrant, video of excessive force, or any other problem law enforcement officer, doesn't mean it is a prevalent as we think.

Balko's book is extremely misleading and is somewhat of a bible to the police militarization crowd. He may not be anti-police, but he is very much a "hater." The only way to counter this is to write a book, about all the fallacies that he writes about in this book.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

If you're on the fence, this book is very in-accurate and one-sided, but well written. Unfortunately there is no one to explain the other side of the argument.

If you're in the anti-cop or police militarization crowd, this has to be an awesome book.

If you're a cop or law enforcement professional, you'd be remiss in not reading the depth of mis-characterization and damage that a well spoken, well respected but off-base author can do.

9 of 19 people found this review helpful