Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces

by Radley Balko

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Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
mermao More than 1 year ago
Even those of us who have followed for some time the horrendous escalation in police abuses will be taken aback by Balko's study. He is also very careful to place events into both immediate and long range historical context and to show how small weeds grew into an immense poisonous jungle. But he also has a host of excellent recommendations at the end of the book to halt and reverse the process by which police forces have become a militarized occupying army. What is needed as a companion to this volume is an account of how the US prison system has become the Gulag of the 21st century and what to do about that.
zach-downing-6 More than 1 year ago
Rise of the Warrior Cop is extremely powerful and dangers while talking about the military force. This fascinating historical piece of writing written by Radley Balko explains exactly how our military and police force has progressed over time. Both liberals and conservatives have their sides brought up within the book, and Balko is able to display a gruesome picture within one’s mind while he explains the military and their role in the drug busts and other acts taken. This is a must read for anyone who wants to learn exactly how the police and military force has progressed over time, and how they affect their people that they’re trying to protect. Throughout the reading, I gained a strong liking for the book as it became very intriguing. The beginning of the book started out very slow, and wasn’t too interesting, but once I was able to get past the beginning, the rest of the book was magnificent. While reading this book, one must read it with an open mind, and try not to let their opinion sway them on way or another. This book is very detailed and a tough read, so this wouldn’t be a book for someone looking for an easy read, although it is packed with information. Rise of the Warrior Cop would be a great book for school education if it were in a government or military class, as it contains information that hits hard and is powerful while trying to understand our military and their ways of working, whether it’s wrong or right. If I were to rate this book on a five star scale, I would give this book a four and a half out of five stars, because it is an amazing book with the exception of the slow beginning.
Anna_in_Pdx More than 1 year ago
This book is not happy reading. It is rather upsetting. However it is a very well-written book. I loved the fact that he gave a lot of historical context for why local police forces have evolved over time to become more miltarized, how SWAT teams started, how this is a bipartisan issue, how the issue connects to other criminal justice issues such as the drug war, incarceration rates, "tough on crime" policies like "three strikes you're out", etc. Also, I really liked the fact that he was equally critical of politicians, police, career bureaucrats, etc. who were part of the problem across the political spectrum. This is truly an issue that spans normal American political divides, and in this fact lies a strength for those of us who wish to unite to change things. This is better than lots of nonfiction political books I have read recently. Radley Balko is truly indispensable on this issue and one of the very few people I respect who have blogged either at Huffington Post or at Reason. Go out and read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An timely account!
drakevaughn More than 1 year ago
Balko presents a detailed and ideology-free account of the militarization of police forces across the United States. Much of the focus is on the negative aspects of this trend, such as SWAT teams raiding wrong homes and their overuse within the war on drugs, but by no means is this an anti-cop, or even an anti-SWAT team, book. Instead, Balko is careful to reinforce his points through hard stats printed in every chapter and uses a critical eye to suggest changes that would assist in making policing policy better for both civilians and cops. His level-headed reporting is so precise that he even begins by describing policing within colonial America, before continuing to modern times. The book reminds me of one of those terrific New Yorker articles that describe every minor facet, yet draw you in to the point where you’re unable to stop reading. Great reporting on a topic which deserves far more attention.
Mikey1969 More than 1 year ago
Wow... Very detailed and scary breakdown of the breakdown of our personal rights. More than just covering the increased militarization of the police, it covers just how or rights have eroded, from the original Castle Doctrine where police weren't able to serve warrants at night, and were required to give you time to get to the door if serving a warrant , to our current cycle of warrants only being a formality, and judges being to lazy to do anything more than rubber stamp a warrant, if one is even submitted. This has the added distinction of being one of the few nonfiction books that I have read cover to cover. Most books make their case in the first 75 pages or so, produce their evidence, argue their point, and then repeat and rehash the same 75 pages over and over. This book follows a very straight timeline, only touches back on earlier points when they are related to whatever is being discussed in that section. Every time that you think you couldn't possibly get more deserved, you turn the page and find out that the part in the last chapter that pissed you off is small potatoes compared to the next chapter. And the one after that. And the one after that... An so on. By the end of this book, you'll be reminiscing about those wonderful Rodney King riots, because they are so "normal" compared to the latest headlines.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book with a skeptical mind. The more I read, the more I realized the escalation of the use of SWAT teams in non-emergency serving of search warrants for non-violent crimes is alarming. I am a constitutional conservative who has worried about the erosion of American citizen's rights as listed in the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. I did not know the 4th Amendment has been so systematically eroded. I truly hope that the increasing use of technology, such as cell phone videos and police body cameras, will help reverse this trend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book with tons of good information.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lived in L.A. during the 1960's and can relate to what the police were going through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book makes a mountain out of nothing. The police have no tanks or offensive weapons from DoD.