Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces
DescriptionThe 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 of America'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.
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About the Author
Radley Balko is an investigative journalist and reporter at the Washington Post. He currently writes and edits The Watch, a reported opinion blog that covers civil liberties and the criminal justice system. He is the author of the 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces, which has won widespread acclaim, including from the Economist, New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and was named one of the best investigative journalism books of the year by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. His January 2013 investigation, Solving Kathy Mabry's Murder: Brutal 15-Year-Old Crime Highlights Decades-Long Mississippi Scandal, was one of the most widely read Huffington Post articles of 2013. In 2015, he was awarded the Innocence Project's Journalism Award, in part for his coverage in Mississippi.
William Hughes is an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator. A professor of political science at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, he received his doctorate in American politics from the University of California at Davis. He has done voice-over work for radio and film and is also an accomplished jazz guitarist.