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Rise of the Warrior Cop
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Rise of the Warrior Cop

The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

By Radley Balko
Narrated by William Hughes / 13 hours 14 minutes

The American approach to law enforcement was forged by theexperience 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 asa standing army and therefore a threat to liberty. Even so, excessive forceand disregard for the Bill of Rights have become epidemic in America today.According to civil liberties reporter Radley Balko, these are all symptoms of ageneration-long shift to increasingly aggressive, militaristic, and arguablyunconstitutional policing—one that would have shocked the conscience ofAmerica’s founders.

Rise of the Warrior Cop traces the arc of US law enforcement from theconstables and private justice of colonial times to present-day SWAT teams andriot cops. Today relentless “war on drugs” and “war on terror” pronouncementsfrom politicians, along with battle-clad police forces with tanks and machineguns, have dangerously blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. Balko’sfascinating, frightening narrative shows how martial rhetoric and reactionarypolicies have put modern law enforcement on a collision course with the valuesof a free society.

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