Customer Reviews for

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

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  • Posted January 5, 2014

    Chilling but hopeful

    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.

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  • Posted December 16, 2013

    Balko presents a detailed and ideology-free account of the milit

    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.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Indispensable for all civil libertarians

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Very well written, a must read

    Lived in L.A. during the 1960's and can relate to what the police were going through.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

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    Posted April 5, 2014

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