Preview: The Rise of the Warrior Cop

I working my way through Huffington Post writer Radley Balko’s book Rise of the Warrior Cop. I’m not saying it’s tough sledding but this could well be the book that puts the final nail in the coffin of the Flexible Flyer. I’ll keep [the rest of] my powder dry until I’m finished. Suffice it to say, the Balko book’s put killer cops front and center, pleasing the pop-po no end. Or not. If you don’t have sufficient time or money to read the HuffPo ho’s tome, his appearance at this Cato Institute hoe-down will put you in the frame (so to speak). And if you can’t be bothered with that, a quick visit to police misconduct.net is always an eye-opener. Oh and Mark Lomax, Executive Director of the National Association of Tactical Officers, has his say at 37:00. Brave police, freedom of speech, self-regulation, mistakes are made, yada, yada, yada. Fascism has a friendly face. Just sayin’ . . .

comments

  1. avatar schizuki says:

    Militarized police are a standing army permanently quartered in American towns. Intolerable.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      There is no way that I could agree more. The term “shock troops” comes to mind!

  2. avatar Sean says:

    Read it last weekend. Definitely worth reading.

    1. Wait. You read it in a weekend? Channeling your inner Evelyn Wood or what?

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        I used to be able to do that easily. Things changed, and so did I. There is no way I could devote enough attention to it to do that in one weekend, but it’s perfectly feasible. To the more dedicated than I am personally at the present, I mean.

      2. avatar Sean says:

        Yeah, probably 4 hours on Saturday and 10 hours on Sunday.

        Once I start reading, I usually don’t want to stop.

  3. avatar ThomasR says:

    The Federalist Papers,( also The “Anti-federalist Papers” are an amazing read, very prophetic as to what is going on today.) as well as many of our founding fathers wrote extensively about the threat to our freedoms from a “professional” police and military forces enforcing tyranny at home. The sheriffs are the exception.

    You can see it in the arrogance and the us and them mentality of so many of the cops of today. We are all “perps” to them, we just haven’t been arrested or shot yet.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      Although we have enough laws that if a cop follows you long enough you will eventually and unknowingly break a law which give them a chance to shoot you or your dog depending on the law broken.

      Honestly, people need to wake up and take back this country but too many people are blind.

      1. avatar Jim R says:

        I don’t think anything can really stop them now. Slow them down a bit maybe, but stop them? No. They WILL eventually get what they want…or at least what they think they want. All civilizations eventually slide into tyranny, and ours will be no exception. The cycle will repeat, each time the peasants thinking to themselves “THIS time it’ll be different!”

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          “What they think they want.” You NAILED it! Cops need to wake the f*ck up and realize they’re ruining the country for their own children and grandchildren.

          I REALLY think it’s worthwhile to engage them on this vital point. “The kind of society you are helping the elite to create, officer – is this REALLY the kind of society you want your own children and grandchildren to grow up in? Do you REALLY want your descendants to grow up in Nazi Germany or North Korea?”

          It the least we can do, I think. The time is NOW to speak up or forever hold your ‘peace'”!

        2. avatar WinstonSmith says:

          This time WILL be different. Welcome to the techno-fascist Panopticon. Thanks to the internet, facebook, email, cellphones, the smartgrid, millions of traffic cameras & traffic RFID readers, GPS, License plate readers, facial recognition, voice recognition, Satellites, drones, credit cards, centralized banking, etc….. There is already in place a control grid the likes of which most people could not even begin to comprehend. As we are typing this massive supercomputers are running thousands of different simulations in a virtual universe that is a digital clone of reality based on up to the second data. The national security apparatus has been decentralized and compartmentalized to the point where nobody really has any idea who is pulling the strings. I hate to sound like a tinfoil hatter, but do a little research on the origins of FEMA and the Rex 84 program. How many deep underground military bases are there? You cannot kill a snake if you cannot cut off its’ head. Welcome to the machine. We need to be using their own tools against them. Younger folks reading this need to prepare themselves. Spend as much time learning about technology and hacking as you spend learning about fieldcraft and armed resistance, learn the tenets of leaderless Resistance, understand that ALL groups and organizations will have been infiltrated. If you have not read them yet read Brave New World, Brave New World Revisited, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, Tragedy and Hope, and 1984.

      2. avatar Winston Smith says:

        This time WILL be different. Welcome to the techno-fascist Panopticon. Thanks to the internet, facebook, email, cellphones, the smartgrid, millions of traffic cameras & traffic RFID readers, GPS, License plate readers, facial recognition, voice recognition, Satellites, drones, credit cards, centralized banking, etc….. There is already in place a control grid the likes of which most people can not even begin to comprehend. As we are typing this massive supercomputers are running thousands of different simulations in a virtual universe that is a digital clone of reality based on up to the second data. The national security apparatus has been decentralized and compartmentalized to the point where nobody really has any idea who is pulling the strings. I hate to sound like a tinfoil hatter, but do a little research on the origins of FEMA and the Rex 84 program. How many deep underground military bases are there? You cannot kill a snake if you cannot cut off its’ head. Welcome to the machine. We need to be using their own tools against them. Younger folks reading this need to prepare themselves. Spend as much time learning about technology and hacking as you spend learning about fieldcraft and armed resistance, learn the tenets of leaderless Resistance, understand that ALL groups and organizations will have been infiltrated. If you have not read them yet read Brave New World, Brave New World Revisited, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, Tragedy and Hope, and 1984.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      We need to stop paying the salaries of those hired to oppress us. I mean, SERIOUSLY.

  4. avatar Jim Barrett says:

    I’m in the process or reading this book right now myself, but looks like RF will probably beat me to the review. Balko wrote the Saturday Essay in the WSJ a week or so ago: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323848804578608040780519904.html?KEYWORDS=rise+of+the+warrior+cop

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Seriously, Jim, you should submit your own review of the book. I’m sure Robert’s feeling wouldn’t be hurt in the slightest. More reviews equals a better view of the subject matter.

  5. avatar Blehtastic says:

    OH MY GOD WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE STOP HIM TO FIX THAT FRIGGEN MICROPHONE!!!

    1. avatar Blehtastic says:

      Seriously!? They sent some bureaucrat to deliver boilerplate in response to this? Why did they even bother to show up?

    2. avatar Blehtastic says:

      There could have been a compelling, almost damning, counterpoint made if he had come out first with calling the book anecdotal cherry picking by an agenda driven reporter. Instead this guy points to a bunch of people in the room as if we’re supposed to know, or care, who they are. It’s precisely guys like this that give government, and non-profit, government affiliated employees a bad name. Absolutely pathetic.

      1. avatar tfunk says:

        I actually disagree that a claim of “cherry picking” would be a valid counterpoint. What Balko was discussing was the rise of a militarized police force and the mindset that goes with it, and he gave examples of how this was happening over time. He did NOT say that all police departments were doing this, just that it was becoming more prevalent.

        Regardless, I could barely listen to Lomax in the video. He didn’t even really address Balko’s points. Based on the video (yes, I watched ALL of it) I’ll be getting the book.

        1. avatar Blehtastic says:

          Yea, I’ll probably read it too. It got to me. It’s this not even a counterpoint that keeps the NFA and anti-gun regulations around. It would be one thing if our opponents had an actual counterpoint and were skilled in debate, but to have our rights infringed by this level of thoughtless response is really disheartening.

      2. avatar Blue says:

        It isn’t anecdotal given he goes into the history of SWAT teams with the context of the time period. He provides case examples throughout. Like it or not, but the legal system works on statute law as well a precedent.

        The resent story in Sarasota is epic fail while the hostage situation in south Florida was an example of appropriate use of a SWAT team.

  6. avatar William Burke says:

    FIFTY-TWO minutes for the CATO joint! I’m out. Wish I had the time to view stuff like this, because I’m very interested.

  7. avatar Hasdrubal says:

    Well, I actually intend to read this one, but I just started ‘Total Resistance” after Chuck Pelto recommended it a while back during a debate. Never enough time.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      I just ordered both from Amazon. Makes me wonder what database I’m flagged in now.

  8. avatar Blue says:

    There was a story based on this book in last weekend’s WSJ had had the same title and was very interesting. Too bad he missed the epic fail by the U.S. Marshall and Sarasota SWAT team recently.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323848804578608040780519904.html

    What I find interesting is using SWAT to raid barbershops for licensing issues.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Wasn’t the WSJ article published here? Pardon me if I’m wrong, but I believe I sent it to Robert and he published it earlier. Maybe this is it above; I simply can’t recall; once you’ve seen it you tend to think everyone has.

  9. avatar Nathanael says:

    I read it last week. It’s a good, easy read that addresses the issues well, though I do have disagreements with the author. The best part of the book is in its treatment of the title subject: how cops became militarized and how that quasi-military level of force is used. SWAT is now everywhere, and while it is justified by terrorism, hostage-taking, and other extreme situations, it is mostly used for the War on Drugs. No-knock raids are used not against the most dangerous of suspects, but against almost every sort of criminal, with a special emphasis on drug dealers and users, to prevent the destruction of evidence. Far from making anyone safer, these violent, unannounced raids increase the likelihood of violence in the execution of search and arrest warrants.

    1. avatar Sean says:

      Don’t forget about using SWAT to bust poker parties at private residences and to perform “regulatory” inspections of barber shops.

      1. avatar Bill from over the Hill says:

        On soon to come to a neighborhood near you. Gun confiscation!

  10. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Bought it the other day and I’ve made it through the fist 4 chapters, which are mostly a history of professional civilian police. If you’re interested in history it’s definitely a worthy read. But I can’t comment on the rest of the book yet.

    Ironically I have time to read the book but not enough time to watch a 52 minute video.

  11. avatar Gtfoxy says:

    This predominantly a “Big-city” issue.

    It is palpable only because the constituents are not in control of their CLEO’s in a direct manner. To many chiefs (mayors, councilmen, corporate indignants, etc) calling the shots and allowing (if not privately propogating) violent and crime.

    In small town a “SWAT” team would be laughed at and ran out of town.

    But in the industrial complexes like Chitown, NY, Dallas/Ft. Worth, DC, San Fran, LA, etc., it is perfectly acceptable.

    These residence get what they deserve. Loose control and those your avarace has given control over to now control you.

    It is Urbanality vs. Rurality in a convalescence of social idiotypes.
    This is a result of a convolution of a lack of individual States organized militias.

    There was a reason the Constitution and Bill of Rights was penned the way it was. This is the result of a failing to follow that benchmark of a citizen-protected idiology.

    Soak up the alabaster glow of failed citizenship.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Gtfoxy: While you were out small city/big town America decided having a SWAT team was the new black. They’re everywhere.

      1. avatar Sean says:

        Yeah, read the book. Plenty of small towns with SWAT teams. And the trend is for more small towns to add them and for “small” to get even smaller.

    2. avatar Paul W says:

      I grew up in a county of 10,000 people. That’s the COUNTY, not a city. The one main city, which had like 5-6,000 people? Actually had a SWAT team.
      This was in the early 2000s.

      1. avatar redwal says:

        You’re missing his point. There are SWAT teams in Smalltown USA, but they are used differently and observed much more closely than in large cities.

  12. avatar gloomhound says:

    What I find interesting is he makes note of Reagan’s part in the rise of militarized police units, but makes no mention of Waco or Ruby Ridge. Very interesting.

    1. avatar Shane says:

      What, your confirmation bias is butthurt that Saint Reagan is mentioned but not Clinton?

      1. avatar gloomhound says:

        No Reagan did what he did, but if you can’t think of a better example of militarized policing in action than Waco I’d like to hear it. It’s not my fault that both Waco and Ruby Ridge happened under your buddy Clinton tenure.

        1. avatar Sean says:

          Waco and Ruby Ridge are discussed at length in the book.

        2. avatar gloomhound says:

          Cool.

  13. avatar Accur81 says:

    I knew it was getting bad – but not this bad.

    Locak was a horrible speaker. “Misuse of authority” does not even start to cover it.

  14. avatar Aharon says:

    The beast awakens.

    1. avatar Rydak says:

      NO, not really. A bunch of acogs, run their mouths..nobody will remember or care.
      They run their mouths without any conception of what society is asking police to do and what it takes to get the things society wants us to do actually accomplished. 98% of the gear that is used by police and identified as “military” is protective gear. Why should the police not be able to protect themselves? The rest are guns, same shit any citizen living in a free state can own, except for an extra notch on the selector switch.

      Seriously Rob…your so rabid on this issue that you jump in bed with a libtard?

      1. avatar devsadvocate says:

        “The rest are guns, same shit any citizen living in a free state can own, except for an extra notch on the selector switch.”

        That’s a large distinction… which is far worse in States with more oppressive gun control measures. In NJ, police can roll out with a suppressed, full-auto, SBR, with a 30 round magazine in it. The local civilians are limited to semi-auto, non-SBR, 15 round magazines.

        Then there are the other goodies: .50cal rifles which are banned in some states, and on the table to be banned. Then you have those 20mm sniper rifles out there, because the FBI needs them or something.

        Then you have grenades (smoke, HE, flash) and grenade launchers (Destructive Devices). Some police forces, like the Secret Service and DSS have access to guided missiles like the Stinger and Javelin.

        AT-4s and other shoulder fired weapons are not out of reach in police hands.

        Funny thing is: any po-dunk town with a PD can get these things for their uniformed officers, if they have the coin for them.

        We can’t… and that’s the problem we have.

        1. avatar Blue says:

          Fortunately, Ronnie Barret and some others are not selling .50 cal to rogue states such as Ca, NY (NYC), and NJ.

      2. avatar Brian says:

        They run their mouths without any conception of what society is asking police to do and what it takes to get the things society wants us to do actually accomplished.

        Whatever it takes to get you home at night, right? Please. SWAT teams are used more and more to serve warrants for non-violent crimes against non-violent criminals. At no point is that firepower, and worse still the tactics and conception of you fellow citizens as targets to be neutralized and brought to submission justified for a non-violent suspect.

        Is there a place for SWAT teams? Yes, in cases of active shooters, hostages, etc. But serving a warrant on a pot dealer or a poker party? No.

      3. avatar Ardent says:

        I have a pretty good grip on what we ask police to do, Rydak. Among them is upholding the constitution and not terrorizing the citizenry, taskings at which they too often fail, and at an increasing pace.

        As for statements like ‘most’, x%, and ‘except for’. . . you’re really not committing to the argument. Further, while you accuse others of not understanding the topic you demonstrate the same error.
        For example, please explain why the East Baton Rouge Louisiana Sherriff’s department needs a boat with mounted belt-fed machine guns (two of them on one water craft)?
        For what purpose was the BATFE supplied with Bradley IFVs? (Note that IFV stands for ‘Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which alone gives lie to the idea that it’s a ‘protective device’.)
        Finally, why is there a ‘military vehicle program’ existing specifically to provide municipal police forces with surplus armored vehicles? An armored car makes sense in ways, having a fleet of them seems a little over the top.
        You’re also dodging a couple of important questions like the rise of ‘no knock’ warrants, of policies like ripping away all the doors and windows from a suspects house AFTER the suspect is in custody (that’s right, willful destruction without compensation of a citizens property while that citizen is still considered innocent) and such things as NYC’s ‘stop and frisk’ which on it’s face violates everything the 4th amendment is about. I think it’s less a question of what ‘we’ ask police to do and more a question of what they are doing to us.

      4. avatar Michael B. says:

        Radley Balko isn’t a proglodyte or a libtard.

        I like how quickly you devolve into an us vs. them mentality, where anyone who disagrees with you is “them” or the evil other who must be destroyed.

        Why am I not surprised that you’re a cop?

      5. avatar Aharon says:

        My name is not Rob.

  15. avatar NCG says:

    I smell still more Left/Right agreement about the creeping, ratcheting authoritarian police state in this country. Next thing you know, they’ll be building a huge facility in Utah to monitor pretty much everyone’s telecommunications…Doh!

    But you know, if you haven’t done anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about. It’s not as if you’re some dirty stinking hippie or something.

    And of course, nothing bad ever happened before Obama was in office. Well, maybe we can blame Clinton a bit.

    Seriously, get over your partisan Fox News/MSNBC fantasy world b*llshit and wake the f*ck up!

    1. avatar Sean says:

      Sort of discussed in the book. One side is all for the “police state” when it is harassing the other side.

      I.E.

      The left doesn’t mind when the police go after patriots/militia types.

      Likewise, the right doesn’t mind when the police go after occupy wall street types.

      1. avatar marlin says:

        Wall St. has a long and lovable history of destroying America.

        1. avatar NCG says:

          Yep and yep. It’s all divide an conquer. Wall Street never loses an election. The two party system, especially at the national level, is a shell game to keep the masses pacified.

        2. avatar Blue says:

          They send a train load of money to both major candidates.

  16. avatar Bob Damon says:

    The Flexible Flyer photo brought back memories of zooming downhill in the snow with absolutely no control, but didn’t stop me from wishing for a supermodel…

    Here the cops don’t seem to be afflicted with the militarization, they just look like cops, with the bus driver hats and white summer shirts. Some even ride bikes in shorts.

  17. avatar Denny says:

    Sounds like the SS or brownshirts is happening here. We are in deep trouble.

    Denny, Texas

  18. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    I thought it was interesting how Mr. Balko prominently mentioned
    Nixon and Reagan several times, but when he mentioned these raids
    had increased under Obama, the subject was hurriedly stated and he
    quickly moved on with the rest of his presentation. Regulatory raids.
    That is the most significant difference about the Obama Police State.
    Regulatory raids are about a show of raw political force, and little else.
    The operational flaw that I see is how the police made a link to Fedgov
    sources for help instead of from the civilians in the communities they
    served. It was about using a Fedgov stick, instead of a box of carrots.
    All federal stick and no community carrot makes Jack an enemy of the
    State. Not because he wants to be, but because he has been forced to be.

  19. avatar Glenn in Oklahoma says:

    I’ve been reading this book for a few days. I read a little slower. But there is another book along this line, “Government of Wolves. The Emerging American Police State” by John W. Whitehead.

  20. avatar Quentin says:

    Robert, if you want people to read and pay attention to your blog, it would help if you write in proper English. I know you’re giddy about moving here to Texas, but just exactly what is “pop-po” supposed to mean?

  21. avatar Craig Depew says:

    Appreciate it, Ample knowledge.

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