Radley Balko, author, Rise of the Warrior Cop; The Militarization of America's Police Forces. He is a senior writer and investigative reporter for the Huffington Post, where he covers civil liberties and the criminal justice system.
Interview Notes (mostly my questions)
Radley, tell a story that represents the message of the book.
police lied repeatedly and they all got fired-- I'm guessing that's not the norm.
You mention that there 100 swat team raids a day-- so about 40,000 a year (actually, over 50,000 in 2005)
Pentagon gives away surplus equipment to police-- over $500 million
Federal policy warping local police
You talk about how policing is becoming more centralized, how the feds are attempting to exert their influence at local levels.
centralized police dept. Asserting supremacy of federal govt.
Community policing funds-- used to create SWAT teams.
So, Obama admin funded militarization of police at higher levels than previous republican administrations. No oversight and no restrictions.
obama-police-militarization huffington post article
You say that there are good and bad cops, but that it is not the cops that are the problem but the politicians.
search youtube police recruitment videos-- emphasize wrong aspects of policing.
How is that going-- holding police accountable?
Police unions-- enforce code of silence, make it impossible to fire bad police officers. POlice officer bills of rights given instead of pay raises
NM case-- Al Unser arrested
Suing the police--
What's the story with civil litigation against police departments and the cities that employ them?
Legality of using cell phones to record on duty police officers.
Reading your book made me think that every police officer should be wearing google glasses at least any time they are dealing with the public.
Police militarization has largely been fueled by the drug war.
castle doctrine-- home should be a place of peace and safety
Nixon-- No-Knock law-- used to exploit middle class, white fear of inner city, black crime.
congress repealed no-knock law in 1974-- showed congress could act--
Reagan took drug war and made it literal
Clinton admin started having federal SWAT teams in to raid medical marijuana dispensaries.
Violent raids to make a political point.
The federal is bringing the boot down, sending in violent, SWAT teams to raid horse and buggy driving Amish selling raw milk.
Have you been threatened?
1-crackdowns on occupy movement inspired you to write your book.
2- NY PD commissioner Kelly being considered to replace Janet Napolitano as head of Dept of Homeland Security. Thoughts on how he would affect homeland security and the militarization of police.
the more important the meeting and the people in the meeting, the further the police will put protesters from the meeting.
Kelly appointment--- does show how disappointing Obama has been for civil liberties.
How would DHS change under Kelly?
Do you think your take on this is pretty typical for Libertarians? You and I seem to agree on just about all on this.
How about tea partiers?
Can you talk more about the prison police industrial medical complex?
DHS grants created a market for the new equipment-- so companies are setting up lobbying shops in DC.
Hard to walk this back, even with public support.
Legislators who are supporting SWAT and militarization
Legislators who are opposing?
Orgs supporting, ORGs opposing
Supreme court justices?
Is there a way to FRAME demilitarization of police that politicians could get behind?
transparency Chaye calves' maryland bill
It could be the killing of dogs by police that is the tipping point that changes things.
"Dominant military culture in police agencies"
Larry Flynt's SWAT magazine-- sounds like SWAT porn.
people who serve on swat teams are the ones you'd least want on a swat team..
Steven Seagall tank and chicken story
use same terms to describe swat raids that are used to describe illegal drugs"
history of police, founders, constitution and the police-- founders attitude to the police.
Quote in book:
"It now appears that" victory over the 4th amendment is complete"
What can people do to change things?
"make sure your local newspaper covers raids skeptically"
Rob: this website has an excerpt from the book and looks good
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