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July 19, 2013

Rise of the Warrior Cop; Interview with Radley Balko

By Rob Kall

This is a terrifying interview with a man who has done his homework and shares just how bad the police state has become-- Let's start with over 50,000 violent SWAT team home invasions a year, a police culture funded by the drug war that has become militarized, the existence of what amounts to SWAT porn, and guess which president has raised the budget the most for further militarization--


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. 

       Katherine Johnson

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"

William Brennan

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


Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes

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Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. 

For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. 

Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Talk Nation Radio interview by David Swanson:  Rob   Kall  on Bottom-Up Governance June, 2017

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

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