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Swat Teams

Do College Towns Really Need Tanks to Keep Them Safe?

Lev Raphael | Posted 09.13.2014 | Crime
Lev Raphael

The people of Davis, California don't think so, as The New York Times reports this week. Their police department is returning the Pentagon's gift of a "mine-resistant, ambush-protected" motorized tank (MRAP).

Tracing The History Behind Police Militarization

HuffPost Live | Rahel Gebreyes | Posted 09.08.2014 | Crime

With brute police force making headlines, in Ferugson, Missouri, police militarization has once again been thrust into the national conversation. It's...

Welcome to Kabul, USA

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 08.14.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Think of it as a different kind of blowback. Even when you fight wars in countries thousands of miles distant, they still have an eerie way of making the long trip home.

To Terrify and Occupy

Matthew Harwood | Posted 08.14.2014 | Politics
Matthew Harwood

Welcome to a new era of American policing, where cops increasingly see themselves as soldiers occupying enemy territory, often with the help of Uncle Sam's armory, and where even nonviolent crimes are met with overwhelming force and brutality.

Dire Civil Liberties Predictions for 2014

Radley Balko | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics

As we come to the end of a year that saw revelations about massive government spying programs, horrifying stories of police abuse, and brazen violatio...

Slowly, A Consensus Emerges To Oppose The Security State

Radley Balko | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics

From a new Reason/Rupe poll (pdf): Do you think local police departments using drones, military weapons and armored vehicles are necessary for...

DOJ Agency Warns Of Police Militarization

Radley Balko | Posted 12.09.2013 | Politics

In the monthly e-newsletter for the Justice Department's Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) program, Senior Policy Analyst Karl Bickel sounds t...

Sasha Belenky

The Ship That Sailed Into The Hurricane & More Must-Reads

HuffingtonPost.com | Sasha Belenky | Posted 11.01.2013 | Politics

1. Tragedy On The Bounty One of the stranger stories to have come out of Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the East Coast a year ago this week, is...

Radley Balko

Is This The Best Police Chief In America?

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 10.30.2013 | Politics

This article is the sixth in a six-part series about the drug war and police reform. Read Part 5 here. In November 2011, a homeless man estimated t...

Radley Balko

As The Drug War Escalates, SWAT Teams Become 'Bullies With Badges And Guns'

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 10.28.2013 | Politics

This article is the second in a six-part series about the drug war and police reform. Read Part 1 here. OGDEN, Utah -- Former Sheriff William "Dub"...

Radley Balko

$3.4 Million For Family Of Marine Killed By SWAT Team

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 09.26.2013 | Politics

Under the terms of a settlement announced last week, the family of former Marine and Iraq war veteran Jose Guerena will receive $3.4 million from the ...

More on the Burley Raid

Radley Balko | Posted 09.22.2013 | Politics

On Wednesday, we published my report on the 2007 drug raid of Geraldine and Caroline Burley, in which a team of DEA agents and deputies from Wayne Cou...

SWAT Cop Says American Neighborhoods Are 'Battlefields,' Claims Cops Face Same Threats As Soldiers In Afghanistan

Radley Balko | Posted 08.21.2013 | Politics

One of the central themes of my book is that that too many cops today have been conditioned to see the people they serve not as citizens with righ...

Radley Balko

Massive SWAT Raid Seizes Organic Okra

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 08.18.2013 | Politics

A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-...

Radley Balko

Drawing Down: How To Roll Back Police Militarization In America

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 08.19.2013 | Politics

When the FBI finally located Whitey Bulger in 2010 after searching for 16 years, the reputed mobster was suspected of involvement in 19 murders in the...

Former Cops Speak Out About Police Militarization

Radley Balko | Posted 08.01.2013 | Politics

Since my book on police militarization came out a few weeks ago, it's been interesting to see the reaction from law enforcement officials. As you ...

Review: Radley Balko's Rise of the Warrior Cop

Diane Goldstein | Posted 09.08.2013 | Books
Diane Goldstein

I worked hand-in-hand with SWAT and believe that its primary mission is to save lives, yet I also agree with Balko's demand for more transparency and accountability from law enforcement. It is this lack of transparency that contributes to the notion that law enforcement has run amok.

The Marketing Of Police Militarism

Radley Balko | Posted 06.14.2013 | Politics

Lenco, Inc., makes the Bearcat, an armored personnel carrier that's popping up in cities, towns, and counties across the country. Last year, Jim Masse...

Raid Of The Day: Bruce Lavoie

Radley Balko | Posted 06.05.2013 | Politics

Note: The "Raid of the Day" features accounts of police raids I've found, researched, and reported while writing my forthcoming book Rise of the W...

Raid Of The Day: Lewis Cauthorne

Radley Balko | Posted 05.23.2013 | Politics

Note: The "Raid of the Day" features accounts of police raids I've found, researched, and reported while writing my forthcoming book Rise of the W...

Raid Of The Day: Derek Copp

Radley Balko | Posted 05.23.2013 | Politics

Note: The "Raid of the Day" features accounts of police raids I've found, researched, and reported while writing my forthcoming book Rise of the W...

Raid Of The Day: Atlee Swanson

Radley Balko | Posted 06.11.2013 | Politics

Note: The "Raid of the Day" features accounts of police raids I've found, researched, and reported while writing my forthcoming book Rise of the W...

Raid Of The Day: Daniel Castillo, 17, Killed In A 2007 Early Morning Bust

Radley Balko | Posted 03.25.2013 | Politics

Note: The "Raid of the Day" features accounts of police raids I've found, researched, and reported while writing my forthcoming book Rise of the W...

Radley Balko

ACLU Launches Nationwide Investigation of Police Militarization

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 03.22.2013 | Politics

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a nationwide campaign to assess police militarization in the United States. Starting Wednesday,...

Raid Of The Day: "This is what happens when your grandma sells crack."

Radley Balko | Posted 05.05.2013 | Politics

From a lawsuit recently filed in federal court: Chicago police terrorized six children in the wrong apartment, demanding at gunpoint that an 11...