Book of the Week: Rise of the Warrior Cop

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces
Radley Balko 

PublicAffairs; July 2013;
400pp Hardcover.

Given the events in Ferguson, it is clear that the time has come for us all to understand how our Boys in Blue are being turned into stormtroopers.

Balko is not one of those reporters who can be readily dismissed as a left-wing cop-baiter. His research has been widely praised, and he started his career at the libertarian Cato Institute. If anything, he is more right than left.

But that should not be the point. The problem is that supporting law and order does not mean giving the cops a blank check, any more than supporting business means giving the Fortune 500 or Wall Street unfettered reign over the nation.

Balko makes the case that we have done the former, and it is time to change course before it is too late. The events in Ferguson only make his point more timely, more poignant, and more urgent.

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