The Rise of the Warrior Cop

Militarization of Police is Expanding

Written by Jimmy Mengel
Posted August 7, 2013

The militarization of the U.S. police force has been rapidly accelerating for the last three decades. We've even seen it around the Outsider Club offices. This is from an article I wrote a few months back:

I was leaving a restaurant recently with a couple of colleagues when the thunderous chopping of helicopter blades disrupted our leisurely stroll.

I should tell you that living in Baltimore, I'm somewhat desensitized to police helicopters... So I wasn't too alarmed.

That is, until a large black military-style vehicle screamed up alongside several police and Department of Homeland Security vehicles. When I asked a local police officer what was happening with the ominous tank idling a few yards away, he shrugged and said he didn't have anything to report.

This type of heavy-handed scene is taking place more and more frequently, for crimes that are less and less violent. It used to be when a SWAT team was sent out, it was for shootouts with terrorist groups or wide scale riots. Now it is being used to raid poker games, combat mail fraud and even bust up legal mom-and-pop marijuana dispensaries. Not exactly high-impact criminals with large weapons caches...

Radley Balko is an expert in the topic and just gave a great interview to Reason TV, where he lays out the serious dangers of this kind of police force.

"This is government using violence to send a political message. And that's not something we usually associate with free societies."

Have a look: 

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