How Cops Became Soldiers: An Interview with Police Militarization Expert Radley Balko

By Michael Arria

What happened to friendly neighborhood cops? The drug and terror wars happened. Via Oregon DOT/Flickr

In 2007, journalist Radley Balko told a House subcommittee that one criminologist detected a 1,500% increase in the use of SWAT teams over the last two decades. That's reflective of a larger trend, fueled by the wars on drugs and terror, of police forces becoming heavily militarized.

Balko, an investigative reporter for the Huffington Post and author of the definitive report on paramilitary policing in the United States, has a forthcoming book on the topic, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. He was kind enough to answer some questions about how our police turned into soldiers as well as the challenges of large-scale reform.

Motherboard: When did the shift towards militarized police forces begin in America? Is it as simple as saying it began with the War on Drugs or can we detect gradual signs of change when we look back at previous policies?

There's certainly a lot of overlap between the war on drugs and police militarization. But if we go back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were two trends developing simultaneously. The first was the development and spread of SWAT teams. Darryl Gates started the first SWAT team in L.A. in 1969. By 1975, there were 500 of them across the country. They were largely a reaction to riots, violent protest groups like the Black Panthers and Symbionese Liberation Army, and a couple mass shooting incidents, like the Texas clock tower massacre in 1966.

At the same time, Nixon was declaring an "all-out war on drugs." He was pushing policies like the no-knock raid, dehumanizing drug users and dealers, and sending federal agents to storm private homes on raids that were really more about headlines and photo-ops than diminishing the supply of illicit drugs.

But for the first decade or so after Gates invented them, SWAT teams were largely only used in emergency situations. There usually needed to be an immediate, deadly threat to send the SWAT guys. It wasn't until the early 1980s under Reagan that the two trends converged, and we started to see SWAT teams used on an almost daily basis -- mostly to serve drug warrants.

Read More Here

Check out the member blogs, videos, and discussions

http://12160.info

 

.

Views: 812

Comment

You need to be a member of 12160 Social Network to add comments!

Join 12160 Social Network

Comment by apeman2502 on March 5, 2013 at 11:18am

  The importation of drugs has been carried on by the same individuals who coordinate 'The War on Drugs'. President Reagan had Bush41 forced on him and loathed his presence. As controller of the CIA, Bush41 was a creator of the militarized illicit narcotics enterprise. Not complicated or difficult to understand when you remind yourselves how prissy and self serving most of congress is. Many innocent people have paid for this ineffective brown nosing effeminate degeneracy with their lives, and the situation is getting worse.

Comment by apeman2502 on March 5, 2013 at 11:08am

 Shameless mother fuckers. Those bullets hurt. The Aurora area of Denver shootings may have been carried out by a team of these foreign soldiers as a tool for disarming American citizens. Stolen police dispatch recordings locked down to prohibit distribution prove more than one shooter was present and less than 7minutes after the first 911 call, the James Holmes character was passed out in the back of his car (and for the next few days stayed that way)such that he received no dispatch mention the rest of the evening past his initial discovery. Another gas mask and knife were immediately discovered a hundred feet past James Holmesand his car and were photographed by police.This is war against the U.S., and our Commander in Chief is a willing and complicit accessory . The CIA and the British owned and controlled CFRtv and Associated Press media put him in power. Thus, they also are willing and complicit accessories after the fact.

Comment by Sweettina2 on March 4, 2013 at 11:56pm

Great post Tara....we have watched it happen! And all those foreign soldiers they've brought in during all the NLE exercises, yep, they've never left. And after we have slaughtered so many (and doing it still), everyone hates us now. Our troops may not fire on us, they will. Thanks Tara!

"Destroying the New World Order"

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE SITE!

mobile page

12160.info/m

12160 Administrators

 

TOP CONTENT THIS WEEK

Latest Activity

Less Prone commented on Central Scrutinizer's blog post LEAKED TWITTER DEMO SHOWS RED BANNERS TO INDICATE LIES AND DISINFORMATION UNDER TWEETS
"NBCCBSCNN and YLE, Helsingin Sanomat etc. harmfully misleading"
2 minutes ago
Less Prone favorited Central Scrutinizer's blog post SOUTH DAKOTA CONSIDERS FIRST STATE BILL TO OUTLAW ALL VACCINE AND MEDICAL MANDATES
5 minutes ago
Less Prone favorited Old Denmark's video
8 minutes ago
Old Denmark posted videos
12 minutes ago
Central Scrutinizer joined Machinegunmomma's group
Thumbnail

The Gathering

A place to meet and share contact information with people in your area, as and emergency back up…See More
36 minutes ago
Central Scrutinizer posted blog posts
42 minutes ago
Less Prone commented on James Roberts's photo
Thumbnail

James Garfield US President 20

"How long will it take to have that menu in Europe and the US?"
43 minutes ago
Less Prone commented on James Roberts's photo
Thumbnail

James Garfield US President 20

"They did try creating a colony for those who were sent back to Africa to build a new utopia in the…"
47 minutes ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on J. Patriot's video
Thumbnail

Walmart, Kroger Announce Changes To Gun Policy

"still open carry in that leftist shit store chain just to piss em off and as a bonus, Wally's…"
59 minutes ago
Less Prone posted a status
1 hour ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on Central Scrutinizer's status
1 hour ago
Less Prone favorited J. Patriot's video
1 hour ago
Less Prone commented on J. Patriot's video
Thumbnail

Walmart, Kroger Announce Changes To Gun Policy

"The Great Wall Mart, time to open noodle bars."
1 hour ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on Central Scrutinizer's status
1 hour ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on Central Scrutinizer's status
"Patriot Party in Core Corrupted Va"
1 hour ago
Chris of the family Masters commented on Burbia's video
Thumbnail

Corona Inc. The Winner are Bill Gates, DARPA and BlackRock

""Viruses are nothing, terrain is everything''....Antoine Bechamp."
1 hour ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on Central Scrutinizer's status
"39 days till departure, and I cant friggin wait"
1 hour ago
Central Scrutinizer posted a status
"Virginia=1 of the most meth addicted,libtarded leftist, corrupted 2 da Core Commonwealth States in this ol US of A C-ya ya buncha fuktards"
1 hour ago
Less Prone favorited Central Scrutinizer's video
3 hours ago
Less Prone favorited James Roberts's photo
3 hours ago

© 2020   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2019 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted