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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Read and Heed Radley Balko Before it's Too Late

Radley Balko has written a timely book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. Do not jump to the conclusion that because Balko currently writes for the Huffington Post he has nothing new to say. In the past he has also written for the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine. To put it mildly the use of violent police force is much over used in law enforcement today. There are stories out there of children who suffered nightmares for years after swat raids on their parent's homes for minor infractions of drug laws. Innocent people have been killed by police swat teams and states need to reevaluate their sanctioning of deadly force to achieve questionable goals. In the early days of the republic judges who issued search warrants were held liable for the conduct of the police who conducted the searches. It took only a few years for the courts to carve out a "judicial immunity" clause to safeguard legal careers but clearly the Congress and the states have it within their powers to control police powers. In this video Radley, well promotes his book, but his criticism of law enforcement is long overdue.

As the author points out, swat teams are often used to enforce mundane regulatory dictates wherein there may be a civil rather than a criminal violation of law. The most famous incident of this egregious violation of the fourth amend occurred at the Gibson Guitar factory in Nashville. Federal officers burst into the factory cursing and with guns drawn and herded innocent employees into the parking lot as if they were felons. They were forced to go home without being able to retrieve their personal effects such as spectacles, purses, or driver licenses. My wife and I attended the protest rally that followed.

The video below shows just how far governments will go in the abuse of their police powers. It was taken in Governor Deval Patrick's police state when police conducted warrantless house to house searches for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. In 1790 Patrick would be sharing a cell with Tsarnaev.

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