Rise of the Warrior Cop

  • by Radley Balko
  • Narrated by William Hughes
  • 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The American approach to law enforcement was forged by the experience of revolution. Emerging as they did from the shadow of British rule, the country's founders would likely have viewed police as they exist today as a standing army and therefore a threat to liberty. Even so, excessive force and disregard for the Bill of Rights have become epidemic in America today.
According to civil liberties reporter Radley Balko, these are all symptoms of a generation-long shift to increasingly aggressive, militaristic, and arguably unconstitutional policing - one that would have shocked the conscience ofAmerica’s founders.
Rise of the Warrior Cop traces the arc of US law enforcement from the constables and private justice of colonial times to present-day SWAT teams and riot cops. Today relentless "war on drugs" and "war on terror" pronouncements from politicians, along with battle-clad police forces with tanks and machine guns, have dangerously blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. Balko's fascinating, frightening narrative shows how martial rhetoric and reactionary policies have put modern law enforcement on a collision course with the values of a free society.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Every Patriotic American Should Read This!

This book absolutely blew me away. It details the evolution of how today's "bullies with badges" came to be. Let's face it, cops are not liked by a vast majority of citizens in this country, and for VERY good reason. A high percentage of cops suffer from "little penis syndrome" (they feel the need to pick on those whom they deem weaker, in order to build themselves up in their own head), have an ax to grind with one or more segments of the population (i.e. they're racist, anti-women, anti-homeless), and/or they're just outright PSYCHOPATHS. This book does a fine job of detailing this behavior in a historical context, while integrating various political motivations.

What it only briefly touches on, however, is how to fix the system. Psychological evaluations by INDEPENDENT EXPERTS (not inter-department shills) once a week for EVERY cop on the force is a good place to start. Every cop should also be equipped with "Google Glass" type cameras that record every move, for months BEFORE they're given their badge and gun (as well as 24/7 after they become armed). Review boards of unbiased citizens, with ZERO LINK TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, should be the ones looking over the complaints received from the public, NOT internal affairs (who are just cops, themselves!!). It sickened me to learn that around only 1% of all public complaints against LAPD cops are ever truly taken seriously. That department takes "corruption" to levels that even Al Capone would be proud of.

Further, the book makes a compelling case as to why cops deserve to be punished MUCH harsher than the average citizen, if they break certain laws. Cops are given an ENORMOUS amount of power and trust in our society. They are the only armed people, roaming amongst the unarmed sheep, for 99.9% of the calls they respond to. So, if they break the public's trust, they should be severely punished, right? 60 years for each instance of officer misconduct, even for small offense, would be fine with me.

The book makes the iron-clad assertion that cops in this country need to be reigned in. I agree there are some very good cops out there... some heroes, even. But, most of the ones I've seen are power-hungry psychopaths, looking to exact vengeance on a society that never truly appreciated the magnificent "gifts" they brought to the table. There is very little, if any, oversight, when it comes to monitoring their interactions with the public. We've given them their power, and as a society we must control this monster before it's too late. Today's LAPD, for example, is becoming more and more like the Nazi Gestapo with each day that goes by. Is a Nazi-like America really what we ultimately want for our grandchildren? I think not.
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- aaron "Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!"

Scarier than any horror book. Because it's true!

What made the experience of listening to Rise of the Warrior Cop the most enjoyable?

The information given. I researched a lot of it after the fact. All true.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Rise of the Warrior Cop?

The feeling of dread that I had in realizing that it's only going to get worse and that our country is screwed.


What about William Hughes’s performance did you like?

He was extremely good. But that being said it's a work of non fiction and mostly all he has to really do spit out facts.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I wouldn't say an extreme reaction.


Any additional comments?

I'm listening to this for a second time just to hear all the facts again. If you listen to this book and DON'T get an overwhelming feeling of dread once you realize what road this country has been heading down for over 50 years then you need to get checked into an mental home.

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- Christopher "26, in the Army. I'll read just about anything"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-09-2013
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.