Appraisal of the Rise of the Warrior Cop (Essay Sample)
Drawing lessons from the end days of the American Revolution, Americans learnt that having soldiers in the American streets would bring autocracy and skirmishes. As such, the Americans have worked tirelessly to keep military tactics out bounds for the law enforcement department. However, according to Balko Radley in the book titled, Rise of the Warrior Cop, states that there has been an increased existence of Law enforcement heavily armed with military grade gears and vehiclessource..
Appraisal of Rise of the Warrior Cop
Police Militarization background
Drawing lessons from the end days of the American Revolution, Americans learnt that having soldiers in the American streets would bring autocracy and skirmishes. As such, the Americans have worked tirelessly to keep military tactics out bounds for the law enforcement department. However, according to Balko Radley in the book titled, Rise of the Warrior Cop, states that there has been an increased existence of Law enforcement heavily armed with military grade gears and vehicles (Balko,2021). Hitherto, widespread concerns have risen over the militarization of the law enforcement officers. There has been a mixed perspectives in regard to the concept of militarizing the local police with proponents asserting that militarized police help curb violent crimes as well as protect the officer who have put their lives on the line. Concerns have been raised as well as data obtained from the Geocoded SWAT census showing that SWAT was often deployed to areas with larger numbers of African American residents (Balko,2021). What is more is that, there is more research-based evidence that indicates militarization of the police by any measure fails to assure law enforcement officers of safety. Therefore, this paper propagates a review of Balko Radley’s book titled ‘Rise of the Warrior Cop’ with keen focus on the effects of militarization of the American law administration officers.
Criticism of Rise of the Warrior Cop
The investigative journalist Radley Balko has won accolades from his investigative articles and publications. One of his repoting on the local law enforcement officers aided in saving a man’s life from a death row penalty (Cortright, Carly et al, 2020, 120). Through his book, Radley makes available rich history on the militarization of the American Police departments. The book sequentially accounts for the most infuriating and razor-sharp indictments within the contemporary policing service. In his own word, Radley states that, “America today is not a police state. Far from it”. Important to note, there are individuals who strongly are in support of the militarization of the police service as well those that would not dare raise a finger against such inferences for fear of absence of righteous rights processes. Further, Balko notes in his book, that “It would be foolish to wait until it becomes a police state to become concerned” (Radley, 336). Radley delves into the history of policing by first questioning the legal legitimacy of the police serve, and by any measure its constitutionality validity. There are great concerns in the book stating that the modern day law enforcement have by far altered the core purpose of the formation of the police service and further altered power balance between the state and the citizens. From the onset, such alterations would be deemed unconstitutional (Cortright, Carly et al, 2020, 119). In his writing, Balko acknowledges the archaic Third Amendment referring to it as a gross proscription on the peace of citizens with the presence of the militarized police in the streets. Additional, Radley asserts that such presence is a looming danger upon the freedom and rights of a society and its quest to a freer people. The militarized law enforcement presence in the communities has been illustrious in the uprising of the resistance to having armies making patrols in the American streets as well as the primary objective of the constitutionalizing of the policing on American communities. Time and again, Radley keeps referring to the Third Amendment in recounting the repugnant and rising tension between the fundamental traditional liberties and anything reminiscent of the modern-day law enforcement service.
Referring to an age-old doctrine, Castle Doctrine, Balko states that the British law averred that, law enforcement officers before making entry to premises void of warrants would have to knock, make proper self-identification, proclaim the purpose, and importantly give occupants of the premise grace time to peacefully allow them enter. However, during the colonial era, the British violated the accord and hence sparked the American nationwide revolution (Donal, 2019, 149). In a sad but funny twist of tale, the law enforcement has failed to draw lessons from this history and let room for revolts to rise. A case in time, the American law enforcement officer particularly the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), have by an annual estimate of fifty thousand raids on American homes, gone in contrast of the principles. Interestingly, these raids by the SWAT law enforcements were to make arrests on suspects with victimless crimes. As history provides little to no reason to turn a blind eye to the local law enforcement service, Balko states that there are conservative who have a belief that militarization of the law administration officers is embracing the traditions. Radley’s book titled, ‘Rise of the Warrior Cop’, provides precedence to the past fifty years of the revolution in policing in America. Balko indicates that the distasteful police brutality aggravated racial riots that inspired chief Daryl Gate, the then (LAPD) Los Angeles Police Department to form the very first (SWAT) Special Weapons and Tactics squad by seeking the intervention of the military guidance (Donal, 2019, 149). The entire concept was centered on the counterinsurgency tactics used by the American Military forces in Vietnam. By forming the SWAT team, LAPD Chief Daryl was reacting to political assassinations, the 1960s radicalisms, the racial tension, and labor strikes. In the past, Radley states that the police service would seek permission before administration of military tactics as opposed to modern days where the law enforcement officers haphazardly unleash the tactics and weapons at will.
The mere excuse for the government to permeate the militarization of the local law enforcement forces was that the war on drugs, an important issue, was a federal government issue. The attorney general to Richard Nixon claimed through the White House press that in the year 1972 more than two billion worth in property were stolen by heroin users (Koslicki, 2021, 713). Balko states in ‘Rise of the Warrior Cop’ book that militarization of the police department service accelerated in the year 1970s with the government focusing all energies on comparatively innocuous marijuana for an array of obstinate motives. President Reagan contended that drug use and trafficking was the sole responsibility of the federal government and as such, the government ought to be given significant powers to fight the tumor. Reagan’s administration further incorporated the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department in the war against drugs. In 1981, Reagan appended a signature into law the Military Cooperation together by Law Enforcement Act that paved way for a much more inculcation of the military grade tactics and weapons in the combat against the drug by the local police service. The president asserted that the malignancy of drug was a threat the American national safety. Later on, President George H. W. Bush merely shadowed in Reagan’s footsteps with Bill Clinton appearing more open-minded in the matter however he basically followed the drift. Billions in dollars were thrown in by (COPS) Community Oriented Policing Services into the police departments in the pretext of acquiring baton-twi
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