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Radley Balko: “Once a town gets a SWAT team you want to use it”

Radley Balko: “Once a town gets a SWAT team you want to use it”
Radley Balko’s new book, “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” details how America’s police forces have grown to look and behave more like soldiers than neighborly Officer Krupkes walking the beat. This new breed of police, frequently equipped with military weapons and decked out in enough armor to satisfy a storm trooper, are redefining law enforcement. How did this happen? For decades, the war on drugs has empowered police to act aggressively. More recently, 9/11 and school shootings enforced the notion that there’s no such thing as too much security. Since 9/11, the newly formed Department of Homeland Security has distributed billions in grants, enabling even some small town police departments to buy armored personnel carriers and field their own SWAT teams. Once you have a SWAT team the only thing to do is kick some ass. This problem defies the usual conservative vs. liberal calculus. Few of us encounter the warrior cop phenomenon. There are several levels of militarization. It’s tough. Related:  Normal Everyday Protection & Service

Second Video Of Dog Shooting Exonerates Police, Department Says, Lawyers Disagree In the wake of a shocking video that showed Hawthorne police officers fatally shooting a dog, the department has released a second video that it says exonerates the officers. After the original cell phone video of the incident was posted to YouTube a week ago, the Southern California police department was bombarded with angry calls and emails, including death threats that prompted the department to take the three officers involved off street duty. But the video below, taken on a cell phone by a second witness at the scene, shows more of the interactions the dog owner, Leon Rosby, had with police before the shooting. It also more clearly shows the officers' actions before shooting the dog, a large Rottweiler. WARNING: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT. "This video will help us tremendously regarding [Rosby's] actions prior to his arrest," said public information officer Lt. "We're not trained to shoot one shot or to shoot in the leg. Earlier on HuffPost:

Federal Court Rules Videotaping Police Is A First Amendment Right | PFPM The Federal Appeals Court has ruled that video recording the police in a public place is a constitutional right for all U.S. citizens. This is a great win for the freedom movement. Public officials need to be held accountable for their actions. Plaintiff, Appellee, v. JOHN CUNNIFFE, in his individual capacity; PETER J. Defendants, Appellants. [Hon. Before Torruella, Lipez, and Howard, Circuit Judges. Ian D. David Milton, with whom Howard Friedman, Law Offices of Howard Friedman, P.C., Sarah Wunsch, and ACLU of Massachusettswere on brief, for appellee. Anjana Samant and Center for Constitutional Rights on brief for Berkeley Copwatch, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Justice Committee, Milwaukee Police Accountability Coalition, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, and Portland Copwatch, amici curiae. LIPEZ, Circuit Judge. We recite the pertinent facts based upon the allegations of the complaint, Asociación de Subscripción Conjunta del Seguro de Responsabilidad Obligatorio v.

How To Turn A Match Into A Tiny Rocket The swift strike of a match on July 4 typically precedes sky-high spectacles. But matches themselves can be fireworks. When ignited, the bulb of fuel on a match's tip combusts into space-hogging gases. Materials MatchesSewing pin or needlePaper clipsAluminum foil Instructions 1. Time: 10 minutesCost: About $3Difficulty: Easy WARNING: Kids, you need adult supervision. This article originally appeared in the July 2013 issue of Popular Science. Caught On Camera: Police In Texas Violated Young Girls During Routine Traffic Stop This video of Texas troopers cavity searching women with no warrant after a traffic stop should be considered rape. Photo courtesy of Egberto Willies. Has Texas become a police state? If anyone doubts there is a War On Women in Texas, this is proof positive. It is evident from the videos that the police officers think this is standard procedure as they acknowledge they are on video. They do not believe they are doing anything wrong. In a state where a Congressperson believes a rape kit can be used to clean out a woman after a rape when passing a draconian anti-women, anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-family planning bill, this should be expected. In the above video near Dallas, the two young women are cavity searched while not under arrest and there was no change of latex gloves between women. This has been an eye-opening experience for me OK. The officer implied that this was done because of the smell of marijuana? According to the Daily News

Space Pictures This Week: Starburst Aurora, Milky Way Portraits Photograph by Jeff Wallace , National Geographic Your Shot A colorful starburst-shaped aurora blankets the entire sky above Morinville, Alberta (map), on the night of June 29. "It was very strong and seemed to [be] surrounded by an umbrella of light, almost reaching the horizon. Humbling," said photographer Jeff Wallace. Two days before a large solar storm had erupted on the surface of the sun, sending a massive cloud of charged particles into space toward Earth. The sun is currently entering peak activity levels in its 11-year cycle . —Andrew Fazekas

Insecure, Frustrated Bully With Something To Prove Considering Career In Law Enforcement RALEIGH, NC—Calling it his lifelong dream, local man Brendan Lockhart, an insecure and perpetually frustrated bully who believes he has something to prove to the world, told reporters Thursday that he is seriously considering a career in law enforcement. Lockhart, a recent high-school graduate who sources confirmed is plagued by resentment, self-doubt, unexpected fits of rage, and has always had a penchant for tormenting those who are smaller and weaker than him, explained that he feels he is well suited to serve as a police officer. “I’ve always wanted to be a cop,” said Lockhart, whose paranoia and inferiority complex constantly haunt him, leading him to lash out at others in order to convince them he is in control. “I know it’s a tough line of work, but I think I’ve got what it takes to earn my shield and get out there and keep the peace.” “This is the job I was born to do,” continued the man whose main goal in life is to prove to others that he is strong, confident, and not afraid.

D and J Cops Taser Then Shoot Man to Death After Family Calls 911 for Help for His Depression Photo Credit: mikeledray/ May 29, 2013 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. A California sheriff's deputy needlessly Tasered and then shot a man to death after his father called 911 seeking help for his son's depression, the family claims in court.