Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Afternoon reading: Balko's OVERKILL

The Cato Institute today released Radley Balko’s Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America, a white paper on SWAT teams and their increasing use in what was once routine local police work. Balko shows, unfortunately not to the surprise of most of us, that forced, unannounced drug raids on American homes are now common — 40,000 a year, by one estimate — and “are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers.” The paper is a good reference and is available as a free PDF download (link above).

Balko has also produced an interactive map that plots every botched raid he found during his research, with a description of what happened and a list of sources. Very cool — and very frightening.

1 Comments:

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous AndersM said...

Geez, Wally, thanks for brightening up my day. How bloody depressing.

 

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