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Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:14 AM

"They Throw Kids on the Ground, Put Guns to Their Heads" The Horrors Unleashed by Police Militarizat

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/police-brutality

"They Throw Kids on the Ground, Put Guns to Their Heads" -- The Horrors Unleashed by Police Militarization


The following is an excerpt from RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP: The Militarization of America's Police Forces by Radley Balko. Reprinted with permission from PublicAffairs Books.

Betty Taylor still remembers the night it all hit her.

As a child, Taylor had always been taught that police officers were the good guys. She learned to respect law enforcement, as she puts it, “all the time, all the way.” She went on to become a cop because she wanted to help people, and that’s what cops did. She wanted to fight sexual assault, particularly predators who take advantage of children. To go into law enforcement—to become one of the good guys—seemed like the best way to accomplish that. By the late 1990s, she’d risen to the rank of detective in the sheriff’s department of Lincoln County, Missouri—a sparsely populated farming community about an hour northwest of St. Louis. She eventually started a sex crimes unit within the department. But it was a small department with a tight budget. When she couldn’t get the money she needed, Taylor was forced to give speeches and write her own proposals to keep her program operating.

What troubled her was that while the sex crimes unit had to find funding on its own, the SWAT team was always flush with cash. “The SWAT team, the drug guys, they always had money,” Taylor says. “There were always state and federal grants for drug raids. There was always funding through asset forfeiture.” Taylor never quite understood that disparity. “When you think about the collateral effects of a sex crime, of how it can affect an entire family, an entire community, it just didn’t make sense. The drug users weren’t really harming anyone but themselves. Even the dealers, I found much of the time they were just people with little money, just trying to get by.”

The SWAT team eventually co-opted her as a member. As the only woman in the department, she was asked to go along on drug raids in the event there were any children inside. “The perimeter team would go in first. They’d throw all of the adults on the floor until they had secured the building. Sometimes the kids too. Then they’d put the kids in a room by themselves, and the search team would go in. They’d come to me, point to where the kids were, and say, ‘You deal with them.’” Taylor would then stay with the children until family services arrived, at which point they’d be placed with a relative.

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Reply "They Throw Kids on the Ground, Put Guns to Their Heads" The Horrors Unleashed by Police Militarizat (Original post)
xchrom Jul 2013 OP
atreides1 Jul 2013 #1
d_r Jul 2013 #2
Civilization2 Jul 2013 #3
Volaris Jul 2013 #4
Skeeter Barnes Jul 2013 #5

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:38 AM

1. Warrior Cop, please!!!

More like a pack of rabid, psychopathic, goose steppers that were given guns and badges. Who are no longer trained as civil servants
but as a paramilitary force, much like the police in many Central and South American countries...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:48 AM

2. good read

thanks for posting. I really didn't realize how bad this had become.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 08:00 AM

3. law enforcement for profit,. the 'drug war' is a war on the poor.

 

these priorities are skewed by the 1% and their utter hate for people.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 08:18 AM

4. Lincoln County is the next county over from where I am...

and unless circumstances are RARE, using a SWAT team for a drug bust isn't needed. More and more I'm convinced that training a LEO in America should require a 4-year degree in something OTHER than Criminal Justice....

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 08:28 AM

5. Change

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama criticized Bush and the Republicans for cutting Byrne, a federal police program beloved by his running mate Joe Biden. Despite Tulia, Hearne, a growing pile of bodies from botched drug raids, and the objections of groups as diverse as the ACLU, the Heritage Foundation, La Raza, and the Cato Institute, Obama promised to restore full funding to the program, which, he said, “has been critical to creating the anti-gang and anti-drug task forces our communities need.” He kept his promise. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resuscitated the Byrne grants with a whopping $2 billion infusion, by far the largest budget in the program’s twenty-year history.


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