Radley Balko will speak about his new book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. In the book, Balko explains how and why over the last generation American policing has grown more aggressive and confrontational. It isn’t just rogue cops. Aggressive policing is now official policy. From the astonishing boom in the number and use of SWAT teams, to the “Robocop” response to protest, to a noticeable shift in the mentality of the average cop, Balko argues that decades of war rhetoric from politicians — and the policies that have brought that rhetoric to bear — have encouraged America’s cops to treat their beats like battlefields, and to see the people they serve not as citizens with rights, but as potential threats.
Balko’s narrative begins with the Watts riots of 1965 and the civil unrest in the years that followed, explores the drug wars and dehumanization of drug dealers during the Nixon and Reagan years, the misguided policies and broadside on marijuana clinics during the Clinton years, and the continuation of all of those policies during the Bush and Obama administration, with the added domestic militarization that has come from a panoply of post-September 11 “war on terror” programs. Balko warns that while America hasn’t yet become a police state, we would be foolish to wait until it becomes one to get active.
Balko will then join a panel of local Chicago activists and organizers who will discuss specific policing issues in our communities.
Local Panelists include:
Gregory Malandrucco, Chicago Alliance against Racist & Political Repression
Joey Mogul, People’s Law Office
Crista Noel, Women’s All Points Bulletin
Marco Roc, Illinois Campaign to End the New Jim Crow
The event is co-sponsored by: American Civil Liberties Union Illinois, Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression, Illinois Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, Mansfield Institute for Social Justice & Transformation (Roosevelt University), National Lawyers Guild (Chicago), People’s Law Office, Project NIA, TruthOut, Women’s All Points Bulletin
Wednesday September 18
6 to 8:30 p.m.
Roosevelt University (Angel Reading Room, 10th floor Library)
430 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
Please RSVP for the event HERE.