"The Militarization of Main Street" with Radley Balko
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 4:30pm
The Department of Education now has a SWAT team. So does NASA. Your town probably has one, too. Once reserved for emergency situations in which lives were in immediate danger, SWAT teams today are used to bust pot smokers, poker games, even to perform regulatory inspections. Radley Balko looks at the rise of SWAT teams and America's increasingly reactionary, militaristic approach to policing.
Radley Balko is a senior writer and investigative journalist for Huffington Post, where he writes about criminal justice and civil liberties, and also writes about Nashville music and culture. He was previously a senior editor at Reason magazine, and he has been published in a variety of media outlets from Playboy to the Wall Street Journal. Balko's award-winning journalism is credited with helping to free Cory Maye from death row, and eventually his release from prison. Maye was convicted of capital murder for killing a police officer in a 2001 botched drug raid on Maye's home.
Balko's work has been cited in opinions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Mississippi Supreme Court, and he has testified before Congress on police militarization, which is the topic of his talk tonight and of the book he is currently writing. His reporting also led to the termination of a corrupt medical examiner in Mississippi in 2009. Last year, the Los Angeles Press Club named Balko its Journalist of the Year.
You can read Balko at HuffingtonPost.com, as well as at his personal blog, TheAgitator.com.
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