FDL Book Salon Welcomes Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

By: Sunday August 4, 2013 1:59 pm

“If your image of American policing is Mayberry’s Sheriff Andy Taylor, who used homespun wisdom and a deep knowledge of his community to solve their problems and keep big city crime at bay, you won’t recognize the picture Radley Balko paints of modern law enforcement in his excellent new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.”

Dorner Revisited

By: Friday February 22, 2013 10:01 am

When I first heard about the Chris Dorner story I rolled my eyes – blood in the water brings out the media sharks who have to swim or die because thinking is too hard. But worse than the vapid callous infotainment press was the cheering from the cheap seats. Dorner was a hero for shooting cops? The lumpenproletariat’s candy-coated derangement, I thought, must have reached a level Mike Judge could not even imagine.

Then I read something that changed my mind.

Late Night: The Fire This Time

By: Thursday February 14, 2013 8:00 pm

The most disturbing aspect of this latest in a long line of military incursions against domestic targets, the incineration of a suspect who had really, really, pissed off the LAPD, is that such a thing is no longer considered remarkable. This wasn’t always the case; the Philadelphia Police action against MOVE predictably had its supporters on the right, but otherwise sparked national and global outrage. A similar action against David Koresh has the right still seething about it to this day, never mind that it was the culmination of a 52-day standoff in which negotiations had been repeatedly attempted.

But today one need look no further than the shockingly violent, coordinated, and militarized response to the Occupy movement to see that as a nation we now simply accept being policed as though by an occupying army, for the laughably ironic goal of “keeping us safe.”

LAPD vs. Hispanic Women Delivering Newspapers

By: Sunday February 10, 2013 6:58 am

Former police officer Christopher Dorner is suspected in the deaths of a police officer and in two other Los Angeles Police Department related homicides. He has issued a manifesto stating he is out for revenge and to clear his name, saying he was hounded out of the LAPD for reporting incidents of racism and abuse of criminal suspects. The U.S. military has trained him well in killing and the LAPD is right to be fearful of him.

But how does that justify the crazed, homicidal behavior of the LAPD over the past few days?

Civilians Gunned-Down in LAPD’s Frantic Manhunt for Alleged Cop-Killer Chris Dorner

By: Saturday February 9, 2013 4:40 pm

At first glance it seemed excessive, even for the LAPD. Heavily armed protective details – on the look-out for a fugitive cop killer bent on revenge – unleashed a barrage of bullets on not just one, not two, but three innocent civilians in two separate incidents. The fact that the civilians were female, and could not possibly have been mistaken for the big, black, burly male suspect, has to have raised concern among Los Angelenos, particularly if they drive a blue pickup truck.

More Unconstitutional Copwatching Arrests in Austin

By: Monday September 24, 2012 7:15 pm

What is it about being filmed that makes Austin Police so scared? Why is being filmed equated with physical interference or even threats of violence? Despite the risk that the arrests put on all local journalists, mainsteam media continues to repeat claims by Austin Police Association Wayne Vincent, Police Chief Acevedo and others that PSP presence incites violence rather than simply documents it. Peaceful Streets Project seems unmoved, however, holding emergency tactical meetings over the weekend and planning their expansion into other cities. They held their first rally in Houston, Texas today.

Late Night FDL: Punk Rock Rebels, Repressive Regimes Fight Back

By: Saturday March 17, 2012 8:00 pm

Rock and roll has been the music of rebellion and social change since the 1950s, and each successive wave of youths have discovered its power (chords) and embraced its do-it-yourself aesthetic. Punk rock and technology, from cassette tapes to MP3 and file sharing have made music the most easily understood and easy to identify mode of rebellious self-expression. The music, lyrics, and yes, fashion have been and are still threatening to the powers that be: Los Angeles Police chief Daryl Gates viewed punk rock, especially the band Black Flag, as a major threat, regularly sending in riot cops for their shows and says Black Flag drummer Greg Cameron:

Occupy LA: Reports of LAPD Violence

By: Wednesday November 30, 2011 7:18 pm

This media pool drew mainstream media into the inner circle, where they were treated to a display of courteous policing and nonviolence by the police. Even I was impressed by the police. The operation was smooth and efficient and tactical.

“Then the pool media was divided from the regular media, and kept in the inner circle. They were not present to witness the brutality and violence enacted by LAPD officers who were kettling and running after protestors in order to beat them outside the park and mainstream media attention. LAPD smoothly kept MSM from witnessing this, and tried to control other media by constant kettling and dividing of the crowd.”

Occupy LA: LAPD Limits Media Access

By: Tuesday November 29, 2011 7:25 pm

Under the LAPD’s guidelines, the OccupyLA media team–which includes photographers, videographers, livestreamers and reporters is not credentialed.

There is no Spanish-language media in the pool in a city where 4.7 million people are Spanish speaking. As Monday morning’s midnight-plus-one deadline drew near, there were news crews from the BBC and a Tokyo station present, as well as KMEX (Spanish language). I saw KTLA which was live streaming and had a helicopter overhead, KNBC, KABC, KCBS/KCAL and stringers in unmarked vans. Reporters I ran into included ones from the LA Times and USC’s Daily Trojan, and dozens of people live streaming and taking pictures for blogs and independent media. Oh and Andrew Breitbart was there talking to some dudes with scarves over their faces.

Occupy LA: Threatened Eviction Becomes Love Is the Law

By: Monday November 28, 2011 12:00 pm

The threat of LAPD evicting Occupy LA in the wee hours brought out about a 1000 protestors and the media, but the feared confrontation hardly occurred. Protestors mostly obeyed LAPD orders to remain on sidewalks, and only a few arrests were made.

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, April 19, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
Poison Candy: The Murderous Madam: Inside Dalia Dippolito’s Plot to Kill
Chat with Mark Ebner about his new book. Hosted by Beth Karas.

Sunday, April 20, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War
Chat with John White about his new book. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah J. Nelson.

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