Radley Balko

Radley Balko

Opinion journalist, Washington Post. Author of Rise of the Warrior Cop, and The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist. Honorary Duckmaster (3/24/18).

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Pretty telling that McCauliffe, a Clinton Democrat, refused to stop Virginia’s final execution. If he loses tonight, let it be the end of Clintonism forever.

Minneapolis voted down replacing its police department. Austin voted down hiring more cops. So everybody gets a little something for their narrative tonight.

Headlines will say Minneapolis rejected "defund" last night. But 46% voting for a pretty radical reorganization (it didn't "defund"), even after a surge in murders, is pretty remarkable. Meanwhile, Albany, Cleveland & Austin all voted against the police unions, by large margins.

@mattyglesias  Countless cities have been caught shortening yellow lights to boost revenue. Or placing traffic cameras near merge lanes, where *not* speeding is dangerous. You can reduce speeds and bad driving with better engineering, like speed bumps and roundabouts.

Wait until Twitter learns that every few weeks, a Saturday morning cartoon character used to tell us to say no to drugs. Often it was awkwardly written into the plot of the shows, at the behest of the federal government.

New from me: Tom Cotton says instead of suing cops personally, victims of police abuse should sue the cities that employ the officers. But a case from Cotton's own back yard demonstrates why that isn't a serious argument.

I too am worried that a Rittenhouse acquittal will encourage vigilantism. But I keep seeing this cited as a reason to convict. It isn’t — and can’t be. It can’t even be a factor. It shouldn’t even be broached in the jury room.

This is a really obvious thing, but it’s such a goddamn tragedy that most of the public gets most of its knowledge about the criminal legal system from high-profile cases.

-- Every "pattern-matching" forensic analyst must ace a proficiency test (match 100 bite marks, 100 fingerprints, 100 shoe prints, etc. to the correct person) before they can be certified as an expert witness.

It’s important to take note of the corner turned here. This isn’t claiming that only a handful of cops commit misconduct/abuse. It’s celebrating those who do. It isn’t defending cops’ right to refuse vaccines. It’s championing refusers as heroes.


Breaking: A member of the Breonna Taylor grand jury just filed a remarkable motion asking a judge to release the entire proceedings of the grand jury. The motion strongly suggests that Attorney General Cameron's public comments contradict what was presented to the grand jury.

A black woman inadvertently drove into a protest scene. Philly cops pulled her from her car and beat her in front of her toddler. America’s largest police union then posted a photo of the boy and claimed his mother had abandoned him on the street.

College swim team takes bathroom break on the way back from a road trip. Local deputies spot the team’s only black member, tackle him, put a gun to his head, threaten to kill him. They later claim they mistakenly thought he’d taken the bus hostage.

GOP: He didn't do it. Trump: I did it. GOP: He didn't mean to do it. Trump: I wish I'd done it sooner. GOP: He did it for benign reasons. Trump: I did it for the worst reasons. GOP: He's sorry. Trump: I'm never sorry. GOP: He's chastened. Trump: I'm doing it again tomorrow.

In 2015, Kenosha cop Pablo Torres shot and killed a man armed with a bucket. It was his first day back after another shooting 10 days earlier. He had a 200-page disciplinary file, with 9 excessive force complaints. The Kenosha police union paid tribute to him with this billboard.

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Remember when Kaepernick “disrespected the flag” by quietly taking a knee?

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For the umpteenth time: There’s a huge difference between honoring historical figures in spite of their sins (Washington, Jefferson, etc.), and honoring historical figures because of their sins (Lee, Davis, Forrest, etc.).

Idea: - Set aside ~15 million Pfizer vaccines - Give them a weird new name like Hydroxyiverzinc - Send to doctors, veterinarians, acupuncturists, etc. - Viral marketing campaign calling Hydroxyiverzinc “the secret COVID cure the government doesn’t what you to know about!”

Percentage of tickets issued by NYPD officers that went to black or Latino people for . . . . jaywalking: 99% riding a bike on the sidewalk: 86.5%