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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On the whole "just a bad apples vs. systemic corruption" thing: If the system not only refuses to hold even the most egregiously bad apples accountable, but can't even remove them from the police force, the system is broken.

I understand the argument that it's unhealthy for a new administration to investigate the previous administration. But it seems even less healthy to send the message that the most powerful people in the country can't ever be held accountable for what they did in office.

Black police officers are dropping out of police unions, withholding dues over Trump endorsements.

We remember all of this, but it’s a hell of a thing to see all of it in one place.

I know it’s because of the town’s name, but we don’t actually have to call it “The Great Barrington Declaration,” do we? Because that’s quite a PR coup. Definitely sounds better than “Mass Death for Haircuts.”

Early draft of Trump policing panel report: - DOJ support for QI claims - Penalties for DAs who de-prioritize possession, low-level offenses - Nationwide facial recognition tech - Harsher penalties for undocumented immigrants - LE backdoor to encryption

What legal principal justifies SCOTUS prohibiting localities from making it easier for sick people to vote during a pandemic — and overruling a district court in the process? Maybe there is one! But the majority apparently didn’t think they needed to bother articulating it.

Tampa police claimed for years that they killed Jerry Brown b/c he refused to raise his hands during a drug bust. (He was unarmed.) *Six years* later, the Tampa Bay Times got hold of a video the police had sat on the entire time. They were lying.

Tump/Pence 2020 "We just don't give a shit."

Are we talking "go to prison for hiring a prostitute to blackmail your brother-in-law" successful, or "almost started a war in the Middle East so someone would bail out your colossally failed billion-dollar real estate investment" successful?


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.

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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It isn’t easy for a man to rip a screaming child away from his mother. Most of us couldn’t do it. This is where “animals” comes in. Declare he isn’t really a child, she isn’t a woman. Now it’s like pulling a piglet from a sow. This has always been how states enable savagery.

NYC is: -- 25% black -- largest black population in U.S. -- One of our most diverse cities. Whites are now a minority. -- A sanctuary city, with ~500K undocumented immigrants. It's also: -- The safest big city in America. Crime is at a 50-year low.

Reminder: Joe Arpaio once faked an assassination attempt, then framed a man for it — all to win sympathy for his reelection campaign. The innocent man spent 4 years in jail. Taxpayers footed the $1 million settlement.

Arpaio once sent 40 SWAT cops, a bomb robot, K9 units, and Steven Seagal to arrest a man suspected of cockfighting. Seagal drove an APC into the man's living room. They destroyed the guy's house with explosives, then filmed it all for a reality TV show.

It essentially accuses Cameron of hiding behind grand jury secrecy requirements while misleading the public about evidence the grand jury actually saw. It asks the court to release the record in the interest of justice, transparency, and accountability.