I chatted by phone the other day with Sen. Elizabeth Warren for a column I’m working on, and before I let her go, I suggested she read “The Rise of the Warrior Cop” by Radley Balko. I’m not sure she will – she said she’s spending her vacation reading up on the history of government mortgage loan guarantee programs – but she sounded interested.
It’s a recommendation I’ve been pushing on almost everyone I meet. But since I understand folks have their own summer reading list, Balko wrote a condensed version, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal the other day. In it, he brings up the name that haunted my thoughts from the first page of the book to the last:
In my own research, I have collected over 50 examples in which innocent people were killed in raids to enforce warrants for crimes that are either nonviolent or consensual (that is, crimes such as drug use or gambling, in which all parties participate voluntarily). These victims were bystanders, or the police later found no evidence of the crime for which the victim was being investigated. They include Katherine Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed by an Atlanta narcotics team acting on a bad tip from an informant in 2006; Alberto Sepulveda, an 11-year-old accidentally shot by a California SWAT officer during a 2000 drug raid; and Eurie Stamps, killed in a 2011 raid on his home in Framingham, Mass., when an officer says his gun mistakenly discharged. Mr. Stamps wasn’t a suspect in the investigation.