“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” —Benjamin Franklin
Police State Resources
Rise of the American Police State
The Rutherford Institute is leading the charge in warning against a rapidly growing—and increasingly out-of-control—American police state.
With over an estimated 80,000 SWAT raids per year, an increase in fatal (and often-times unnecessary) police shootings, and a routine dependence on militarized weapons and vehicles, local police departments are beginning to act like and resemble a standing army.
The American police force, however, is not a branch of the military, nor is it a private security force for the reigning political faction. It is an aggregation of the countless local units that exist for a sole purpose: to serve and protect the citizens of each and every American community. In recent years, however, there has been an increasing militarization of the police. It has not occurred suddenly, in a single precinct; it cannot be traced back to a single leader or event—rather, the pattern is so subtle that most American citizens are hardly even aware of it. Little by little, police authority has expanded, one weapon after another has been added to the police arsenal, and one exception after another has been made to the standards that have historically restrained police authority. When analyzed as a whole, this trend toward militarization is undeniable, and it is one that could have serious implications for American liberty if left unchecked.
Our Recent Work in Police State
Rutherford Institute Denounces Attorney General's Plan to Further Police Militarization, Cease Justice Dept. Oversight of Police Misconduct
Court Rules in Favor of Police Who Pounded on Wrong Door, Didn't Identify Themselves, Then Killed Innocent Man for Holding a Gun
U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Abusive Civil Forfeiture Law, Allows Police to Keep $201,000 in Cash from Legal Home Sale with No Proof of Criminal Activity
Rutherford Institute Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Hold Police Liable for the Reckless Shooting of a Homeless Couple in the Wake of a Warrantless Raid
Rutherford Institute Challenges Use of Anonymous Source as Basis for Unconstitutional, Warrantless Raid, Search, Use of Force & Arrest by Police
Rutherford Institute Issues Constitutional Guidelines to Aid Citizens and Police in De-Escalating Encounters, Protecting Rights, Life & Property
Constitutional Q&A: Rules of Engagement for Interacting with Police
Rutherford Institute Identifies Virginia Tactical Police Who Carried out 'Welfare Check' With a 2-Hour, SWAT-Style Raid, Grenade & Wrongful Arrest
Commentary on Police State Issues
The Iron Jaws of the Police State: Trump’s America Is a Constitution-Free Zone
Run for Your Life: The American Police State Is Coming to Get You
The Greatest Threat to Our Freedoms: A Government of Scoundrels, Spies, Thieves, Ruffians, Rapists and Killers
Killer Instincts: When Police Become Judge, Jury and Executioner
Don’t Just Blame the Cops: Who Is Responsible for America’s Killing Fields?
Programmed to Kill: The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Dogs
‘We the Prisoners’: The Demise of the Fourth Amendment
Fleecing the American Taxpayer: The Profit Incentives Driving the Police State
America’s Gestapo: The FBI’s Reign of Terror
The People vs. the Police State: The Struggle for Justice in the Supreme Court