“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 Sues Police Over 'Broken Taillight' Traffic Stop That Resulted in Driver Being Punched, Beaten, Arrested and Hospitalized
Rutherford Institute Denounces Justice Dept. Plan to Expand Policing for Profit Schemes, Issues Constitutional Guidance on Civil Asset Forfeiture
Rutherford Institute Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Rein in Aggressive, Coercive, Potentially Violent Knock-and-Talk Practices by Militarized Police
Rutherford Institute, ACLU Et Al. Call on Police to De-Escalate Use of Force, Adopt Less Confrontational Tactics in Dealing With Protesters
Responding to Tension Over Removal of Confederate Statue, Rutherford Institute Urges Police to Exercise Restraint & Cease Aggressive Tactics
Unanimous U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hold Police Liable for the Reckless Shooting of a Homeless Couple During a Warrantless Raid
Rutherford Institute Warns Against Coercive Use Of "Knock and Talk" Tactics by Police to Intimidate Americans & Sidestep the Fourth Amendment
Rutherford Institute Denounces Attorney General's Plan to Further Police Militarization, Cease Justice Dept. Oversight of Police Misconduct
Commentary on Police State Issues
What Country Is This? Forced Blood Draws, Cavity Searches and Colonoscopies
Battlefield America Is the New Normal: We’re Not in Mayberry Anymore
Execution by Firing Squad: The Militarized Police State Opens Fire
Twilight of the Courts: The Elusive Search for Justice in the American Police State
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