The Cato Institute researches many political and policy issues, and one of the most disturbing ones they focus on is the overuse of police force when conducting paramilitary raids.
Cato Fellow Radley Balko highlighted the trend toward heavy-handed police practices in Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. Radley continues to chronicle police abuses at The Agitator and Reason. Recent examples of police excesses include the unnecessary death of seven-year old Aiyana Jones in Detroit and this raid on an innocent elderly couple in Chicago (immigrants who fled the Soviet Union because of oppression).
One of the fruits of Radley’s research was the Raidmap, a Google map application that allows you to see the scope of this epidemic of “isolated incidents.” You can also sort botched raids by category: death of an innocent, raid on an innocent suspect, death or injury of an officer, death of a nonviolent offender, unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people, and other examples of paramilitary police excess.
The Raidmap is an interesting tool that allows users to study paramilitary police raids and abuses across the country in an interactive form. And now you can embed it on your webpage if you should so desire. Find the embedable link here.