Radley Balko


Opinion columnist focusing on civil liberties, the drug war and the criminal justice system

Education: Indiana University, BA in journalism and political science

Radley Balko reports on criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He was previously a senior writer and investigative reporter at the Huffington Post, and a reporter and senior editor for Reason magazine. He is author of the books "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces" and "The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South" (co-authored with Tucker Carrington). His work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Mississippi Supreme Court and two federal appeals courts. He also occasio
Latest from Radley Balko

Facing union pushback, another Black police chief steps down

Keith Humphrey's resignation in Little Rock is just the latest in an exodus of reform-oriented Black police chiefs across the country.

May 13, 2022

Durham, N.C., refuses to compensate innocent man after 24 years in prison

The city spent millions defending a police officer, then refuses to compensate the man that cop sent to prison.

April 26, 2022

What Black cops know about racism in policing

The very existence of Black cops might seem to contradict systemic racism in law enforcement — until you actually talk to them.

April 13, 2022

QAnon goes mainstream

The once-laughable conspiracy theory has become a serious player among those on the right.

April 5, 2022

Eight better questions for future Supreme Court nominees

Let's stop with the red meat, and ask questions that will elicit substantive answers.

March 25, 2022

Two alarming trajectories at the Supreme Court

Those who enforce the law are least likely to be held accountable for breaking it.

March 17, 2022

Republicans attack Ketanji Brown Jackson for being right about Guantánamo

In every respect, their criticisms are nonsense.

March 1, 2022

Republicans’ buffoonish, disingenuous attacks on an Innocence Project attorney

If these Republicans truly cared about the rule of law, they would be heaping praise on attorneys such as Nina Morrison.

February 18, 2022

With Amir Locke’s death, ‘officer safety’ claims another victim

The pursuit of "officer safety" has led to too many needless deaths. What about the public's safety?

February 11, 2022

Lawsuit alleges D.C. police leaders flagged FOIA requests from journalists and activists

The lawsuit features a sworn declaration from the department's chief FOIA officer from 2017 to early 2020.

February 3, 2022