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When They Come for You

How Police and Government Are Trampling Our Liberties - and How to Take Them Back

David Kirby

St. Martin's Press

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ISBN10: 1250064368
ISBN13: 9781250064363


400 Pages



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Liberty and justice for all is the bedrock of American democracy, but has America betrayed our founders’ vision for the nation? In When They Come For You, New York Times bestselling author David Kirby exposes federal, state, and local violations of basic constitutional rights that should trouble every American, whether liberal, conservative, or libertarian. Free speech, privacy, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, due process, and equal protection under the law are rights that belong to every American citizen, but are being shredded at an alarming rate all across the country.

Police and prosecutorial misconduct, overzealous bureaucrats with virtually unchecked power, unwarranted searches, SWAT-style raids on the homes of innocent Americans, crackdowns on a free press and the right to protest, removing children from their parents without cause, “debtors prisons," restricting freedom of health choice, seizing private assets for government profit, and much more demonstrate how deeply our rights and our national values are eroding. When They Come For You uses true stories of everyday citizens to reveal how our federal, state, and municipal governments, police, lawmakers, judges, revenue agents, unelected power brokers, and even government social workers are eviscerating our most fundamental liberties. And, it shows how people are fighting back—and winning.


Praise for When They Come for You

"When They Come For You is an easy read about a too often and too easily ignored reality—repeated intrusions by state and federal authorities into the liberties of our people. Written from the perspective of individuals who describe abuses ranging from warrantless home raids to unconstitutional crackdowns on protesters and the press, the book offers a memorable yet deeply disturbing vision of a nation that prides itself on the liberties it protects for its people but which too often strays from that vision."—Floyd Abrams

"This timely book documents the growing consensus across the ideological spectrum that government bodies—police departments, agencies, bureaus, and others—have strayed far beyond their constitutional limits and are widely abusing their power. From civil forfeiture to the militarization of the police, from sending people to jail for minor offenses to free speech violations, David Kirby compellingly captures why all Americans, regardless of their politics, should be concerned about this alarming overreach. But this book is not simply a litany of abuses. It also offers practical and much-needed alternatives to restore power to individuals and to better protect the constitutional rights to which all persons are entitled."—Scott G. Bullock, President and General Counsel, Institute for Justice

"David Kirby’s When They Come For You sheds light on individual and systemic injustices taking place in modern day America. He sets forth a roadmap of meaningful ways to resist the erosion of free speech, free press, due process, equal protection under the law and other fundamental constitutional principles and values. The book is a must read for all Americans who believe in Freedom, Justice, Equality and Fairness for all, especially in the Trump era."—Norman Siegel, former executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt



You are relaxing with your family at home one evening when a band of armed thugs crashes through the door and invades your house. Their shouting is terrifying....

About the author

David Kirby

DAVID KIRBY is the author of several nonfiction books including Evidence of Harm, a New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors award for best book, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, as well as Animal Factory and Death at SeaWorld. He lives in New York City.

William Kauffman

David Kirby

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