Norm Stamper, former chief of the Seattle Police force, has written a story like no other. Part-memoir, part polemic, Stamper exposes the unvarnished truth — both disturbing and inspiring — about policing in America today.

Breaking Rank
A Top Cop's Exposé
of the Dark Side of American Policing

Norm Stamper

Awards & Other Publications

SalemNews.Com named Huffington Post piece, "Open Letter to the New 'Drug Czar' From Another Top Cop: End the Drug War" (May 7, 2009) "Hottest Story of 2009" (87,701 views)

New York Times, "Drugs, Reconsidered," LTE, December 15, 2009

AlterNet, "Let's Not Stop at Marijuana Legalization," December 15, 2009

Opposing Views, "Ex Police Chief - Don't Stop at Just Marijuana Legalization," December 15, 2009

Fox for, "34-Year Vet Says Legalize Them All," December 21, 2009

Culture Magazine — Named one of "Top 20 Movers and Shakers in the Industry," December 2009

Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia publication, "Australia Poised to Help End Drug War?" November 2009

Real Change, "Death of a Cop," October 9-15, 2009

The Weekend Australian, "Drug tsars can't beat drug lords this way: Norm Stamper explains why he believes it's time to end drug prohibition," October 3-4, 2009

Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation publication, "Time to Decriminalize [Legalize] Drugs," October 2009

Letter to Editor, Mother Jones, Response to "Totally Wasted: This is Your War on Drugs," July-August 2009

"The Tobacco Precedent," New York Times, Room for Debate, July 19, 2009

"Legalizing Drugs," The Economist.Com, July 9, 2009

Foreword to Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? by Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, Mason Tvert. Chelsea Green Publishing. 2009.

"420: Thoughts on Pot vs. Alchohol from a Former Police Chief", Missaukee Sentinel, Lake City, Michigan

"Obama's New Drug Czar Couldn't Be Any Worse Than Bush's. Will He Be Any Better?", Huffington Post, February 12

"One Cop to Another: Don't Arrest Phelps for Bong Photo," Huffington Post, February 6

"Marijuana Legislation: Retired Seattle Police Chief Says Obama Should Listen to Voters," Salem News (OR). December 30, 2008

"One Way Out of Endless Drug War," Albany (OR) Democrat Herald, July 16, 2008

"What Will it Take." Guest Editorial, Real Change. February 6 -12, 2008

"Stalking on the Islands." Guest Opinion, The Islands' Sounder. January 23, 2008

The H.B. "Bing" Spear Award for Excellence in Control and Enforcement, awarded every two years by the Drug Policy Alliance, December 8, 2007, New Orleans.

"Death Penalty Wastes Money, While Failing to Reduce Crime." Op-ed, San Jose Mercury News, November 19, 2007

"Law Enforcement: Imagining a New Structure." Chapter in The Challenge to Lead: Issues in Law Enforcement Leadership. The Center for American and International Law. 2007

"America's Drug War and the Right to Privacy", Montana Law Review, Summer 2007

"Arellano-Felix Arrest Just One Battle in America's Failed Drug War." Guest Columnist, L.A. Daily News, 8/26/06

"Stopping Drug Violence." San Diego Union-Tribune Op-Ed, August 4, 2006

"How Legalizing Will End the Violence," AlterNet. July 28, 2006

"Let Those Dopers Go." Op-ed, Los Angeles Times. October 16, 2005

"Keep Your Mouth Shut on This One, Chief." Penthouse. July, 2005

"Snookered in Seattle: The WTO Riots." Seattle Weekly, June 1-7, 2005

Removing Managerial Barriers to Effective Police Management. Police Executive Research Forum, Washington D. C. 1992

Films Featuring Norm

"The Union: The Business Behind Getting High," selected for 2007 Winnipeg Film Festival, Vancouver, B.C. Film.

"Private Violence: The Movement Against Battering in America," Kit Gruelle, Cynthia Hill, Steven Channing, Durham, NC. In production.

"Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey", by Novia Scotia filmmaker Connie Littlefield, to be completed October, 2006, for the National Film Board of Canada

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), 12-minute program endorsed by Walter Cronkite (currently available at, 2006


"Life Behind the Badge: Norm Stamper Speaks Out." The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Seattle Northwest Regional Chapter (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana). Public Affairs — Special or Series. Won by Liv Faris, Producer, Tiffany Dedeaux, Editor for June 3, 2006.

Journalism Award

Society of Professional Journalists' 2006 Excellence in Journalism Competition for Government/Political Reporting: 1st Place to J. Kingston Pierce, Washington Law & Politics, for "Stamper Has His Say"