Friday, May 07, 2010

The (in)human face of the War on Drugs [updated]

Just for the record, the regular ‘ramble’ will appear tomorrow instead of today.  Among other reasons, it will allow me to include some sharp observations  on the British election.  And it will also give me more time today.

So in the meantime, here’s Charles Darwin.  In his classic The Origin of Species he wrote,

    “I fully subscribe to the judgement of those writers who maintain that of all the differences between man and the lower animals, the moral sense or conscience is by far the most important….  It is the most noble of all the attributes of man…”

Darwin, however, never met the lower animals who are the members of the Missouri SWAT team in the video below.

Imagine the scene: You’re sitting peacefully with your wife and seven-year-old son,  enjoying each other’s company—guilty (perhaps) of no more than having enough cannabis for a smoke later on—when the door is all of a sudden broken down by armed gorillas who burst in, fill the house with bullets, shoot your family pets  (you can hear them being wounded, then shot again in cold blood)—and then they drag you away and charge you with child endangerment!

Says Radley Balko,

    “So smoking pot = ‘child endangerment.’ Storming a home with guns, then firing bullets into the family pets as a child looks on = necessary police procedures to ensure everyone's safety.
    “Just so we're clear…
    “There are 100-150 of these raids every day in America, the vast, vast majority like this one, to serve a warrant for a consensual crime.”

Watch the video if you can because this military-style raid on a peaceful family is done in your name. 

This ladies and gentlemen, is not unusual—this raid, and raids just like them are the order of the day.  Something the sub-human animals—without either moral sense or conscience—are obvously proud of because this is their own official video.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the (in)human face of the War on Drugs.

Watch the video if you can. And keep a drink handy, because it will (or should) leave you shaking with outrage.

[Thanks to Will de Cleene for the hat tip]

UPDATE: Our very own Missouri-Kansas correspondent reports the SWAT raid and the world-wide publicity it has attracted has prompts Columbia police review of policies. [Thanks Robert]

Looks like the review will encompass change to …  wait for it … “[change] department policy to conduct raids immediately after a search warrant is obtained” instead of waiting eight days as in this case.

And just to clarify, “In 2004, the city voted to pass an ordinance that stated: ‘The limited resources of law enforcement should be directed primarily toward crimes of violence or property loss. The enforcement of laws against marijuana shall be among the lower priorities of law enforcement.’"  Hardly sounds like policy is being followed anyway, does it. But people do get hysterical when drugs are involved, don’t they.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

Conduct under review:
"http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/05/06/swat-raid-prompts-police-review-policy/"

SWAT Team made up of part timers who executed a 'stale' (8-day old) warrant authorized based on 'evidence' from an anonymous tip.

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/05/06/update-swat-raid-prompts-police-review-policies/

Couple of things to remember about the US though.

(1) Sheriffs, Judges and Police Chiefs are elected by the locals not appointed from on high.

(2) The State and Federal law enforcement organizations can step in and investigate egregious actions by local cops and vice versa.

(3) The damage done by the done by the Federal war on drugs can and has been mitigated (in the case of weed) by the passage of laws in certain states, counties and municipalities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Places_that_have_decriminalized_non-medical_cannabis_in_the_United_States

It's not legalization, and it isn't the end of the drug war, but its a series of small steps in the right direction. There is a slow thaw happening.

Unfortunately it could be snuffed out by the rebound of Conservatism in response to the excesses of the Democratic party.

5/07/2010 05:24:00 pm  
Blogger stephen said...

has anyone seen the 80's movie BRASIL .There's a scene almost identical .Check it out and think where we're all heading.

5/08/2010 04:50:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Stephen

Yes. It was a good folm.

LGM

5/09/2010 06:43:00 am  

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