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posted by azrael on Friday July 11 2014, @02:27PM   Printer-friendly
from the time-to-rethink dept.

A report at Alternet gives some context to the amount spent by the U.S. on its drug policy.

  • 1,100 - The number of Americans that die each year due to violent crime caused by the drug war
  • $51 billion - The amount that the U.S. government spends each year on the war on drugs
  • 61 percent - The percentage of individuals targeted by drug-related SWAT raids who are people of color
  • 82 percent - The number of Americans who believe that the government is losing the War on Drugs
  • 18 months - The age of Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh, a recent American casualty of the drug war

The article goes into further details on the number, including:

On May 28, a team of police officers raided the Phonesavanh's home, with the mistaken belief that the residents were involved with drugs. As they entered, they tossed a flashbang grenade that landed directly in the crib of baby Bou Bou, which exploded within point-blank range - critically injuring him.

In a harrowing article, his mother, Alecia, described seeing "a singed crib" and "a pool of blood", and later being informed by medics: "There's still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs". Alecia said that the sole silver lining to this story is that it may "make us angry enough that we stop accepting brutal SWAT raids as a normal way to fight the war on drugs".

Fortunately, Bou Bou has been making a gradual recovery, but his family is relying on donations to support their living and medical costs.

 
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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by CirclesInSand on Friday July 11 2014, @03:16PM

    by CirclesInSand (2899) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:16PM (#67616)

    Well the first person's name you are going to want is the judge who signed the warrant. You want to look at what evidence the judge had to decide if this was a dangerous situation that justified sending a militarized swat team into a family home. The officers trust the judge, so the judge is the first person to go after.

    The next set of names you are going to want is pretty much everyone in the entire country. Because everyone had decided that it is the police's responsibility to protect us rather than our own responsibility to protect ourselves. Being angry at police for doing what the public expects of them is about as sensible as being angry at children for doing what their parents tell them to do.

    The police themselves? They do what they are told to do. You might want to put their name on the list, but pretty close to the bottom. If everyone wasn't begging the police to protect us from boogie-men then I doubt the police would have just gone into a family home with grenades out of their own volition. Be mad at the police when they are acting against the public and policy.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hubie on Friday July 11 2014, @03:56PM

    by hubie (1068) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 11 2014, @03:56PM (#67657) Journal

    I'm not well versed in the warrant process, but I don't think the judge has any input on how the arrest will be done, in other words, I don't think it is up to the judge to say "I'll grant you this warrant if you're going to knock on their door, but I won't if you are sending in a SWAT team."

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by karmawhore on Friday July 11 2014, @05:15PM

      by karmawhore (1635) on Friday July 11 2014, @05:15PM (#67707)

      They had a "no-knock warrant," so it was up to the judge to make that call.

      --
      =kw= lurkin' to please
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:46PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:46PM (#67726)

    This "no-knock" warrant was issued on the strength of testimony from a confidential informant that he had just bought drugs from a particular man. The object of the warrant had a long record, although details have been a little fuzzy whether that includes violence against police. One way or another, the individual was well known to the cops. He was also not in the home at the time of the attack. The people who were there, including the baby, were almost all out-of-town guests, sleeping peacefully at 1am. I guess the informant neglected to mention all the tourists.

    Police in and around Atlanta love their no-knock warrants, although they do tend to get a little out of hand [wikipedia.org]. Which is kind of the point. I mean, a nice battering ram, flash-bang, storm-the-castle attack always looks great on Law and Order, but in real life, nobody gets the script ahead of time and there's no rehearsal.

    The notion that a drug dealer poses such an immediate threat to society that he must be arrested, right this second, even if it means discharging firearms in a densely populated housing complex is completely antithetical to public safety. You can arrest him in the morning.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mrider on Friday July 11 2014, @08:10PM

    by mrider (3252) on Friday July 11 2014, @08:10PM (#67800)

    The next set of names you are going to want is pretty much everyone in the entire country. Because everyone had decided that it is the police's responsibility to protect us rather than our own responsibility to protect ourselves. Being angry at police for doing what the public expects of them is about as sensible as being angry at children for doing what their parents tell them to do.

    There's a pretty damn big difference between "Someone is trying to harm/kill me, please come and protect me" and "That random dude looks suspicious, so please kick his door down and arrest everyone inside". Yes I expect the first. For the second one, the police had better be pretty darn sure of themselves first.

    --

    Doctor: "Do you hear voices?"

    Me: "Only when my bluetooth is charged."

  • (Score: 2) by chromas on Friday July 11 2014, @09:31PM

    by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 11 2014, @09:31PM (#67848) Journal

    You want to look at what evidence the judge had...The officers trust the judge, so the judge is the first person to go after.

    You do know who brings the 'evidence' and filled-out warrant to the judge, right?