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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: 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 []. 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.

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