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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: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:58PM (#67736)

    But that is not is important. What is important is that there is a policy that allows police to engage in raids with no reliable evidence. What is important is that police have a policy of throwing grenades blindly into people's houses. What is important is that people allow the police to do this, not that in this one case the outcome was this enraging.

    Six years ago, Atlanta police mistakenly invaded the home of Katherine Johnson using a no-knock warrant. She was alarmed by strangers entering her house, and fired a "warning shot" over their heads. They shot her 39 times, winning a great deal of negative press. I'm sure the good officers of Habersham county, just up the road, came to the conclusion that stunning or disorienting the invadees before entering would reduce the chance of such accidents. Injuries due to explosive devices are certainly a better outcome than 39 bullet holes.

    Somewhere, there's a committee of good officers secure in the belief that they have a good policy with occasional, regrettable incidents of collateral damage. Each incident of collateral damage is an opportunity to improve the flawed execution of an excellent policy.

    Tyrants never think they're evil.

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  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday July 12 2014, @12:29AM

    by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 12 2014, @12:29AM (#67911) Journal

    I'm not sure about that. I rather think that Stalin thought he was evil, and enjoyed it. But I'll agree that it's unusual.

    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.