Law Enforcement Incentivized to Lie in Drug War

By BitcoDavid

Michelle Alexander has written a book that has received mention on these venerable virtual pages –  The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. She recently wrote an OpEd for the NYT, on the propensity of police officers and other law enforcement to lie on the stand in regards to drug cases.

According to Alexander, in 2011, in New York alone, hundreds of drug related cases had to be dismissed, due to police lying on the stand or mishandling evidence. A state Supreme Court Judge has condemned what he referred to as a widespread culture of lying and corruption in the [police] department’s drug units. “I thought I was not naïve. But even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is employed.” –NYT

The case of Annie Dookhan speaks to the fact that law enforcement has been incentivized to fabricate evidence and purger themselves in order to maintain high conviction rates.

In her piece, Alexander goes on to say that:

In September it was reported that the Bronx district attorney’s office was so alarmed by police lying that it decided to stop prosecuting people who were stopped and arrested for trespassing at public housing projects, unless prosecutors first interviewed the arresting officer to ensure the arrest was actually warranted.

She adds:

Police departments have been rewarded in recent years for the sheer numbers of stops, searches and arrests. In the war on drugs, federal grant programs like the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program have encouraged state and local law enforcement agencies to boost drug arrests in order to compete for millions of dollars in funding. Agencies receive cash rewards for arresting high numbers of people for drug offenses, no matter how minor the offenses or how weak the evidence. Law enforcement has increasingly become a numbers game. And as it has, police officers’ tendency to regard procedural rules as optional and to lie and distort the facts has grown as well. Numerous scandals involving police officers lying or planting drugs — in Tulia, Tex. and Oakland, Calif., for example — have been linked to federally funded drug task forces eager to keep the cash rolling in.

To see this eye-opening article in the Times, click the link below.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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