Sunday, June 05, 2011

Body Counts in the Drug War

DADvocate makes note of the police killing of Jose Guerena in Pima County, Arizona.

The war on drugs has become a war on the freedom in America. Too many police departments have taken on the cowboy/Dirty Harry mentality and are terrorizing the populace.

At least in Arizona, the police are still using the drug war as an excuse to terrorize the population. Some police departments have a bar far, far lower. Once you accept that the police can violate your rights for one reason or another, you'll have to defend everywhere else.

For those keeping score at home, Guerena was a United States Marine, a veteran of the Iraq War, and members of his family had recently been killed in a home invasion. So the SWAT team comes pouring into his yard in military garb, as part of a marijuana investigation. In the confusion, he takes up a weapon - who wouldn't, with armed men invading your home - and is killed in a hail of 77 bullets.

The police initially claimed that he had shot at them, and that illegal drugs were found on the property. This would justify their actions. Of course they feared for their life, as Guerena feared for his. Why do we put our police and citizens in such situations?

Of course, it is now coming to light that this might be a CYA story, that Guerena never got the safety off the weapon, and nothing illegal was found in the house. Nothing really connected him to the marijuana investigation at all other than the word of a secret, confidential informant. An informant that provided information into a home where nothing illegal was found. Why am I not surprised?

When I grew up, I remember hearing stories about despotic governments, where the thought police would keep track of people, and report on them to the government. In such places (thought to be the Third World, the Asian Tyrannies, and the Eastern Bloc) secret informants could destroy your life with a few words. The informed-upon would be "disappeared" to a camp or a mass grave, leaving the family only wondering.

The drug war has already been like that for a long, long time.


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