We had just hauled this young
woman off in handcuffs, mostly for helping her boyfriend. She was going
to lose her kids, her house, her future. And it hit me–all of this is
for what? What are we doing here? We arrest one drug dealer, and two
take his place. I watched while we ransacked parents’ homes because
their kids were dealing. I saw the looks on their faces, knowing that
their kid’s future was over, and they were probably going to lose their
home. This thing [the drug war] was ripping apart the fabric of our
That’s former LAPD narcotics officer David Doddridge answering Radley Balko’s question as to when in his career he determined the drug war wasn’t working (I’d have worded the question differently: this isn’t a matter of efficacy.). As to my question, above, he answers it later.
One thing you have to
understand: Cops love action. They crave action. You have thousands of
these SWAT teams across the country, now. You’ve got these guys in some
small town in Idaho with nothing better to do just looking at each
other. "What do we do with this warrant? Well, might as well give it to
the SWAT team."