Bad Laws Produce Bad Law Enforcement
By David W. Brown
Posted August 30 2017
In 1971, President Richard Nixon called drug abuse “public enemy number one,” and in prepared remarks declared, “In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.” This prompted a shift in the way police operate, creating new funding streams that financially empowered law enforcement, jails, and prisons, focusing them in the local public-safety paradigm.
“[Police] were going to operate more like paramilitary forces fighting a wartime enemy,” Edwards says, “and less like community-oriented, problem-solving, public-health-driven police departments looking to figure out how to work with the community and other stakeholders to help people who have drug addictions and people in poverty seeking improved schools and job opportunities and viable alternatives to the black market, and thinking of intelligent long-term responses to drug use and sale.” More…