OP-ED: Ex-Baltimore Cop Recounts Addiction To “Humans of New York”
An ex-Baltimore cop revealed the perverse problem with police prosecuting the War on Drugs.
He was addicted to heroin, while implementing mass-incarceration, drug arrest laws.
He was a Drug Warrior.
Humans of New York is a Facebook page with 17 million likes, which started as Brandon the photographer’s project to photograph 10,000 people in New York and plot them on a map.
HONY quickly gained worldwide acclaim for the short stories accompanying the images.
But the pathos of this particular story, a former cop, illustrates the ethical erosion imposed upon America’s police forces by laws that criminalize drug use, which is a quintessentially human behavior.
“I was a police officer in Baltimore for 21 years. I was addicted to heroin the entire time I was on the force. A lot of the guys had their addictions. I don’t think people understand the fear involved in the job. We were scared all the time. Baltimore was the murder capital of the world. It was tremendously stressful. I never used needles. Just powder. I was too scared of needles. My partner knew about it. One time he walked in the bathroom while I was using. He told me: ‘The moment I feel like you’re putting my life in danger, I’m turning you in.’ I did feel guilty when I was arresting drug offenders.
But I always told myself: ‘You’re doing them a favor.’ One morning I looked in the mirror and saw death. I had no soul. So I made myself quit. I took two weeks leave, locked myself in a hotel room, and quit cold turkey. It was the darkest two weeks of my life. I can’t talk about it. But I never used again. My wife was never able to quit, though.
She committed suicide six years ago. I woke up one morning and she’d been dead for seven hours, right next to me.”
The job of police is to enforce laws, period.
Not to serve and protect, which is just so much copaganda, and so intellectually dishonest, that we as Americans should demand our LEOs to remove the words anywhere we see them for the fallacy that they are.
Deceased former-Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the 2005 majority decision in Castle Rock vs. Gonzalez, a case which laid bare the true nature of policing in the United States for all to see.
The crux of the ruling is that police do not have a constitutional duty to protect anyone.
Just to enforce violations of the law.
In this case, this ex-Baltimore cop’s own partner refused to enforce the law, while he went out and arrested what must’ve been countless citizens for doing nothing more than what he did on a nightly basis.
At least he had the grace to come clean, not clean from a drug, but to clear his conscience, and expose the hypocrisy of a legal code filled with moralist laws, which only have the aim of eroding civil rights and targeting racial minorities for injustice. Don’t take my word for it, just read Nixon aide John Ehrlichmann’s telling tale as published in CNN:
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper’s writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday.
“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs?”
“Of course we did.”
Civil liberties were the first casualty in the drug war.
But as this photo and the ex-cop’s story illustrates vividly, even police became victims of the laws – sacrificing their consciences and souls on the altar of a job – when they swore to enforce when our nation’s leadership used any means necessary to avoid facing public opinion.
And entire police agencies have gone the way of this sad ex-cop too, sacrificing their integrity for a little taste of drug money.
And even worse, that’s just the domestic effect, so just imagine how people across the world are affected by things like DEA operations, use of our Coast Guard and Air Force in interdiction efforts outside of the United States borders.
Drug prohibition is nothing more than a corruption generator, and it must be ended.
Repressing free speech has consequences too, and the Drug War’s original aim is still intact, to get rid of those unwanted protesters, hippies, search and seizure limits and to ultimately construct the Police State within which we live in America today.
Hopefully, our nation’s leaders today finally recognize and rectify our nation’s horrific Drug War laws.
By getting rid of them.