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Latest Updates From Idiotic War On Drugs

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 10:31 EDT
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A couple of stories today to remind everyone that the ongoing and idiotic War on Drugs is just an attempt to waste taxpayer money dismantling basic rights and freedoms. First, New York City:

Shingles, 28, said he, his cousin and another male pal were at the cousin’s East New York home in December 2011 when the plainclothes officers arrived demanding to perform a search, the suit states.

The cousin, Tyriek Fortune, was suspected of a criminal offense, the suit says, although it’s unclear exactly what the alleged crime was.

One of the cops, David Grieco, is already under investigation for illegal entries elsewhere.

Fortune’s mom, Donyale Kitchens, refused to allow the cops in without a warrant, and the officers agreed to come back later, the suit says.

But instead of getting a warrant, the officers convinced a building super to give them keys to the pad, according to the suit.

Once inside the home, the officers then handcuffed Shingles, Fortune and the third man while they did a search, the suit states.

Then, the cops allegedly decided to break for a musical interlude after learning that Shingles was an aspiring rapper.

“They said, ‘Rap something if you want to go home,’ ” Shingles said. “I was scared. I was nervous. I didn’t want to got o jail.”

Shingles said he was handcuffed on the ground and leaning against a couch when he recited lyrics from an obscenity-laced party song he penned a couple months earlier. The cops approved of the rendition and let him walk, according to the suit.

It’s unclear what the cops were looking for from the details, but even if it wasn’t drugs—and no one is under any illusions that they weren’t hoping to turn up drugs—the drug war is exactly what laid the groundwork for cops to feel that they have a right to turn up anyone’s apartment or car or belongings or even body in the endless hamster wheel of trying to catch people with drugs. Naturally, nothing was found, but as this story and the one I’m about to link shows, I suspect some cops have started to get mad at you if you don’t produce the drugs they were hoping to find on you. The logic of the War on Drugs has created a system where police are so desperate to catch a certain number of offenders that not only will they break the law to do it, they start to eyeball certain people and hope that they’re breaking the law. They want you to be breaking the law. They need it. And if you’re not breaking the law, well, you’re going to be humiliated for disappointing them. In this case, by being forced to rap on command. But in this next story, by massive bodily humiliation:

New Mexico TV station KOB4 has the scoop on David Eckert of Deming, New Mexico, who was stopped by police after they said he didn’t come a complete stop at a stop sign while exiting a Wal-Mart.

When Eckert stepped out of his car, officers believed he was clenching his buttocks for some reason, KOB4 said. They took him to a local emergency room and ordered an anal cavity search after securing a warrant for one. Doctors there refused to do it because they believed it to be unethical.

But the doctors at Gila Regional Medical Center apparently had no such ethical qualms. According to medical records and lawsuit documents, Eckert was subjected to the following procedures over the next few hours:

1. Eckert’s abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.

2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

4. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

5. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

6. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.

8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert’s anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.

Throughout this ordeal, Eckert protested and never gave doctors at the Gila Regional Medical Center consent to perform any of these medical procedures.

Again, no narcotics were found. And as the TV station reports, there were several problems with the warrant, including the fact that it was not valid in the county where the searches were performed and that it expired three hours before the procedures began.

At a certain point, they’re just punishing you for not having drugs when they wanted you to have drugs. They see the suspect’s lack of drugs as an attempt to frustrate their desire to get praise and promotions at work. The War on Drugs is supposedly about scaring people away from drugs, but for some people—particularly people of color and low income people—you’re the “bad guy” even if you got the message.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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