Cops in Hope, Indiana have self-righteously released and publicized a photograph of a young mother passed out in a car in a Dollar General parking lot. She had apparently used heroin, and had a syringe in her hand and her 10-month-old son in the back seat.
The woman, whose name and image we won’t be sharing, was revived with naloxone and booked on charges of child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hope Marshal Matthew Tallent has conducted a round of media interviews with the Indianapolis Star and some local TV stations to capitalize on the attention this has earned his department. And whether his justifications are cynical or merely ignorant, they’re plain wrong.
“This is becoming a new norm for drug users,” he said.
That’s highly questionable. Drug use has mixed with parenting for as long as there have been parents, and a handful of recent publicized instances—such as an example provided by cops in Ohio last month—does not a trend make.
What is notable, however, is the increased willingness of police departments to publicly shame parents who are caught under the influence of heroin—and of media outlets, including many national ones in this case, to happily cooperate in piling on the stigma.
“Parents are doing this more often with children in the car because they are doing it away from someone who is going to disapprove,” said Tallent—unconsciously demonstrating that the criminalization and stigmatized status of heroin and other drugs causes people who use them to do so in ways that place themselves and their children at increased risk.
Some would argue here that parents not using drugs would mean removing this risk—to which the counterpoint is that the US has devoted vast resources to making people not use drugs for many decades, and use them many still do. Any responsible policy acknowledges the reality of widespread continuing drug use and seeks to mitigate associated harms.
“My intention with these photos is not to shame the mother, although I realize it may appear embarrassing,” said Tallent, with understated hypocrisy. “I honestly think this picture should be used as an educational tool because I want people to see what this drug is doing.”
How essential it is to use this young woman’s personal plight to counter all of those heroin-positive stories plastered across the media these days.
“It’s shocking,” Tallent told yet another media outlet. “When you look at something like that you see your own children.”
No one, anywhere, would suggest that a parent being unconscious through drug use while in charge of a baby is a good or safe state of affairs. But anyone with a shred of common sense could infer that for a parent to be in this position, their life likely includes significant turmoil and pain—and that national-scale humiliation is far more likely to add to that, with a corresponding negative impact on the child’s life, than to solve it.
Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst
President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.
Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.
Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”
Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.
Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."
Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.
"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.
"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."
Giuliani henchmen showered Republican with cash — and Trump almost made him ambassador to Ukraine: report
Yet another bombshell report has shed new light on President Donald Trump's suspicious Ukraine policies.
"At the same time that Rudy Giuliani and his now-indicted pals were pushing for President Donald Trump to remove Amb. Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine, Trump administration officials were eyeing potential contenders to take over her job. One of the people in the mix, according to three sources familiar with the discussions, was Rep. Pete Sessions, a former Congressman who called for Yovanovitch’s firing," The Daily Beast reported Thursday night. "He is also a longtime ally of the former New York Mayor, and is believed to have taken millions of dollars from Giuliani’s indicted cronies."