A few months ago, I mentioned the horrible Operation Meth Merchant:
The arrests were for selling legal items like sudafed (in legal quantities), while “knowing” they would be used to make meth. The undercover cops would hit convenience stores run by Indians (who often spoke limited English) and casually mention slang terms like “cooking” to refer to meth — something the foreign clerks didn’t even understand. A stupid law, a stupid sting, and a gross injustice.
Now the ACLU is taking on the case:
…several of the 44 Indian suspects claimed a language barrier confused the process. At least three suspects claim that they were misidentified by the police informants who secretly taped the alleged transactions using hidden microphones or hidden cameras.
…the ACLU has launched an investigation into claims of selective arrest and prosecution based on national origin and race. […]
The accused face up to 25 years in prison, forfeiture of their stores and fines of up to 250,000 dollars. Additionally, many of those charged are potentially facing deportation.
”Ours is but the latest community targeted and blamed in the drug war, a war that has corrupted our institutions to the point where we are willing to send innocent people to prison for the sake of politics and creating a false sense of security,” said Aparna Bhattacharyya, executive director of Raksha, a Georgia-based South Asian community organisation.
”We welcome a full and thorough investigation into these cases and are committed, in the meantime, to assessing and meeting the immediate needs of the families affected,” she said.
I hope the ACLU prevails and all 44 cases are dismissed. That still would not be justice. The government cannot be allowed to get away with such blatant abuses of citizens’ rights.