I don’t think anybody can look at this story without realizing that we have a case of extreme dysfunction:
Elite army soldiers took over police stations along Mexico’s border with Texas on Tuesday, disarming police, checking for unregistered weapons and searching patrol cars and personal vehicles for any items that might link the officers to drug cartels, according to an official and the Mexican media.
Special-forces soldiers wearing ski masks took control of police stations in Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Matamoros and other cities in Tamaulipas state during the morning change of shifts, said an official and local residents who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
That’s right. Special forces soldiers in ski masks raiding police stations! Take a moment and picture that. And figure out how we got to that point. Was it because of drugs? Or the drug war?
Now over in Brooklyn, there were no ski masks, but still…
Heads rolled at the top of the NYPD’s Narcotics Division Monday night after the Daily News learned that 20 cops were benched over charges that undercover officers took sex, drugs and cash from junkies and dealers.
NYPD and law enforcement sources said 15 cops – all from the midnight crew of Brooklyn South Narcotics – have been put on desk duty as part of a five-month investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
That’s on top of four members of the midnight crew busted on allegations they stole drugs to pay off informants and another who was suspended on undisclosed internal charges, sources told The News.
Can you say “dysfunction”? I knew you could. This isn’t one cop. This is a whole bunch of ’em. These are the people that the community is supposed to trust to protect and serve them.
Now in Cleveland, it’s a dysfunctional relationship with the DEA, informants and prosecutors.
A federal judge decided Tuesday to free 15 men from prison because their convictions were based on testimony of a government informant who lied on the witness stand and framed innocent people.
Collectively, the men have served at least 30 years behind bars. They were sentenced to a combined 86 years. Federal public defender Dennis Terez called the release of so many people at one time unprecedented.
Fallout from the case is expected to spread beyond the federal courthouses in Cleveland and Akron, where the men were convicted of dealing crack cocaine in Mansfield.
The case is a blow to the federal justice system, which relies heavily on informant-based testimony, lawyers said. The men, some with no prior run-ins with the law, were given long prison sentences based almost exclusively on the word of informant Jerrell Bray and Lee Lucas, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent who supervised Bray.
Three different stories in one week. All examples of dysfunction so great that the entire concept of police serving and protecting the people is meaningless. The fabric of government itself is shredded.
The dysfunction and destruction screams at us. Yet the drug warriors, deaf and dumb, lurch on in their war, no longer knowing where they’re headed, yet somehow sure that if they just do… more of it, they’ll win.
The only winning move is not to play.
How about a nice game of chess?