The war on drugs complicity in the death of Breonna

Jacob Sullum does a great job of detailing the horrendous state of our criminal justice system that essentially encourages fatal confrontations.

The Legal Response to Breonna Taylor’s Death Shows How Drug Prohibition Transforms Murder Into Self-Defense

State prosecutors concluded that the two other officers were justified in returning fire after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot one of them in the leg. Yet local prosecutors decided not to pursue an attempted murder charge against Walker.

Those seemingly contradictory decisions reflect Kentucky’s standards for self-defense, which make it possible that Walker and the cops were both legally justified in using deadly force. But that puzzling situation also has to be understood in the context of the war on drugs, which frequently involves armed home invasions that invite potentially deadly confusion. That unjustified violence is the root of the problem highlighted by Taylor’s senseless death and the unsatisfying legal response to it.

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21 Responses to The war on drugs complicity in the death of Breonna

  1. Servetus says:

    Why didn’t the police simply arrest Breonna outside her home when she was going to work or to shop somewhere? It’s a question that often arises in botched home drug raids like this one.

    Breonna Taylor was allegedly suspected of operating a cash stash for her alleged drug dealing ex-boyfriend. No evidence of cash stashes or money laundering was reported in the raid. One reason given for surprise raids is to prevent a suspect from flushing their drug stash down a toilet. I’ve never heard of a drug suspect flushing cash. Drugs are easier to replace than cash.

    I suspect the SWAT-style raids that lead to the deaths of suspects or even police officers are a public relations gimmick, like the grandstanding TV series Cops that was recently canceled. The drug raids depict an omnipotent police force fighting the evil-doers in classic action-hero comic book style. The current techniques emerged in the era of drug crime fighter and LA Police Chief Daryl Gates, whose cops employed battering rams to break into crack houses in South Central LA — a really big show for the news media, and later a really big riot for the City of Angels after the Rodney King beating and dismissal of charges against the officers involved.

    Daryl Gates was responsible for militarizing the police. He wore black uniforms. He invented SWAT. He invented D.A.R.E., an ineffective drug deterrent education for young students, one which was kept operating merely because it offered a public relations platform for the police to speak to school children and teenagers.

    Thanks to Daryl, many of today’s police departments are armed to the teeth with military hardware, including armored personnel carriers and heat guns. Cops are made to look menacing, something to be feared by little children. Citizens of certain neighborhoods fear they’re living in a police state, raising the stakes for fear, while others, those living in more fortunate neighborhoods, are desensitized by prospects of living peacefully within a police state.

    General Ernst Röhm, Hitler’s chief SA officer, always advised Adolf to keep the German population in a constant state of agitation and fear so citizens could be easily controlled. Fear has always been a means of social control. It’s typically employed by governments or monarchies that are incompetent and that ultimately need to resort to force. Arrests for fearful drugs possession fall into this category. In retrospect, Röhm should have been more fearful of his own advice. Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich manufactured evidence to convince Hitler that Ernst Röhm was launching a plot against the Nazi government. He was purged in the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.

    • Have you a Twitter site Servetus?

    • aha! says:

      Daryl’s Wiki page:

      Gates earned notoriety for his controversial rhetoric on many occasions. Some of the most notable examples of this were:

      His testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that infrequent or casual drug users “ought to be taken out and shot” because “we’re in a war” and even casual drug use is “treason”.[25] He later said the testimony was calculated hyperbole.[26]
      His racist response to concerns about excessive force by police employing “choke holds”. In 1982, Gates attributed several deaths of black people held in choke holds to the theory that “blacks might be more likely to die from chokeholds because their arteries do not open as fast as they do in ‘normal people'”.[27] In his autobiography, Gates said that he had been misinterpreted and meant that black people were more predisposed to vascular conditions and therefore less likely to have normally functioning arteries.[28]
      Long gone, but not forgotten.

    • darkcycle says:

      Servetus, do you have a link to where you saw that one reason given for the Taylor raid was police looking for a “Cash stash”? That is pretty explosive stuff…if they were aware the boyfriend was in custody yet still raided with a months-old warrant looking for MONEY…well, that makes this raid a botched robbery. That would mean they were there for a burglary, not a drug raid… Would love to see your source material..thanks in advance.

  2. Meanwhile:
    This is the drug war:

    “While police were escorting Thornton back to a police car, she stated to the officer that she would find out who snitched on her and “kill” that person”

  3. DdC says:

    This is more “Bad Laws” enforced that make cops look more racist and brutal than normally. These “laws” were written out of hype and lies to demonize drugs and escalate the drug war. Racism about the same as any crime. They are the largest group of Prohibitionists that is another act that proves tax paid employees can be bigots if the hype is justified. Gates militarizing the cops, invented SWAT & DARE propaganda. 50 years of bipartisan shunning.

    ☛ DAREyl SWAT Gates, LAPDog Perversions.

    Breonna was shot because the courts gave the cops a warrant. If the warrant was bogus due to lies, thats different. If it was a dysfunctionally “normal” police act enforcing laws on the books then they are not guilty of not announcing themselves or in defending themselves. Remove these bad laws from the NRA bought Mandatory Minimums to 3 strikes and the Patriot Act that takes even more liberties.

    The results of MM & 3 strikes makes relatively benign acts like smoking pot, the same as major felony’s. The risk of getting busted makes more violence inevitable. Then this act is exploited and prisons profit. Since most busted are of color or poor, the ratio’s of prisons show it.

    ☛ How a Sentence Is Determined:
    Mandatory Minimums and Guidelines

    ☛ Mandatory sentencing

    Mandatory minimum sentences — set by Congress, not judges — require automatic, minimum prison terms for certain crimes. Most mandatory minimum sentences apply to drug offenses, but Congress has also enacted them for other crimes, including certain gun, pornography, and economic offenses.

    ☛ Sneak and peek warrant

    A sneak and peek search warrant (officially called a Delayed Notice Warrant and also called a covert entry search warrant or a surreptitious entry search warrant) is a search warrant authorizing the law enforcement officers executing it to effect physical entry into private premises without the owner’s knowledge

    ☛ No-knock warrant

    In the United States, a no-knock warrant is a warrant issued by a judge that allows law enforcement to enter a property without immediate prior notification of the residents, such as by knocking or ringing a doorbell.

    ☛ Louisville grand jury indicts 1 of 3 officers in fatal Breonna Taylor police shooting

  4. Son of Sam Walton says:

    But it is Okay for the Fed Judges and Fed Prosecutors to require banks like HSBC to pay a small fee or a fee for a license to launder drug money to the world’s worst.

    These licenses that banks can buy to protect themselves against knowingly laundering drug money, has resulted in nearly $2 Trillion possibly being laundered by BNY Mellon, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, Douchebag Bank of Germany, etc.

    These licensees have been available for purchase since 2012, possibly 2011 when Wells Fargo was allowed to completely take over Wachovia.

    Mrs. Taylor would still be alive if she was a banker, responsible for 9/11 and the plight of Mexico.

  5. DdC says:

    It’s not okay, it is what it is. All of the mostly initiated reefer madness is GOPers, Cops and Big Pharma. Dems have been on the sidelines shunning and whining. DEA pushed banking laws the same as banning tuition assistance or Pell Grants if you have a federal arrest record for pot. Its all a scam and its going on 50 years. Until it is removed as a schedule#1 controlled substance, research is banned except University studies that have no merit without FDA approval. Which they have not tested since the 1999 IOM research proved it had medicinal value. It was sent to the HHS to approve for FDA testing and as far as anyone knows it is still there.

    ☛ Two-thirds of Americans support marijuana legalization

    ☛ Three Republicans Stand in the Way of Federal Weed Legalization

    ☛ Analysis: GOP Congress Has Blocked Dozens Of Marijuana Amendments

    ☛ Ganja Jobs

    ☛ Ganja Fastest Growing Living Wage Job Market

    ☛ Ganja for Cv19

    ☛ Ganja Over Taxed, Where’s the GOPers?

    The Senate Republican Policy Committee blasted…

    Rep. Bradley Byrne R-AL criticized…

    Rep. Jim Hagedorn R-MN slammed…

    Democrats for language “legalizing marijuana banking” in their latest coronavirus relief bill.

  6. They are doing it again.

    “Study Finds Cannabis Does Not Reduce Opioid Abuse”

    I know these studies are incorrect and wrong, as I myself have found while being treated for stage 4 cancer. If it wasn’t for pot I’d be sucking down the oxy’s and vicodin’s like candy. I don’t. Thanks to pot. When I see studies like this I see red. Something is wrong here. This is not correct.

  7. WalStMonky says:


    I never thought that I’d live to see the day that ExxonMobil would start swirling the drain.My, how the mighty have fallen. But it is good news for our environment. For a number of decades XOM had the largest market cap of all publicly traded stocks. On Friday at the closing bell NextEra Energy’s market cap exceeded that of XOM. Just in case you didn’t know NextEra is generating power from renewable resources utilizing solar and windmills as their primary focus.

  8. buy cannabis online says:

    What a fun read – I’ll be sharing with my wife. This is appreciated!

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