Heiko Recktenwald on Tue, 21 Mar 2000 10:39:04 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] More NYPD Killing???? (fwd)

Subject: More NYPD Killing????

We have had yet another person killed by a policeman here in NYC with
dark skin.  This time the killer was a member of a NYPD narc squad
hunting for drug dealers on our city streets.

To share a bit of personal experience relating to the practice of teams
of NYC cops being sent out into communities to arrest drug dealers:

About a decade ago I served on one of our Manhattan grand juries which
was focused on drug arrests.  We spent five days a week for four weeks
reviewing cases -- 10 or 20 a day.  Of these possibly one involved a
middle level drug operation operating out of Florida.  We had three
cases of mothers of young children who had had the misfortune to be on
the scene of a drug arrest in their homes which automatically classified
them as possession cases carrying minimal 15 year mandatory sentences
which had led them to waive immunity and plead with us not to indict.
All the rest of our cases were what can only be characterized as
'cowboys and indians' operations.  We saw the same few teams of very
young and inexperienced officers who had been sent out to bust street
dealers -- usually young men like themselves in age and ethnic
identity.  It became obvious to us serving on this jury that we were
watching games -- games being played by adolescents on both sides.  We
never saw those who were being indicted.  We simply voted to indict
them.  The young police teams were kids in their twenties who were
having much fun with these games.  I won't go into all the details, but
it does now occur to me that I was, as my fellow jurors, credulous.  We
heard only one side of these drug busting stories.

I cannot help but wonder what really occurred that resulted in the
pointless killing that is now the latest of an innocent dark-skinned
man in NYC???

Perhaps something is wrong in two directions.  My grand juror experience
and other knowledge about which drugs are really the dangerous ones have
made me a sceptic about the whole damned 'war on drugs' that seems now
to be following the pattern of an earlier war in its need to build up
body counts?  Either type of war breeds callousness towards human life.

Enough said.  Sorry to bother those address with copies, but this is
something that I have to get out there.

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