Collateral Damage in the War on Drugs

Former Detective Stephen Anderson

This is outrageous:

We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former detective testifies

A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.

Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.

“Tavarez was … was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.

“I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy,” Anderson testified last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

He made clear he wasn’t about to pass off the two legit arrests he had made in the bar to Tavarez.

“As a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division,” he said.

NYPD officials did not respond to a request for comment.

I have never understood the concept of protecting people from the dangers of drugs by introducing them to the dangers of jail and prison.

Most crimes, like murder, rape, robbery, and theft, have a victim and a perpetrator. But some things are crimes even though everyone involved is a consenting adult. Those are things like drugs, gambling and prostitution.

I’m not recommending any of those voluntary activities (unless you want to join my football pool for this weekend) but to criminalize them is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

But when you frame someone for one of those “crimes” you create a very real victim.

(via Hot Air)

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28 Responses to Collateral Damage in the War on Drugs

  1. Lola-at-Large says:

    Whoa. That is some bullsh!t! Definitely protest-worthy.

  2. Lola-at-Large says:

    PS: Leave Main Street alooooooooone! (via IowaHawk)

  3. myiq2xu says:

    In Nevada two of those victimless crimes are legal. In all 57 states we survive with legal alcohol and tobacco, which each kill more people than all illegal drugs combined.

    • crawdad says:

      In California prostitution is illegal but making porn is not.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        I can never wrap my head around that. Prostitution is selling sex for money. Yet porn actors do just that, but it’s not illegal. WTF?

        • timothy2010 says:

          Mostly a First Amendment issue. Interesting read as to why it is legal.

          People v. Freeman

          “The court recognized that one cannot hire someone to commit murder, rape, or robbery just for the purpose of photographing the crime and then claim that the First Amendment protects one’s right to do so . These are crimes “independent of and totally apart from any payment for the right to photograph the conduct.”

          In other words, robbery is illegal. Having sex is not. Paying someone to commit a crime like robbery still leaves the underlying crime of robbery — whether there is a payment or not. Paying someone to have sex in a film requires us to determine whether the payment makes the otherwise-legal intercourse “prostitution” or not.”

    • timothy2010 says:

      Think criminalization for using most substances is archaic, but how do you solve the problem of a DUI with m j? Is there currently a test which can tell when a substance was consumed? Aware that people drive while on scrips all the time which may cause greater impairment but it seems to me that the fact that pot stays in the system for such an extended period of time and as far as I know different people have different thresholds and there is no level comparable to blood alcohol.

  4. HELENK says:

    for every cop who does his job, catches real criminals and does not violate their rights, I hope these bastards rot in jail.

  5. myiq2xu says:

    What’s sad is the people he framed told their attorneys they were innocent and most of them didn’t believe it.

    And you know he got up on the stand and lied about it under oath.

  6. DeniseVB says:

    I hate “quotas”. Just makes the Bad Cop Supervisors more powerful 😦

    Onto happier topics….

    Cain drew 3,000 at a Jackson, TN rally. Hmmmm, Sarah small town numbers? He has no money, so we know he didn’t pay them 🙂 (photo on his FB page)

    New Romney ad…..

    • Not looking forward to the onslaught of attack ads- but the tag line at the end of that made it worth watching,
      obama isn’t working- lol.
      Nope- he’s golfing, bowing, going on vacations…….

  7. WMCB says:

    I think drug laws are modern day prohibition that is pointless. And just FYI, I meet a lot of conservatives who think so too, but have one remaining issue with legalizing: what do you do about addicts? IOW, if we legalize, and more people use, are the taxpayers going to be shelling out for ensuing medical problems, welfare for those not working because they are stoned heroin addicts, rehab, etc.

    If you could solve that issue, I think there would be overwhelming support for legalization, at the very least for pot (though I personally would legalize it all). My preference would be to tax the drugs and fund treatment centers, etc. Easy money. And large scale pot and poppy farming could even boost employment. Also, the money saved on incarceration and police and the drug wars would go back into the treasury.

    I also find that saying “de-criminalize” gets a better reception than “legalize:”. The latter sort of infers approval, which is not what most of us mean. I don’t approve of rampant drug use, I just think it’s stupid to make it a crime. I don’t approve of adultery, lying, or being a selfish douchebag, either, but I wouldn’t criminalize them. Why?

  8. WMCB says:

    LOL! Better than the Perry one, I think:

  9. DandyTiger says:

    Heard this story on the radio today. What a bunch of assholes. And according to the report, they mostly did it to up their arrest quotas as opposed to actually making money from the stolen drugs. So they were stupid and evil. Fuckwads.

  10. Steve says:


    Common Cents

  11. We are under a “government of laws”, not a “government of men”. But if someone can plant drugs among your belongings, and if you are then required to prove that the drugs are not yours (which you can’t), then you are under a government of men, namely of those who are willing to plant evidence. Therefore the reverse onus of proof cannot be valid in any jurisdiction. So, if you are on the jury in a drug case, and if you are told that the defendant must prove that his/her possession was unwitting, it is your civic duty to put the onus of proof back where it belongs (on the prosecution), raise it to the proper standard (beyond reasonable doubt), and hand down a verdict accordingly. More:

  12. angienc says:

    In what world is prostitution a victimless crime?

    First, prostitution is a transaction in which one person must be defined as a social subordinate who caters to the desires of another. This is damaging to any woman who engages in it over time & it is damaging to the societal perception men have of women & women have of themselves.

    Second, while it isn’t the case for every prostitute, prostitution rings exist wherein women are kidnapped, addicted to drugs & forced into prostitution around the world –including in this country.

  13. r u reddy says:

    The War On Drugs makes good sense to all the people who make their living from the War On Drugs. I would be happy to call off the War On Drugs and hope that the Warriors On Drugs are able to find another way to make a living no longer at our expense.

    We need a War on the War On Drugs. If we could wage and win a War on the War On Drugs, we would achieve a Peace On Drugs. I sometimes used to think about an imaginary political party called the Legal Freedom Party. It would advance The New Four Freedoms.

    Freedom of recreational drugs.
    Freedom of hate speech.
    Freedom of personal guns.
    Freedom of driving while black.

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