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by Peter Moskos

April 28, 2009

Corrupt Narcs in Philadelphia

I wish it weren't always the Narcs. And now, because I'm older and wiser (and somewhat shamed by comments to other posts), I'll add that it isn't all narcs. Most narcotic officers do their job and do it well. But corruption always has a vice link. Always.

Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker write in the Philadelphia Daily News:
RED FLAGS were everywhere. Something wasn't right.

Search-warrant applications read like form letters. A confidential informant made drug buys across the city, sometimes just minutes apart, defying the laws of physics....

Yet police brass apparently failed to notice.

Again and again, supervisors in the Philadelphia Police Narcotics Field Unit signed off on cookie-cutter applications for search warrants, which are now the subject of an expanding FBI and police Internal Affairs Bureau investigation.
[After allegidly being robbed by police officers during a drug raid] The 5-foot-1, 110-pound Lu, who had no criminal record, was hauled off to jail for selling little ziplock bags.
Read the whole story here.

Evidently, raiding and closing ghetto Korean corner stores for selling small ziplock bags is now standard operating procedure. All part of the war on drugs.
"The store is closed for six months or so, but on that corner, or one, two blocks away, drugs are sold and guys are armed," said Patrick Carr, a Rutgers University sociology professor. "They say quality of life - whose quality of life are we talking about?

"With the store closed, who will sell diapers, milk and bread?"
Laker and Ruderman have written a series of articles on Tainted Justice.

Legalizing drugs would be the quickest way to keep police clean. More bureaucratic layers of red tape is not the answer.


dave h. said...

"Evidently, raiding and closing ghetto Korean corner stores for selling small ziplock bags is now standard operating procedure."

Now listen up Philly P.D., if you outlaw ziplock bags, only outlaws will have ziplock bags!!! Can't you just stick to making it hard for me to get sinus meds for christ's sake!

But seriously...when will we learn? Prohibiting vice activities produces a void. That void is quickly filled by criminal entreprenuers, aided and abetted by corrupt law enforcers, politicians, etc.. We should have learned this 75 years ago.

PCM said...

But just think how close the street-corner drug trade is to being shut down! Why, without little zip lock bags, there will be nothing else to package drugs in! Brilliant.

In all seriousness, I do think that attacking these stores represents part of the scorched-earth policy of fighting the war on drugs in the ghetto

Everything is dirty. Everything must go.

On another note, somebody needs to do a documentary on these Korean store owners. It could be called, "Chinaman."

They live a very weird life: a foreign country, not speaking the language, all day behind bullet-proof glass, living above their store, stashing money in the mattress, and afraid of and hating most of their customers.

But there is something sadly noble about the only people willing to do business in some of these dangerous neighborhoods.

qintuq said...

Gotta admit though, I really love the idea of a Super Snitch who magically teleports across the city making drug buys and instantly alerting police officers using his telepathic powers. Seriously, this guy should be the mascot for the war on drugs. or LEAP maybe.