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by Peter Moskos

June 20, 2008

Drug corner in action

Here’s a nice action video of a drug corner shot by a police officer friend of mine back in October 2001.

Basically this corner is a three-man (or boy) shop. The guy in the green shirt is the money man and the biggest man of this not-so-impressive. The kid in the white t-shirt (let’s call him “Little Man”) is kind of a go-between man and utility boy. An apprentice. A thug in the making. By the way, I’m guessing he’s about 13. I’m also guessing that if you had to live in what probably passes as his “home,” you might be on the corner, too.

The third guy (white do-rag ) may be around the corner hitting people off or may be out and about, drumming up business. He's not around in the beginning and appears to not be in cuffs at the end.

The drug stash is in the rubble by the steps.

I describe an efficient drug shop in a lot more detail in my book, Cop in the Hood. Here, I'm not impressed. Things are sloppy. They’re all doing a little of everything. Too often the drugs and money are too often in the same hands. It takes way too long to complete the drug deal with white girl. And I think Mr. Green Shirt is drinking on the job. Plus they get arrested.

It is good police work. Usually patrol doesn’t have the time to this kind of surveillance. Maybe the rain kept the radio quiet.

3 min., 15 sec. No audio.

Here’s a timeline:
6:35:00 Kids standing in the rain.
6:35:18 White addict comes up. Just strolling through the hood in the rain, minding her own business. How did I know she’s addict? Sometimes being a cop is very easy.
6:35:45 Reach in stash.
6:36:47 Go around corner to hit off.
6:37:31 Reach in stash again, pass to young kid.
6:37:50 Positively skips with delight because he’s about to make four sales!
6:37:55 Cluster fuck of junkies on corner. Crowd control skills come into play.
6:38:12 What the hell is that guy carrying?
6:38:45 Junkies heading back after hit off.
6:39:30 Counting money.
6:41:45 Running away. Po-po must be near. (Is that a bottle or the stash in his hand? I think a bottle).
6:42:47 Back at stash. He thinks he's safe.
6:44:29 Two of the three in cuffs.
6:45:45 Police officer recovers stash.

If you have police video I can have, let me know. Especially if you’re police. I promise to keep you anonymous and edit out anything that needs to be edited out.

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