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March 21, 2014

Former Undercover Drug Narc on Why Police Don't Bust White People

Former Undercover Drug Narc on Why Police Don't Bust White People and How He Turned Against Drug War | Alternet
How did the violence start? The drug trade. No, not so much the drug trade, but policing the drug trade. We always had drugs, but we didn’t always have violence in our streets. Back then, there were major drug organizations in the city that divided up different areas among themselves. “That’s your area, this is ours, and if we have problems, we settle them among ourselves.” Violence was bad for business. When the drug war began, though, we started dismantling those organizations. The vacancies that we created were filled by the sons of the men we sent to prison. The sons fought each other over who would fill those vacancies. They went to the street corners, and gangs started developing, and six organizations turned into 600. So there’s actually an increase in violence after every drug bust? Yes, that’s exactly right. There’s also an increase in overdoses. People overdose because their dealer got arrested and they have to go to a new dealer. With their old dealer, he always mixes it the same way, so they know what the potency is. Suddenly, though, they’re buying from this new guy and have no idea how potent it is. Too much and they’re dead. The problems of drug use and addiction are real, but the policies of prohibition don’t get rid of them and end up creating a whole bunch of other problems. . . . So it was racially motivated? In most cases I don’t think it was. It’s just easier to bust those guys. You give me a squad of narcs and drug dogs, and we’ll go to some affluent white community. I can walk down the streets sniffing cars, do some knock-and-talks, and I assure you we’ll come across some marijuana parties. I guarantee I can come out of there with some drug arrests. But after the first day, after the mayor’s phone rings off the hook—that’s the end of that operation.

March 03, 2014

Phoenix cops are arresting sex workers, denying them lawyers, and forcing them to go to church

These women have not been convicted. They are innocent. And they are handcuffed but arrested, according to the cops. Can they leave? No. They are being rescued. Project ROSE Is Arresting Sex Workers in Arizona to Save Their Souls | VICE United States
Project ROSE is a Phoenix city program that arrests sex workers in the name of saving them. In five two-day stings, more than 100 police officers targeted alleged sex workers on the street and online. They brought them in handcuffs to the Bethany Bible Church. There, the sex workers were forced to meet with prosecutors, detectives, and representatives of Project ROSE, who offered a diversion program to those who qualified. Those who did not may face months or years in jail. In the Bethany Bible Church, those arrested were not allowed to speak to lawyers. Despite the handcuffs, they were not officially “arrested” at all. In law enforcement, language goes through the looking glass. Lieutenant James Gallagher, the former head of the Phoenix Vice Department, told me that Project ROSE raids were “programs.” The arrests were “contact.” And the sex workers who told Al Jazeera that they had been kidnapped in those windowless church rooms—they were “lawfully detained.” “Project ROSE is a service opportunity for a population involved in a very complex problem,” Lieutenant Gallagher wrote to me in an email. Sex workers were criminals and victims at once. They were fair game to imprison, as long as they were getting “help.” Project ROSE is the creation of Dr. Dominique Roe-Sepowitz. She is the director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research and a tenured professor at Arizona State University, where Monica Jones is a student. Once, she and Monica had even debated Project ROSE.