The Media Co-op

Local Independent News

More independent news:
Do you want free independent news delivered weekly? sign up now
Can you support independent journalists with $5? donate today!
Not reviewed by Media Co-op editors. copyeditedfact checked [?]

Toddler Victim Of Drug Raid An Explosive Example Of The War On Drugs At It's Best.

But why so much attention now when similar things have been widespread for decades?

by Daniel Johnson

Mainstream media are exploding with anti-prohibition articles surrounding the recent tragic recent story of 19-month-old boy who was seriously injured when police threw a stun grenade into his crib.

   In an interview on Atlanta’s Channel 2 news, the horrified mother Alecia Phonesavanh, said “It landed in his playpen and exploded on his pillow right in his face. We go up to see him, and his whole face is ripped open. He has a big cut on his chest... he’s only 19 months old. He didn’t do anything.” The tragedy is compounded by America's notoriously callous and profit-driven private medical system, as the family have no insurance and the GA Police Department seems to be seeking any excuse to evade responsibility and blame the parents in order to avoid being forced to cover medical expenses.

But this is normal, and most Americans should know that by now. 

While the cause of ending drug prohibition has been treated as a 'fringe' issue until the last few years, even by the predominantly middle class progressive activists who use drugs themselves, and the growing attendance at legalization related events like 4/20 is often portrayed as a symptom of political apathy by many on the mainstream 'left', the oppressive and dangerous conditions created by drug prohibition form a core part of the day to day reality of  poor and working class people, whether or not they themselves do anything illegal. 

The war on drugs, largely being used as a revenue generating tool to compensate for reduced taxes, is a crime against humanity. 

In short, it is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. 

For many years, legalization activists, especially Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture but also people from NORML, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project, etc have been trying to warn the public, mostly through their own campaigning and independent media, about the dramatic increase in the militarization of police forces, the growing use of SWAT teams, especially for for nonviolent drug suspects, and the disregard for life shown by police officers to the large and growing number of innocent bystanders that have been badly hurt or killed in army-style SWAT raids.

The war on drugs has dramatically increased the use of SWAT teams from about 3,000 times per year in 1980 to about 40,000 times by 2005.

Just looking at cases beginning in 2000, starting when the DEA agents shot 21 times into a car they claimed was racing towards them, killing the car's driver and passenger. Witnesses said that the car had not been moving at all. 

The DEA's own internal investigation decided the agents behaved appropriately. Also in 2000, in Lebanon Tennessee, a 62-year-old African-American was shot dead by five white police officers who raided the wrong address. Again in 2000, an 11-year-old Hispanic boy was shot in the back and killed by officers during a botched drug raid in Modesto, California. Then in 2001 when a DEA agent shot an unarmed father of two in the back and still claimed self-defense.

These incidents become even worse when you see the many stories of police corruption, a problem that has been growing.

For example, in 1999, in Tulia, when many African-American residents were all arrested at the same time through the work of a racist undercover cop named Thomas Coleman whose testimony was later discredited, but only after those arrested were jailed or otherwise had their lives ruined, prosecutors taking years to overturn their convictions while the county tried to pay them off without having to admit what it did.

This case was similar to Dallas in 2001, during which undercover cops set up dozens of poor Hispanics in a fraudulent sting operation using powdered sheetrock that the DEA pretended was cocaine.

 In 2002  19-year-old Tony Martinez was sleeping on the couch when police raided the home he was staying at in Austin Texas, he put his hands up as he stood and was shot by Deputy Derek Hill. 

Or the horrible murder of 14 year old Ashley Villarreal in San-Antonia Texas on February 9th, 2003 by dozens of DEA agents. 

The list is long and growing, we can find multiple stories from every year of blatant corruption and senseless violence on the part of America's police forces, and we can see how this is also growing in Canada, but the fact that the mainstream media have picked up the story of the boy and the grenade is a good sign that this insanity could be coming to an end.


Al-Jazeera: 'Georgia toddler in coma after stun grenade lands in crib during SWAT raid: Critics blame growing use of SWAT teams for nonviolent drug offenses' by Renee Lewis, May 30, 2014

Cato Institute, “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America” by Radley Balko

NBC News 'Georgia Toddler in Induced Coma After Being Hurt by Police Grenade', Alex Johnson, May 30th 2014

Cannabis Culture Magazine 'The murder of Ashley: DEA agents shoot innocent 14-year-old girl in the head, but deny any wrongdoing.' Pete Brady - Wednesday, October 8 2003

Huffington Post Raid(s) Of The Day: The Capital Area Drug Task Force EditionBy Radley Balko, 02/08/2013

Want more grassroots coverage?
Join the Media Co-op today.

Creative Commons license icon

About the poster

Trusted by 0 other users.
Has posted 192 times.
View Daniel Johnson's profile »

Recent Posts:

picture of Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson (Daniel Johnson)
Regina Sask
Member since Août 2013


873 words

Join the media co-op today
Things the Media Co-op does: Support
Things the Media Co-op does: Report
Things the Media Co-op does: Network
Things the Media Co-op does: Educate
Things the Media Co-op does: Discover
Things the Media Co-op does: Cooperate
Things the Media Co-op does: Build
Things the Media Co-op does: Amplify

Connexion utilisateur

Subscribe to the Dominion $25/year

The Media Co-op's flagship publication features in-depth reporting, original art, and the best grassroots news from across Canada and beyond. Sign up now!