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November 2, 2006

Spin

OK. So, yes, I understand our need for law enforcement, and of course I'm glad I can call the police when I feel unsafe. And I also understand there are a lot of open warrants out there, which means criminals and potential criminals on the street. And yes, I even see that it is reasonable to "crack down" and get officers excited about pushing hard over a short period of time to get a lot of these human beings who have done something (or many things) wrong into custody so that the legal process can continue in their cases.

So, this past week, that happened in the eastern U.S. Witness Project Falcon 3. The press release focuses on the fact that sex offenders were primary targets of the operation. It tells one specific story of an arrest that everyone will obviously be glad took place: dirty old man molested a young boy in the past, not currently registered as a sex offender, babysitting several young kids, and the possessions and property of the man suggest that he is still a shady character. I am genuinely glad he is in custody. Thank you U.S. Marshals and associated law enforcement at all levels, and congratulations on a job well done. Children in that community are probably safer now.

What disturbs me is that, if you look at the bold numbers on the operations's home page, the biggest number that is not a total number of people or warrants... the biggest number that is some subcategory of those arrested... the number that is more than double the touted 1659 sex offenders... is this: officers cleared 3609 narcotics warrants through these arrests. That is fine on some level—drug offenses are still illegal, but why don't they play up that number? Why is it that it is only mentioned in that specific place, never again? It's certainly not in any headline; it's not even in the operation press release.

Troublesome. I wonder how many of those narcotics warrants were associated with any violent crime. I wonder how many of them were just kids caught with some weed. I wonder how many of those 10,773 arrested fugitives were black. I wonder how many of them were currently doing no one any harm.

Posted by crock038 at November 2, 2006 1:08 PM | Links

Comments

Interesting. I bet that the number of drug warrants cleared would highlight the point that the so-called 'war on drugs' has been laregly abandoned as a serious issue by the federal law enforcement. That is, if 'the war on drugs' was so important, why did it take a sex offender sting to clear so many of those warrants? I wonder how this number compares to the number of federal drug warrants cleared on average over the same time period.

Posted by: Melody at November 13, 2006 8:44 PM

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