Jackson Cops Claim Drug Busts Are Protecting the Public From COVID-19
Cops warm to using the coronavirus as an excuse for aggressive behavior. At the start of pandemic-related orders to stay at home and shut down businesses, cops across the country kept insisting that we were all in this together and they were only out to educate. A couple of months in, that attitude has all but disappeared in many places. Even as state and local authorities continue to ease lockdown rules, police have been ramping up aggressive enforcement of the remaining restrictions, often with devastating results.
One of the worst recent examples comes from Jackson, Mississippi. At a press conference yesterday, police announced 146 arrests had been made as part of “Operation Safe Street,” an initiative allegedly aimed at social-distancing scofflaws.
But look closer and you’ll see that this was simply an excuse for police to pad their pockets by enforcing rules against the usual victimless crimes (things like marijuana possession or owning a weapon without paperwork from the right state).
Jackson police netted themselves $20,000 in seized cash while confiscating 500 pounds of marijuana and 60 firearms, according to Sam Brown, the department’s public information officer. The majority of those arrested—111 people—were charged with misdemeanors.
Police didn’t say how many of those people were crammed into unsanitary jails and then released back into the community in the name of stopping the spread of disease (not to mention how much unnecessary contact with potentially infected individuals this meant for law enforcement officers or how many community members cops may have spread germs to in the process of cracking down on these laws).
In New York City, authorities continued a crusade against Hasidic Jew communities for shunning certain shutdown orders. Yesterday, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) shut down a religious school in Bedford-Stuyvesant and sent approximately 60 children they found there home. The scho
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