“‘You know, if we go out there and start messing with those folks, they know judges, they know lawyers, they know politicians. You start locking their kids up; somebody’s going to jerk our chain.’ He said, ‘they’re going to call us on it, and before you know it, they’re going to shut us down, and there goes your overtime.’”
Washington DC – As the lies that keep the drug war alive begin to come unglued, many of the police officers and government agents who made it possible are now going public with the truth of their experience.
Matthew Fogg, a former US Marshal, and DEA agent is one of those people. Ever since leaving law enforcement he has been speaking out against police brutality, profiling, and the drug war.
Fogg appeared in an interview for Brave New Films, where he discussed the drug war and how race and class play a part the enforcement of drug laws.
In the interview, Fogg said,
“We were jumping on guys in the middle of the night, all of that. Swooping down on folks all across the country, using these sorts of attack tactics that we went out on, that you would use in Vietnam, or some kind of war-torn zone. All of the stuff that we were doing, just calling it the war on drugs. And there wasn’t very many black guys in my position.
So when I would go into the war room, where we were setting up all of our drug and gun and addiction task force determining what cities we were going to hit, I would notice that most of the time it always appeared to be urban areas.
That’s when I asked the question, well, don’t they sell drugs out in Potomac and Springfield, and places like that? Maybe you all think they don’t, but statistics show they use more drugs out in those areas than anywhere. The special agent in charge, he says ‘You know, if we go out there and start messing with those folks, they know judges, they know lawyers, they know politicians. You start locking their kids up; somebody’s going to jerk our chain.’ He said, ‘they’re going to call us on it, and before you know it, they’re going to shut us down, and there goes your overtime.’”
Fogg also discussed race more explicitly, but admitted that the drug war was something that affected people of all races, although African-American communities were targeted disproportionately.
“What I began to see is that the drug war is totally about race. If we were locking up everybody, white and black, for doing the same drugs, they would have done the same thing they did with prohibition.
They would have outlawed it. They would have said, ‘Let’s stop this craziness. You’re not putting my son in jail. My daughter isn’t going to jail.’
If it was an equal enforcement opportunity operation, we wouldn’t be sitting here anyway. It’s all about fairness, man. And understanding ‘How would I want to be treated?’ Whether I’m on the one end or the other end. How would I be treated if everything was done equally?”
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