Friday, May 10, 2013

Neighborhood Man Saves Kidnapped, Captive Women; Police Fight War on Drugs

not a copNeighborhood Man Saves Kidnapped, Captive Women; Police Fight War on Drugs:
Three women who were kidnapped and held in
captivity for nearly a decade in Cleveland were finally
rescued
after a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, saw one of the women
trying to escape and went to the porch. Ramsey says the woman,
Amanda Berry, asked him for help and figuring it was some kind of
“domestic dispute,” he helped. Police found two other women
imprisoned in the home and arrested three brothers, since
charging
one, Ariel Castro, with kidnapping and rape.  “I
knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a
black man’s arms,” Ramsey told a reporter in an interview that’s
gone viral
. Ramsey, who has a history of domestic violence

he says
helped him grow into a better person, was not the first
person to see something strange at the house, just the first one
who went and did something about it. USA Today
reports
that several neighbors said they called police about
the Castro home, the windows of which were covered with plastic,
several times; including once after a girl said she saw a naked
woman on her hands and knees in the backyard and another after
someone heard banging at the doors from inside the home. Police
acknowledge coming to the home twice, but the police chief says
he’s
“absolutely sure” police did everything they could to find the
women
.
Faced with an $8 million deficit at the start of this year, the
mayor of Cleveland
warned
budget cuts would eliminate the narcotics unit. What’s
that unit done in the last few years? They found a warehouse full
of marijuana plants
last November
and in June an FBI-coordinated drug raid involved

350 law enforcement officials and 70 arrests.
There was a bust
of a prescription drug ring last
March
. Cleveland police made their
biggest drug bust in history
in February 2009, seizing 3000
pounds of marijuana and $386,000 in cash and making 8 arrests. They
seized 700 pounds the February
before that
and in 2007
busted
a six-year veteran of the police department trafficking
cocaine from Mexico.
At the crux of the drug war is the victimless crime of narcotics
possession and use (and the sales that make that voluntary
possession and use possible, tied to which are the weapons needed
because of the business’ illegal status). Billions have been spent
on law enforcement around the country to combat an essentially
private, voluntary choice. Alternet ran a piece this morning

explaining
some of the perverse benefits for police to going
after drug crimes instead of kidnapping, rape and slavery. The
rescue of three women by a passer-by from a home police had been
alerted to multiple times (and which was
apparently
occupied by the father of one of the girl’s
self-described “best friends”), coupled with incidents like the
suspected Boston bomber being spotted not by a massive manhunt but
by a homeowner having a cigarette in his backyard and the thwarting
of the Times Square bombing not by the heavily-armed and stationary
police officers in the area but by local vendors going about their
business suggests it’s not money or even manpower but good, alert
police work that can solve and stop crimes. Instead, fueled by the
militarization of
police
and the war on
drugs
,
the beat cop’s disappearing
while the war on what goes in your
body continues, violently.