The New York Police Department ordered its narcotics unit to stop its marijuana “buy-and-bust” policing tool. Residents complained the practice unfairly targets blacks and Latinos, which make up 86 percent of the low-level pot busts so far this year.
The “buy-and-bust,” or “decoy,” practice is considered a crime fighting staple. A plainclothes officer approaches a would-be drug seller asking for a bag of marijuana and, during the arrest, searches for other illegal contraband like guns. Additionally, when the suspect is booked, police have his fingerprints and photo on file, which becomes useful if he is involved in a crime later.
The head of each police borough’s narcotics unit was summoned to NYPD headquarters last week. At the meeting, Chief of Narcotics Brian McCarthy told the commanders to shift their attention to more potent drugs.
“We have to focus on controlled substances,’’ he said, according to the New York Post. “There’s a pill and heroin problem in the city, and we have to focus on that. The powers that be don’t want to see any more of these [pot]arrests … This is all about arresting minorities, and this is just one way to arrest less minorities.”
– Read the entire article at Russian Times.