Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Questioning Barack Obama's support for Tulia-style drug task forces

After the Tulia scandal and numerous other cases of misconduct, Texas finally got rid of its network of regional drug task forces financed by the federal "Byrne grant" program earlier this year. Governor Perry decided to shift the money to border enforcement, drug courts and other criminal justice programs.

At the Huffington Post, Maia Szalavitz questions whether Barack Obama's support for similar drug task forces in other Illinois and other states signals that he "remains part of our on-going national nightmare."

Szalavitz cites some of my research for the ACLU and even links to a Grits post to question, "If Obama won't oppose this drug war excess which both George W. Bush and George Soros rejected, how likely is he to understand the need for genuine reform in far more controversial areas?"

Wow, the reverberations from Texas' drug task force scandals just keep on coming, don't they? Perhaps I was premature to declare the end of the Tulia saga?

UPDATE: The links to two public policy reports I authored on Texas' Tulia-style drug task forces appear to be dead on the ACLU site mentioned above. Those interested can find them here:


800 pound gorilla said...

But commando style drug task forces is what ex military live for! The adrenaline rush you get when you "get the drop on the bad guys" is exhilarating! I can see them lined up along streets in their flak jackets buzzing with excitement. Hey, don't knock this high until you've tried it. It can be just as addictive as crack.

Patience said...

It can't work in reality, that is exactly what I suppose.