David Simon: To fix policing in the US, start by ending War on Drugs

David Simon: To fix policing in the US, start by ending War on Drugs 1

 

"The Wire'" creator David Simon says the War on Drugs and the militarization of police that accompanies it has destroyed quality policing. He goes on to talk about how the focus on arrests has taken the police away from their primary duty of protecting Americans from violent crimes.

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80 Comments on "David Simon: To fix policing in the US, start by ending War on Drugs"

  1. jeff mcclure | June 15, 2020 at 5:15 PM | Reply

    He is correct!

  2. The ‘war on drugs’ is a nonsense. Exactly like prohibition was.

    • PhillyTheKid | June 15, 2020 at 5:32 PM | Reply

      @KIWIFOGBOOM i like your view but good luck getting the people to believe it, let alone the government.

    • @PhillyTheKid They don’t need to believe it, it’s history. The prohibition of alcohol created the Italian mafia in the early 20th century. The biggest source of income for Mexican cartels was marijuana up until recently. Legal prohibition of anything creates a market for criminal organizations to exploit. As it is, the most powerful and destructive substances currently available are already able to be legally obtained from your neighborhood pharmacist (oxycontin and other super-opiates). Why continue to act like we can eliminate the demand for these substances and continue to empower criminal organizations?

    • Lies from all our presidents since Nixon’s War on Drugs… under Obama that truth came out!
      Just look at all the lies concerning marijuana! Total spewed crap lies!
      And I’m a cancer survivor that used marijuana through my entire treatment…

    • Tell that to big pharma. Who do you think puts the most lobby money into keeping weed illegal.

    • Geralt Rivia | June 15, 2020 at 8:41 PM | Reply

      @cj p I was about to downvote you, out of habit, but your comment was actually correct this time. So, congratulations, stopped clock.

  3. Totally agree with this guy!

  4. The drug war is 1 area where MAGA actually applies. If you’re one that pines for what it used to be like with respect to drug use, consider that the vast majority of drug laws didn’t exist until starting in the 70s 80s 90s…
    Nixon announced the drug war despite recommendation against.
    How did prohibition turn out?
    Has cannabis consumption reduced since the reefer madness era?
    Has any of it actually been effective at what your desired goal is?
    I would agree the answer is repealing the bulk of drug laws & rewriting most of the remaining.

    • You think the drug lobby likes competition? Guess again.

    • cj p It’s not about competition. Make it illegal and the prices go up WAY more. I know someone who risks his job to take advantage of our laws.

    • ” Just say no ” Nancy Reagan

    • Dorian Avila | June 15, 2020 at 10:19 PM | Reply

      @Ray Alvarez freeway Ricky Ross remembers that slogan

    • Private for-profit prisons and detentions exploded in the 80’s, when Reagan announced the war on drugs. Americans in prisons and detentions exploded bc the for-profit prisons/detentions r paid by the # of bodies in their facility, unlike state/federal prisons which r funded a set amount regardless how many ppl r detained. When Trump won the election in 2016, stock prices for the 3 for-profit/detention companies, who r Republican donors, skyrocketed. Republicans look for/create reasons to lock ppl up bc they and their donors get to pocket a lot of taxpayer $. At the same time, the Reagan administration sold America on trickle down economics, which significantly cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations while the M&L class got very little and the national debt started exploding. During that time, Reagan made it easier for corporations to move their manufacturing overseas, which reduced labor unions, started the shrinking the M class, and left many ppl w/no college and some w/college in lower wage non-union jobs including an increase in drug dealers, human trafficking, and smuggling US guns, bc they r so easy to get here, across the southern border to Mexico and the Northern Triangle which has contributed to making the drug cartels and gangs much more difficult to police driving many refugees from the south to the US. The income and wealth inequality started skyrocketing and each Republican President has done the same thing contributing to increased income and wealth inequality. Studies show us as income and wealth inequality increase in a society, we also tend to see increased violence, homegrown extremism/terrorism, racism, xenophobia, suicides, drug/alcohol abuse, maternal/infant mortality rate, associated psych/medical conditions, teen pregnancy, incarcerations, poverty, homelessness, polarization, societal unrest, and decreases in social mobility, life expectancy, math and literacy scores compared to other countries (US kids used to rank in the top 10 best educated, now we rank in between the 20-30th best), and trust in government and each other. Republicans have had control of the house, senate, WH, and Supreme Court most of the time from 1980-2020. We saw many of the same issues the last time republicans had control most of the time from 1880-1932. We saw the complete opposite outcomes when Dems controlled the house, senate, and WH most of the time from 1933-1979 and a much more equitable society, capitalism for the many vs capitalism for the few at the top. We also saw some Dems moving toward the right during the Republican periods and some Republicans moving toward the left during the Dem period. Our income and wealth inequality is similarly as high today as it was around 1932. We changed that rigged system by electing FDR, a further left Dem, and a Dem congress who passed many progressive bills and regulations which led to the lowest gini coefficient(income inequality measurement) in the 50’s & 60’s, the most labor unions we’ve ever had, higher wages, k-college adequately publicly funded, large infrastructure projects, the government hired many unemployed ppl, grew the largest M class in the world at that time, greater investment in scientific and technological research, space exploration, the U class and corporations paid their fair share of taxes, after the initial cost of pulling us out of the Great Depression and through the WWII, we had zero or very low national debt, the M&L classes had significantly less debt than the average person today, higher gdp, the M class dream was born, etc. When we decrease our income and wealth inequality we will see many of the issues we face today decrease including ppl w/little opportunities turning to dealing drugs and many ppl turning to drugs, alcohol, or suicide, all of which r an escape from the psychological and/or medical pain and suffering they r experiencing much of which is caused by little opportunities, financial struggling, and lack of access to affordable healthcare.

  5. When you train police officers to be occupation forces, this will lead to the inevitably results.

    • Sunglass Shinpan | June 15, 2020 at 5:49 PM | Reply

      Would you rather have UN troops on the streets?

    • Hearts and Minds is what’s needed, however, if a person isn’t able to do so, cut them out. The military doesn’t just plow through a village and harass its citizens in foreign countries. If the military can be trained to provide empathy, then cops should too. But the training starts with whoever has been training them with the same broken tactics. But cops need to learn how to just relax, understand what people are going through. RIP Rayshard Brooks.

    • YUP. So-one thing we should stop doing, is hiring the friggin’ IDF to train our police departments! That could be a start!

    • No wonder betas never become cops. Gonna fight crime with your feelings.

  6. Prowler the Bamboozler | June 15, 2020 at 5:27 PM | Reply

    should not have any incentive to arrest someone other than that person broke the law

  7. When you’re a Hammer, everything’s a Nail.

  8. It has always been this way since the US had slavery, what has changed in last 30 years is that citizens all carry video cameras and the ability to share their video globally instantly.

    • Don Hardcastle | June 15, 2020 at 6:52 PM | Reply

      You are very young and indoctrinated….
      Racism permeates your mind now…
      Everyone is racist now, right?

    • @Don Hardcastle You should spend less time in chat rooms and more time learning police history.

    • Don Hardcastle | June 15, 2020 at 7:17 PM | Reply

      @Krugzug what I see is a generation of entitled non-working spoiled brats burning down our Country while other PEOPLE are murdered by them… Robert Doyle ring a bell?

      Agreed, there is always going to be a “little-man” syndrome that exposes the pricks, and THEY should be dealt with, not the fucking Wendy’s or the memorial for the Massachusetts 54th brigade…

      Just so you know, the 54th was comprised of BLACK MEN fighting FOR the Union……. DUMBASSES……

      Educate yourself to why this is REALLY happening! Who is leaving pallets of bricks along the protest routes??? This has been staged… The whole damned thing… Just to see our Country burn……………………

    • Don Hardcastle you cannot permanently fix the a cough without getting rid of the cold. There will be no peace until the root cause is resolved.

    • Don Hardcastle | June 15, 2020 at 10:33 PM | Reply

      @Joe V as long as groups like the radical alphabet people, BLM, ANTIFA and other radical groups like the MSM keep spreading the hatred…

      EQUALITY has nothing to do with exceptionalism, and special rights for special groups only furthers that narrative….

      Wouldn’t you agree?

  9. Probably the most educated well thought out answer I’ve ever heard.
    Too bad he’s not in the industry.

    • Noah Einstein | June 15, 2020 at 8:20 PM | Reply

      Ronny NoneOfYourBusinessGoogle, and it’s no accident that the concept of “community Policing” originated through a Harvard Study on the issue 25 years ago.

    • Emiri Lancer | June 15, 2020 at 9:32 PM | Reply

      All covered and ignored in the constitution. Your Sheriff is supposed to be beholden to you above any federal or state mandate.
      “Constitutional Sheriffs” swear to this specifically. Very few as they’re afraid of bumping heads with their mayor.

    • “NANDA YO!” – a Japanese police man, watching this video

    • Dorian Avila | June 15, 2020 at 10:25 PM | Reply

      @cj p exactly

    • Dorian Avila | June 15, 2020 at 10:26 PM | Reply

      @Noah Einstein legalize so we can make tons of money on taxes. Cough cough ….

  10. Is God Real? Check This Out! | June 15, 2020 at 5:39 PM | Reply

    If this isn’t in place already, I think officers should be required to put in a good mount of community service hours every month. Wearing a badge doesn’t just mean you patrol the community- it means you serve it.

    • @Dave Schultz He’s dumb? You’re dumb. Here we go again with the standard, weak alt-right “whataboutism”. What the hell does medical malpractice have to do with police brutality? NOTHING! Moron….

    • @Roger M Uh… unless your are “breathing-while-black”, then you can get pulled over for a tail light some cop thinks is blinking too slow for him. Or… maybe jaywalking, where there aren’t even any roads, let alone sidewalks, or shopping in a Walmart for an air rifle for your kid, or sleeping in your own bed… You don’t seem to understand the problem, Dim Bulb. That means you are part of the problem.

    • Jaime Alonzo | June 15, 2020 at 9:45 PM | Reply

      In theory.in actuality, they serve the oligarchs.

    • Jaime Alonzo | June 15, 2020 at 9:46 PM | Reply

      @Dave Schultz no, but cops should carry malpractice insurance.

    • [cooler] xVS 1[UNIT] | June 15, 2020 at 10:24 PM | Reply

      you should do community a service as well by getting a job and stop worrying about police. we all know you are guilty of some sort of crime if you really fear the police. you might think that your a lawmaker but your not..it takes years to become a lawyer and alot of studying and work involved..have you done that? no

  11. sanchez831x4 | June 15, 2020 at 6:00 PM | Reply

    I love the way this guy worded this.

  12. Roshan vermezyari | June 15, 2020 at 6:01 PM | Reply

    He makes some very good points. The war on drugs is futile, if someone wants drugs they will get it someway. And as far as policing poor people it is also true in the sense that a lot of the “crimes” that are even occurring among the poor for the most part are not severe.

    Policing needs to go back a little bit more towards the old school methods. Cops walking the beat, gathering information, and being part of the community and being among the people.

    Right now people perceive the police as the enemy or someone who is going to be a hassle to them instead of someone who should be helping them.

    • Good Intentions | June 15, 2020 at 8:23 PM | Reply

      Yes, how many people are in jail or prison for doing the same thing, or even less, than our past Presidents did, even when it was totally illegal? The rich and privileged not only get away with it, but can tell us, the public they are supposed to serve that they did it!!

    • @Suny12 yeah, Portugal had a huge heroin problem. Unbelievably, they fixed by giving people free heroin. This put the dealers and the pushers out of business ensuring there were far less new users, while also radically reducing the amount of crime committed by the remaining addicts. They say this scheme paid for itself pretty quickly. Have a look at Johann Hari on Joe Rogan’s podcast

    • Here is some real news for this fake news network

      A police officer who was shot in the head during a Las Vegas Strip protest of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis is paralyzed from the neck down, on a ventilator and unable to speak, his family said in a statement released by police.

      White cop killed by black man…..oops does not fit the LIBERAL BIASED MEDIA AGENDA

      MY BAD

    • Roshan vermezyari | June 15, 2020 at 10:09 PM | Reply

      @Suny12 I don’t think you need to legalize drugs but you don’t need to devote so much energy and money. They should try to bust the big guys if they can but to catch someone with a few grams of something is just a waste of time for cops and waste of money for taxpayers.

    • Roshan vermezyari | June 15, 2020 at 10:14 PM | Reply

      ​@Puddles 59​It is called the city of SIN, what do you expect???
      That’s terrible and completely irrelevant to this.
      Also you don’t make sense saying he is DEAD if he is on a ventilator and recovering at a hospital.
      Not at all downplaying the situation. And also that is part of the job when you are a police man, you may get shot or die.
      There is a reason why Las Vegas police are SOME OF THE HIGHEST PAID IN UNITED STATES.

  13. He said it at the end police unions and their lobbyists are run by gansters.

    • T. R. Campbell | June 15, 2020 at 8:46 PM | Reply

      Police unions are the collective bargaining wing of the individual officers. We have to understand that our progressive cities negotiate with the police unions. The mayor and the city Council’s or Commissioer agree to the terms negotiated and they sign police union contracts along with the police union representatives. As Democrats we support strongly our union brothers. The mayor and the city councils or commissioners of a city agree to the terms of the union contract. A contract is a meeting of the minds between the city and the police unions.

    • @T. R. Campbell I believe in unions, however they are fighting to militarize the police with weapons they should not have. They also defend every police officer no matter what they have done. I have a problem with both of those. My mother was the president of our hospital union when I was growing up, I know the good they can do, but it seems the police union has become so rich and powerful that they can bribe politicians and supersede laws. That doesn’t make sense, nor is it a good idea.

    • Pinkie Mitchell | June 15, 2020 at 10:34 PM | Reply

      Let’s look at it for what it is they all are the KKK and white supremacist in uniform

    • T. R. Campbell | June 15, 2020 at 10:45 PM | Reply

      Pinkie Mitchell I think you might be either emotional or somewhat uninformed. Police departments are made up of all races and sexes. In the case of the Minneapolis Minnesota killing of the black man one of the officers involved was Asian. We have black officers Latino officers female officers. Not all of them or white supremacist or KKK. If we really look hard at all of the most recent police killings of minorities, they have occurred in our most progressive and democrat controlled cities.

    • T. R. Campbell | June 15, 2020 at 10:52 PM | Reply

      dustigenes You are very correct and this is been a sore point with many people concerning their police departments. They obtain surplus military equipment, troop transports, personnel carriers, aircraft, at little or no cost to the city. The excuse used by many cities and departments is that the police are indeed fighting a war. They are fighting a war on drugs and the criminal element to transport and supply drugs who are often better arm than the cops.
      I believe Police feel that they are a very small minority and when one of them get into trouble they circle the wagons to protect that individual. Cops are not alone in doing this, we see other professions doing the same thing up to and including politicians. I might point out our prime candidate Joe Biden who is facing serious sexual assault allegations and is now embroiled in a political scandal involving corrupt FBI officials tryin to destroy the Trump campaign. Many people who support Joe turn a blind eye to this and we all circle the wagons to protect him.

  14. LICENCE POLICEMEN AND WOMEN. Renewing requirements
    every 2 years.
    Hold police to higher standards.
    Pay police higher standards.
    In return hold department’s
    to hiring standards.
    Stop hiring thugs. Weed the garden.

    • Stupid solution. Glad you don’t run things.

    • Nessuno Dorme | June 15, 2020 at 8:06 PM | Reply

      Police already get paid a lot more than others with similar education a work backgrounds. Some cities give them free houses if they deign to live in those cities. We have to radically cull bad cops, yes, but that’s only the beginning, there are other changes to make. Pay isn’t part of the problem, though.

    • @Nessuno Dorme possibly you’re right. Good thoughts.

    • Some more, somewhere | June 15, 2020 at 10:07 PM | Reply

      Reduce the job roles. Social services should call for police help, not regular citizens. Maybe a team of professionals should respond to calls with AN officer. I don’t know why but they send riot police to every sitch. I know officers that tie their religion in to presevre with the job. They BECOME fanatic ideologues who grapple with self esteem, worth, and search for forgiveness and strength through prayer. To cope with what they are doing and what they feel they are forced to accept. There is moral injury here too.

  15. Make every police officer RE-APPLY for their job, with higher standards. To begin with…

    • Nessuno Dorme | June 15, 2020 at 8:15 PM | Reply

      @cj p That’s called “voter suppression” and it’s already being done.

    • @cj p OK let’s run with your idea as a ‘thought experiment’: why don’t YOU set out a ‘voter reg with higher standards’ schema and its putative scoring system. Let’s see YOUR list of requirements and questions that ‘libtards’ need to address: I challenge you to publish them openly together with the ratings needed to pass at your presumptive higher standards.

      Then take your test, let’s see just how well YOU fare under your own system? Would you have to set the standard of the questions/requirements so very low just so you yourself would be able to pass? How far up the ladder will you be looking at all those who’d be waaaay above your score?

      No matter how you look at this ‘libtards’ would very likely be smart enough to ace any test you could devise that requires knowledge of real and verifiable data, facts, history, science, arts, sports, society, general and specific knowledge on many subjects together with empathy and compassion.

      And, in the interests of fairness, then let a ‘libtard’ also devise such a voter reg standard. Then you take their test yourself and see how well YOU do comparing your scores on both your test and their test together with everyone else’s scores on both tests. Can you see how that would pan out?

      If you are unable to contemplate or visualise the results of such a scenario then perhaps you’re not the person to even cognise, let alone recognise, such ‘higher standards’? Discuss…

    • Today In Idiocracy | June 15, 2020 at 9:39 PM | Reply

      cj p You do know that statistically the more educated you are the more likely you are to vote with the liberals right

    • Jaime Alonzo | June 15, 2020 at 9:42 PM | Reply

      @cj p same with republicant’s

    • Some more, somewhere | June 15, 2020 at 9:57 PM | Reply

      @Today In Idiocracy unless you have a vested interest ($$ or ideology) against societal equality. Which isn’t just color, it’s class. Lyndon B Johnson had a tragic quote about racism and classism.

  16. This drug war was lost years ago.

  17. END THE DRUG WAR! I’ve been so surprised this whole month during these protests that no protesters seem to be saying this! I think the WoD was designed primarily as a tool to legally harass black ppl, in their cars, in their homes, on the street, etc. If it ended, the police would be indirectly defunded because they wouldn’t need all that “war” crap. Some funds could be redirected to treatment and counseling, sales could be heavily taxed and regulated, earning income for the drug rehab programs. Ending prohibition isn’t a cure all, but neither is defunding the police. I think it’s time to discuss ending prohibition but Simon is the first person I’ve heard bring the idea into the conversation.

  18. The whole point is to incarcerate as many people as possible. 50k a body in a private prison system makes them a lot of money

    • Colin Cleveland | June 15, 2020 at 7:17 PM | Reply

      And they stop you from voting afterwards, and use your _criminal_ record to justify later killing you for _whatever_ While Black.

    • R Patrick Holguin | June 15, 2020 at 8:30 PM | Reply

      @Colin Cleveland that was started in Nixon’s Administration to have fewer blacks voting!!!

  19. This guy knows what he is talking about but I am afraid it is falling on death ears.

  20. Military occupation of an enemy nation. This is exactly what america’s cops do to black, minority and poor neighborhoods.

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