Drug Policy

Georgia Sheriff Pattons Up for the War on Drugs

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Just in case you thought talk about how the drug war has "militarized" our police departments was exaggerated:

Officials in Clayton County have intensified their efforts in the war on drugs. Sheriff Victor Hill announced he is planning an invasion into drug-infested communities.

The ACLU said the question of whether or not the so-called invasion is legal, is a troubling one for them.

[…]

Deputies have identified five known drug houses, that they want to investigate. Thursday night, deputies set up a road block, and checked each car coming into or out of the street in question for drugs.

The operation has been dubbed Operation Jericho. Mobile police checkpoints have been set up outside suspected drug houses in the neighborhood. Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill said the plan is to occupy suspected drug territories with deputies—one house, one location at a time.

[…]

Hill said the conventional method of warrants and arrests are not working, and that military-like occupation of deputies is necessary.

[…]

"The war on drugs in Clayton County, as in most jurisdictions, I liken it to the Vietnam War," Hill said. "Hit and miss, there is no clear win—we don't know if we're gaining ground or not. What we want to do is we want to change our strategy. We want to make this more like a Normandy invasion."

And of course when you're fighting a war, you can't really concern yourself with collateral damage.

NEXT: Suharto, 1921-2008

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  1. Keep Dope Alive!!!

  2. Wow, the comments section is downright scary. There are a couple of folks standing up for civil liberties but the vast majority are espousing an “any means necessary” line. Sad.

  3. Mobile police checkpoints

    A little bit of the Green Zone, in the heart of Georgia.

  4. We need an inverse Posse Comitatus law. No military operations by law enforcement.

  5. It’s always interesting when someone willingly likens their own project to Vietnam.

  6. If we can just bring enough force to bear, we can stop people from doing drugs. Really! I also have some land in the Everglades I’d like to sell you.

  7. Are they so gung ho because they think that if they just ended the drug war today all of a sudden every American would all of a sudden be high all the time? Don’t they know we’re too greedy for that?

    We just want to be high on the weekends, guys, relax.

  8. The Nazis had roadblocks around neighborhoods for a while, too.

    (Sorry to Godwin, but when the real world seems like it’s Godwin’ing itself, well…)

  9. The editors of 11Alive’s website, should consider editing for comma splices.

  10. Wow, the comments section is downright scary. There are a couple of folks standing up for civil liberties but the vast majority are espousing an “any means necessary” line. Sad.

    They hate us for our freedom.

  11. Guiliani did a similar thing as mayor. They had a 24 hour check point on two sides of a block. You had to show your ID to prove you lived on that block before they would let you pass. I’m not sure how tough it was to explain to the cops you were visiting a friend. They did this in several high concern areas.

    For the most part, it worked. Sadly

  12. If they really want to stop people from doing drugs, they should follow the tobacco model. Let it be legal, then force employers (via insurance companies) to drug test their employees. It won’t really end, but it would greatly curb use.

  13. “”””Wow, the comments section is downright scary. There are a couple of folks standing up for civil liberties but the vast majority are espousing an “any means necessary” line. Sad.””””

    Any means necessary is something they like it until it’s used against them.

  14. < snark >
    That damned ACLU is always getting in the way, trying to keep us from winning the war on drugs! < / snark >

    I’ll believe that their real motive is to help people when they start targeting white kids and setting up roadblocks in upper-middle class suburbs.

  15. ok, actually, no I won’t believe it then… but at least I would be more likely to.

  16. Choice cuts from the topix.net comment section:

    Frank Snotra wrote:
    Dealing drugs? One shot to the head and one less doper infecting society. Saudi Arabia is centuries ahead of the US when it comes to discouraging drug crimes. Ineteresting that the ACLU says the citizens and police force have no legal authority to protect our youth and sociey from drug dealers. Go back to the days of a rope and tree and see how fast the druggies disappear.

    Peace Keeper
    I do agree somthing needs to be done, since there are drugs in Atlanta every car on the interstate entering Atlanta should be stopped and searched without consent of the driver.

    Jane
    Bottom line is: if you’re doing or dealing, you’re going down. I applaud Hill’s efforts to get rid of the scum of society in a safe (routine road block) and fair (no one person is singled out) manner.

    With copy n’ paste, their spelling errors remain their own.

  17. This will be really helpful, in that everyone who lives in those neighborhoods, and would thus be the most useful sources of information and have the most interest in clearing out the thugs and junkies, will now view the police as the enemy.

    Am I allowed to speculate on the relative % of minorities in the neighborhood vs the police department, or is ignoring those things still considered a virtue?

  18. SugarFree,

    I kinda heard the sound of boots marching in my head when I was reading those.

    That, and a banjo…

  19. Taktix?,

    The banjo was me. Sorry.

  20. Joe, the county has a black population somewhere in the 60% range, 20%s for whites, 5% Asian. Victor Hill himself is black, but I don’t suspect that in drug wars that matters all that much.

  21. joe-

    Clayton county GA:
    62% black, 30% white.

    photo of sheriff hill along with some group photos of his dept

  22. damn, beaten by the moose. stupid work.

  23. This will sooo improve strained police/community relations. I’m certain the deputies in Clayton County will be rewarded with unparralleled appreciation and respect from all of the citizens in the targeted areas.
    _________________________________________________________________________________
    What?

  24. damn, beaten by the moose. stupid work.

    *points*
    HA-HA!
    😉

  25. Some of the comments from the story are kinda scary …

    Great!!!!! Someone is still waging the war on drugs. I thought America had surrendered and it was over. This is one issue the politicians fail to bring up. Anyone who has not seen drug sales and abuse as one of the major issues in this country has their head in the sand. Drug sales and abuse: destroy families, destroy neighborhoods, finance gangs both in prison and out, possibly finance terrorists and other enemies of America, alienate youngsters from parents, and destroy people period. Today we have 9 and 10 year olds smoking marijuana. What about their civil liberties to be protected from harm, ACLU? I don’t mind road checks when the intention is to win this war on drugs that many have given up on or surrendered to. keepnreal

    Whatever it takes! Get ’em out of here! Glad to see something is being done. Just glad I haven’t seen any road blocks in my area!!! That is a good sign. Not a Hill fan, but have been impressed with actions he is taking against crime.
    Go get em

  26. “The war on drugs in Clayton County, as in most jurisdictions, I liken it to the Vietnam War,” Hill said. “Hit and miss, there is no clear win — we don’t know if we’re gaining ground or not. What we want to do is we want to change our strategy. We want to make this more like a Normandy invasion.”

    He got that right, there is no clear win, there never has been and never will be.

  27. Not to take traffic away from here, but the “Topix” message board attached to the site of the tv station of the first link is awesome. Very addictive. Highly recommend if you have ever wanted to get a feel for what people who live around Atlanta are like. Funny stuf.

  28. Can waterboarding be far behind?

    We want to make this more like a Normandy invasion.

    I think he’s a little confused about who the Nazis are in his proposed scenario.

  29. joe-
    There is some complexity here also.

    Joneboro and clayton county rapidly urbanized in the 90’s as Atl grew and it became a regular suburb, but black (cross Manassas w/ PG county). The rapid growth is source of most of the tension and problems, vice any specific racial component

    This is also the same sherriff who sumarily fired about two dozen deputies (most of them white) as his first act as sheriff. Some accused him of replacing white folks with black folks just because of race, he and his supporters say they were corrupt leftovers of the previous corrupt sherriff that needed to be swept out. Who knows? My guess from what I saw of Ga politics its probably some of both.

    But my point is that the sheriff is a fan of direct action, so I’m not suprised he’s not going to implement ‘community policing’ of the sort Giuliani’s first police commisioner (whom I can’t think of the name, he dude before Kerik), but rather the Kerik/Giuliani-time style

  30. Yup, confirmed. Thanks for the group photo.

  31. Is there a 3rd Amendment issue here? Or is it ok for government agents to occupy property without consent if you’re merely a police officer and not a soldier?

  32. ack, i preview but don’t read; that wasn’t supposed to be specifically addressed to joe

  33. Bratton, Kolohe, William Bratton.

    He’s now the Chief of Police in LA.

    Speaking of which, I haven’t seen a good police brutality story form LA in a while. You used to be able to set your watch by them.

  34. “The war on drugs in Clayton County, as in most jurisdictions, I liken it to the Vietnam War,” Hill said.

    At what point can we expect the residents fight one another to catch that last chopper out?

  35. Is there a 3rd Amendment issue here? Or is it ok for government agents to occupy property without consent if you’re merely a police officer and not a soldier?

    Ha! And I thought the 3rd would be the only one to remain intact, simply because it’s a little antiquated. Thanks for the unpleasant surprise, Hill!

  36. Peering into the crystal ball once again. Crysty sees … increased violence in Clayton County.
    Wait, there’s more … General Westmoreland Sheriff Hill declares that even more troops deputies are needed to finally defeat the Viet Cong drug dealers.

  37. “Drug Alcohol sales and abuse: destroy families, destroy neighborhoods, finance gangs both in prison and out, possibly finance terrorists and other enemies of America, alienate youngsters from parents, and destroy people period. Today we have 9 and 10 year olds smoking marijuana drinking 40’s.”

    There FIFY.

    “The war on drugs in Clayton County, as in most jurisdictions, I liken it to the Vietnam War,” Hill said. “Hit and miss, there is no clear win — we don’t know if we’re gaining ground or not. What we want to do is we want to change our strategy. We want to make this more like a Normandy invasion.”

    When the drug warriors start openly admitting that they are perpetuating the big bowl of fail that is the war on some drugs with an equally large failure that was Vietnam and the solution is to do it more with road blocks and searches, well, what can I say that they haven’t.

  38. After reading some of the comments in the 11Alive.com article, I have a public apology to offer. On these pages, I have often accused my fellow American citizens of being, ignorant, stupid, morons, retarded, idiots and other slurs against their intelligence. After reading the opinions of the good citizens of Georgia, I now realize my error.

    I’ve been too damned charitable.

  39. While were at it, why don’t they just call in air support, I’m sure cluster munitions and napalm could be used. Perhaps, agent orange could be use a a defoliator against the fearsome marijuana plant.

  40. Are they so gung ho because they think that if they just ended the drug war today all of a sudden every American would all of a sudden be high all the time?

    I guess it’s because every American, man woman and child is drunk constantly and smokes four packs of cigarettes daily.

  41. While were at it, why don’t they just call in air support,…

    Don’t give the any ideas.

  42. “We want to make this more like a Normandy invasion.”

    Yeah, ’cause you know, those drug users aren’t really American Citizens and Normandy is like heroic and stuff.

    Kicking in doors and treating people like dogs is as close to war as most of these guys will voluntarily get.

    /Except the few in Iraq.

    /See “Generation Kill”

  43. They need some of those walls like in Baghdad. Add some artwork, and you have twenty-first century urban renewal.

  44. I wasn’t aware we invaded Normandy during the Vietnam War.

  45. “I wasn’t aware we invaded Normandy during the Vietnam War.”

    And we have a winnar!

  46. “””We want to make this more like a Normandy invasion.”””

    Advocating the death of many good guys? Much allied death accompanied that invasion. Sounds like they are bucking for a fight. Not something you want from LEOs

  47. Libertarian concerns aside (I know there are lots), how is this supposed to help?

    Hill said the deputies will be stationed outside a suspected drug house every day until it moves out or shuts down before moving on to the next location.

    Georgian drug users maybe a lot dumber than ones I’m used to, but I’m thinking that once the police set up barricades around a house, the drug activity is going to move to another location pretty quickly. And even if the dumb fuck cops find the new location, they’re just going to set up a barricade around it and make it move somewhere else.

    I’m trying to think like a cop to see how this is going to help, but I just can’t figure it out.

    Seem to me this is more about making a show than actually stopping crime.

    Hey wait, maybe this isn’t so bad…

  48. @ J sub D
    “After reading the opinions of the good citizens of Georgia, I now realize my error.”

    How the hell do you think I feel? I have to live with them!!!

    One thing you all may not realize, w.r.t. the comments on 11alive.com, I don’t know how it is in your areas, but here in Atlanta local news is about how frightened you can make middle class and working poor people. Therefore the people who watch and respond to the news tend to be crazy, frightened middle class and working poor people. It’s like Fox News but without all the graphics.

  49. While the drug warriors are busy planning their Normandy Invasion, drug dealers, smuggling mules and users have been implementing the Tet Offensive.

  50. jsub-

    excellent point, especially that we’re approaching the 40th anniversary of the Tet offensive.

    (assuming that the US didn’t allow Tet Trees in the town square with out a Bunz branch and other holiday symbols signifying the wonderfulnessicity of diversity.)

    see – the war on tet. they take offense. and Da nang nang shu bi dua wa da nang, they’re all over the place.

    (clearly not in a “right mind”)

  51. I have a cunning plan…., make houses that only look like drug dealing houses and go to a delivery system. Ooops.

  52. Hill said the deputies will be stationed outside a suspected drug house every day until it moves out or shuts down before moving on to the next location.

    Good news is, assuming you’re not dealing drugs out of the house, you’re getting free 24/7 security.

  53. What’s the big difference? Six in one, half dozen in the other. Vietnam, Normandy, you say tomato, I say immanentize the eschaton.

  54. The sheriff’s website linked by Kolohe features 4 photos, which I assume are meant to be representative of the sheriff’s deputy’s activities. One of the four shows a SWAT team, with two of six members in the photo holding door rams. Have we heard any no-knock horror stories from this jurisdiction, by any chance? Seems like the mindset of this sheriff is that SWAT raids are a cornerstone of the department’s activities.

  55. A local police department crows about setting up a de-facto garrison state to nab druggies…

    …the ACLU questions the constitutionality of said act…

    …and no doubt all the usual talking heads will fall all over themselves slamming the ACLU as extremist…

    What, me worry…

  56. “The war on drugs in Clayton County, as in most jurisdictions, I liken it to the Vietnam War

    …a futile one, in which the U.S. basically loses and finally abandons? A man can hope…

  57. Seems like the mindset of this sheriff is that SWAT raids are a cornerstone of the department’s activities.

    I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, it could just be that they’re one of the more photogenic activities that police perform. Until they go bad, anyway

  58. The 2006 census estimate put that county’s population at 271,240. The low end estimate of the civilian casualties in the Vietnam War is 2 million.

    But of course we’re not supposed to think it’s anything but a tragedy of earth-shaking proportions when one of these paragons of virtue, these angels walking among us, gets offed by his intended victim. Oh no, that would be oh so wrong.

  59. Speaking of Vietnam, my uncle has a tee shirt.

    “Participant

    Southeast Asia Wargames

    Second Place”

  60. I smell a riot goin’ on. Hopefully the hoodrats have sniper rifles.

    Like so any other illegal police operations they won’t end until the jackbooted thugs have to carried out in body bags. Never forget that the thug in blue is primarily interested in one thing and that is going home at the end of his shift. Protect and serve is so much horseshit. If making it home becomes an iffy proposition when engaging in thuggery and violence against the citizenry then the unchecked violence directed at the citizenry decreases. The thrill of kicking in doors becomes exponentially less entertaining when they know members of the entry team are going to die. Likewise those illegal roadblocks ala Communist Eastern Europe during the Cold War become less of an easy way to spend a shift when the hoodrats are taking pot shots at you with high powered rifles.

  61. Oh damn the Vietnam analogy.

    The “War on Drugs” is a quasi-religious war against “evil”, with racist undertones. The calculus of win/loss is not important. When you’re fighting evil, the only way to lose is to stop fighting.

    A better analogy would be The Crusades.

  62. “A better analogy would be The Crusades.”

    ..and Tommy Chong is the modern day Saladin. 🙂

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