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The Wire's Bunny Colvin helps explain how we got here: "This drug thing, this ain't police work"

This drug thing, this ain't police work. No, it ain't. I mean, I can send any fool with a badge and a gun up on them corners and jack a crew and grab vials. But policing? I mean, you call something a war and pretty soon everybody gonna be running around acting like warriors. They gonna be running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs, racking up body counts. And when you at war, you need a fucking enemy. And pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your fucking enemy. And soon the neighborhood that you're supposed to be policing, that's just occupied territory.

Bunny Colvin's speech--one of the best moments in the five great seasons of The Wire--has been running through my head the last couple of days, watching things flare up in Ferguson. There has been much discussion of the militarization of the police and what brought it about, and certainly the war on drugs (a war which has always been waged disproportionately against communities of color) is a major factor.

The clip

"When cops declare open season on journalists ..."

"When cops declare open season on journalists, when they feel free to declare any scene of "unlawful protest" a free fire zone, that will be a very ugly day - and not just for journalists."

---Hunter S. Thompson, "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan"

Of course, things were very ugly in Ferguson long before they started arresting journalists. But that quote comes to mind tonight, as the situation in Ferguson continues to

("Strange Rumblings in Aztlan" is an article he wrote for Rolling Stone about the death of journalist Ruben Salazar, who was killed by a wall-piercing tear gas canister fired by a deputy of the LA County Sheriff's Department during the Chicano Moratorium march against the Vietnam War.)
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