Detroit, Respect Drug Law Reform, Says Former Drug Taskforce Leader
Thirty four year police veteran Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), who oversaw nine drug taskforces and is now executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs, is in town this week to discuss seemingly illegal actions by the Detroit police and the increasing militarization of police forces across the country as a result of the war on drugs. Franklin has been meeting with civic groups and working with drug war victims to investigate allegations of serious ethics violations regarding the Detroit narcotics division.
“After speaking with Detroit residents, it’s clear that ‘temptations for officers in settings where loose cash and narcotics are to be found,’ an issue acknowledged as a problem in Item 5 of page 45 of Police Chief Craig’s 2014 Crime Plan, still exist and are still creating problems for the community,” said Major Franklin.
Yet despite his efforts, Chief Craig has so far not responded to Major Franklin’s numerous requests to discuss the charges.
“I’ve traveled the world from city to city, talking about the harms of the drug war but Detroit is really ground zero. Here we are in one of the most violent cities in the country and police are spending their time conducting militarized raids on medical marijuana providers. Good cops don’t want to do that. They go into law enforcement because they want to stop violent criminals. But asset forfeiture laws and federal grants incentivize low-level drug arrests that destroy people’s lives and can lead to bad behavior on the part of individual officers who sully the name of the rest. Our police are being held hostage by the drug war,” Franklin lamented.
He said he would also like to discuss the department’s disregard for voter-approved initiatives reforming marijuana law. “One of the department’s stated goals is to improve community relations. You don’t do that by disregarding the will of the people who voted to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize possession arrests.”