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Undercover New York Police Officers Entrap Poor Addicts, Ignore Dealers


In two cases that the New York Times described on April 4, undercover police officers in New York City approached poor addicts and supplied them with money to buy drugs.  When the addicts returned with the small quantities (single “hits”) of drugs, they were arrested and charged with felony drug dealing.  Both addicts were found not guilty.

This type of behavior is the laziest form of policing possible.  Instead of going after dealers with significant quantities of drugs, they entrap poor, naive addicts and use their condition against them.  One would think that a better approach would be to use the addicts to turn into informants against the higher level drug dealers– but that would be too difficult and would require actually pursuing people who might fight back– or might be more deserving of jail time than a poor addict.

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