New Orleans Police Officer Jailed for 2012 Drug War Killing

A New Orleans police officer who gunned down an unarmed 20-year-old man during a 2012 drug raid pleaded guilty to manslaughter last Friday and was led off to begin serving a four-year prison sentence. Joshua Colclough, 29, who resigned from the force the previous day, apologized to the family of his victim, Wendell Allen, before he was led away.

Colclough was part of a police team that raided a Gentilly home in March 2012 as part of a marijuana investigation. A shirtless, unarmed Allen appeared at the top of the stairs as Colclough searched the house, and Colclough shot and killed him.

Defense attorney Claude Kelly said Colclough made a split-second decision.

"Josh will live with this as will the Allen family, until the day he dies," Kelly said in court.

Colclough's apology to the family was the second in as many days. The day before the hearing, he met with Allen family members and tearfully apologized. The meeting was taped by WVUE-TV.

"I wanted to tell you for a very long time how sorry I am. I am so very sorry," he said during that meeting.

"I prayed for you. I prayed God have mercy on your soul, but what took you so long?" the victim's mother, Natasha Allen said at one point, also crying.

"I am so sorry it took so long. I'm very sorry for what I've put your family through," Colclough said.

Drug War Chronicle tallied 63 drug war deaths in 2012. Eight of the dead were law enforcement officers. Of the 55 civilian deaths, only two resulted in an officer being charged.

The other case was that of Ramarley Graham, an 18-year-old New York City resident who was gunned down in his own bathroom by an undercover officer who pursued him thinking he was armed. NYPD Officer Richard Haste was indicted in that case, but the indictment was dismissed because of prosecutorial error. The Justice Department is now investigating to determine if federal civil rights charges can be filed.

New Orleans, LA
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Crimes Against Humanity.

How many people are doing life for drug possession or petty theft and this guy gets 4 years for murder. Justice does not seem very balanced. The drug war is a crime against humanity.

r u kiding me?!?!?!

How the hell did this happen? A cop who is supposed to be held to a higher standard than the average citizen get only 4 years for murder. I hate this police state bulls#!*.

There are a lot of blogs and

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Another example of a no

Another example of a no victim (smoking marijuana)crime and they're either imprisoned with rapists and murderers or the police Kill them first.


I'm shocked that a police officer was ever convicted for a murder.Of course this sounds like a manslaughter 2 or 3 as it's only four years.I'm not familiar with the US justice system but for a cop to even be convicted for any crime other than drug malfeasance,which they look down on as much or more than with the general public,amazes me.Prohibition and killing are two parts of a whole.When the general public comes to realise this they will demand it's end.What's taking so long has more to do with politics and too much power in too few hands.The lobby for the private prison industry alone has more cash than all drug reform movements put together.In Canada we now have a pro legalisation political leader with the very real possibility of being the next Prime Minister.Our current PM has put drug reform back decades.He's even spent millions of tax dollars fighting battle after battle trying to shut down insite.In Canada we never convict police of anything.If they do get caught on video doing the nasty they may be suspended with pay for a short period.Once in a very long while they are made to resign.Jail?There is no such thing up here for cops.

It's a war.

"Dismissed because of prosecutorial error"? Oh how convenient. REFILE, dumbass's. Fire the DA.

Yes. My brother and his wife

Yes. My brother and his wife are attempting to file charges and not getting very far. They said he shot at a bouncer on Burbon but the ME found the gun empty and the bullets in his pocket in a zip loc bag. The cop shot Justin 13 times, 4 times in the back. They had to piece him back together for the funeral. It was the cops third unjustified shooting resulting in death. NOPD is the most crooked police force known to man. They do what they want because they can. They ALWAYS get away with it.

Ok, this police officer will

Ok, this police officer will serve his sentence, but what about those who are in charged to formulate and manage law enforcement with such disastrous policies? When will they be held to account? - Adam Gottbetter

When it comes to marijuana,

When it comes to marijuana, it is a relatively benign substance that is far safer than alcohol and used in a relatively similar manner. Thus it should be treated that way. But that might not be how we should treat psychedelics. With growing research finding that psychedelics can be beneficial for some in a therapeutic setting, perhaps the direction we should take there is developing a system in which those products are legitimately produced and used in a controlled therapeutic setting. At the least, we shouldn't be treating consumers as criminals who should go to prison, and we should treat it as a public health issue. The same goes for other drugs like meth and heroin – should they be "legal," probably not. At least not in the sense that they're sold in stores to any adult who wants them. But should it be a crime that lands people in prison? No. That doesn't seem to be doing the job. Perhaps we could start treating this as a public health issue – and more and more places are beginning to do that – in which we focus on providing treatment and minimizing the harm associated with these products.

The cost of the "war on

The cost of the "war on marijuana" to Mr. Allen's family is obvious. It's an avoidable tragedy, so it was good to see Mr. Colclough take responsibility for his part in it. He and his family also bear the burden of this war.

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