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Law Enforcement: LEAP Barred From Asian-American Cops Meeting in Virginia

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #549)
Consequences of Prohibition
Politics & Advocacy

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), the 10,000-strong organization of police, judges, prosecutors, DEA and FBI agents, and others calling for an end to drug prohibition, was declared persona non grata at the conference of the National Asian Peace Officers Association (NAPOA) in Crystal City, Virginia, on Tuesday. LEAP member Howard Wooldridge--best known as the guy in the cowboy hat with the "Cops Say Legalize Drugs" t-shirt--was forced to remove himself and his booth from the conference after federal agents there complained about his presence, LEAP said in a Wednesday press release.

According to the press release: "Acting under pressure from unnamed federal officials, Reagan Fong, president of the NAPOA, insisted on the immediate removal of LEAP from the conference vendor roster. It appears that some of the event's other exhibitors took exception to the LEAP message and put pressure on the event organizer to expel LEAP from the event."

Wooldridge reported that federal agency representatives, including DEA, Federal Air Marshals, and the Coast Guard had vendor booths at the conference. On Monday, Wooldridge visited the DEA booth and described the DEA agent there as "decidedly unhappy" with having to hear an opposing viewpoint.

Although NAPOA head Fong has not yet responded to LEAP requests for clarification and rectification, LEAP believes he took the action at the request of the DEA agent. LEAP is asking for an apology and demanding that Fong reveal the identity of the agent who leaned on him.

"We ask that Mr. Fong identify the individual, agency or group that lobbied for our eviction from the event," LEAP said. "If this was an independent effort then he or she was acting outside the scope of authority and should receive administrative punishment for unprofessional actions. If this action was sanctioned by upper level management then the managers need to explain their behavior in an open forum. If this was sanctioned official action by the US government it is a serious matter which requires serious and immediate attention."

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

Grow a spine LEAP! Stop putzing around the issue and tell the DEA to go shove it. LEAP has the right to show their viewpoint, and if the DEA doesn't like it, too bad.

Fri, 08/29/2008 - 1:00pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Stand up for yourself. Don't let the DEA push you around, like they do to every one else. Leap really dose know what is going on.The DEA uses only cowards to do their dirty work!! !!

Fri, 08/29/2008 - 1:32pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Ya ever watch a professional football game? Of course, you have. What do you see at the beginning of every game, after the National Anthem? The coin toss, right?!!!

The head referee walks out to the two team captains (both assuredly holding different views and position on the game), actually shows them BOTH sides of the coin, then flips it for the call.

Prohibs carry a "single-sided" coin. There is no other option as far as they're concerned. And they consider themselves "fair." They wouldn't allow such dealings between their two favorite battling teams. Yet, they consider it ok to use it in their daily activities.

While I'm a Democrat, I will watch BOTH conventions. Why? To get a full story and view of the choice I will be called upon to make. Choice between two can't be made with only one side of the equation.

LEAP was kicked out for one reason. They fear the message. They fear anyone and anything that doesn't "goose-step" in formation with themselves. Our grandparents could solve society's problem but today's people can't. Why? They all carry "one-sided" coins.

Fri, 08/29/2008 - 2:50pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Go Leap! People out there are hearing your message. The DEA and their like fear your message. They really don't care for or respect our civil rights. To them we are only an irritation or an obstacle. The real thing that they fear is standing in the unemployment line. Don't back down. I am a member of leap, mpp, norml, and ssdp. Can you feel the wind shifting? Keep up the great work.

[email protected]

Fri, 08/29/2008 - 7:43pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Sounds like the Feddies screwed the pooch on this one

Such a violation of civil rights ... first amendment in particular. Maybe there should be an investigation for criminal activity by the federal agents who strong-armed the event producer. By strong-arming the producer to kick LEAP, they may have committed acts of extortion and fraud in addition to the civil rights violations.

Such a violation of Uniform Commercial Code - LEAP had a contract to be there. Throwing them out violated the contract, thus leaving the National Asian Peace Officers Association (NAPOA) vulnerable to a civil lawsuit for breach of contract and damages.

Someone at the Regional level of management should be out of a job - whichever federal agency or agencies were involved.

It will be interesting to see how hard LEAP will hit back. They should tie this group and the federal agents involved in knots with lawsuits.

Sat, 08/30/2008 - 2:16am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

People! Here's how we bring about the changes we want to see --

$$$$$ Send the "good guys" money $$$$$$

Every month I send small contributions ($5 - 10) to the people who are working to bring about real change in the world. It isn't much, but if everyone did this, they'd have a decent budget to go out and do the work that needs to be done.

Organizations like DRCNet and LEAP are small, but powerful!

You want them to fight the good fight?

Send money!!!!

Mon, 09/01/2008 - 2:55pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Anything to get more publicity on the issue, why was this not on the national news, just asking????????????

Sun, 09/07/2008 - 4:46pm Permalink

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