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NY Drug Bust Yields Year's 11th Drug War Killing

[Editor's Note: This year, Drug War Chronicle is going to try to track every death directly attributable to drug law enforcement during the year. We can use your help. If you come across a news account of a killing related to drug law enforcement, please send us an email at [email protected].]

A man in Lackawanna, New York, has become the 11th person killed in US drug law enforcement operations this year. He was shot and killed during a confrontation with undercover officers attempting to arrest four alleged drug dealers in a gas station parking lot early Thursday evening.

According to police Friday, 10 undercover officers, six from the Erie County Sheriff's Office and four from the Lackawanna Police, converged on the parking lot to make the arrests when one of the suspects drove his van into a police car, hitting two Lackawanna officers between the vehicles. One unidentified officer then opened fire on the suspect, killing him at the scene.

But an earlier version of the story, again relying on police sources, painted a slightly different picture. According to that first account, an officer shot and killed a suspect and "an officer was then crushed between the suspect's vehicle and a police vehicle, but the suspect wasn't driving."

In a later version of the story, police said four suspects pulled up in a mini-van to sell drugs, but before the deal was consummated, "the driver attempted to hit the undercover officers with the van. Fearing for their lives," police opened fire, killing Rashad Bradford, 29, who was sitting in the back seat.

Two injured officers were briefly hospitalized, but have since been released.

Police said crack cocaine was seized at the scene. Three other men were arrested on drug charges.

Lackawanna, NY
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Comments suggest Western NY loves it drug war

In the comments section of the Buffalo News for this story there was a surprising number of people that either applauded this deadly action by the police or were glad to see "This Scum" would no longer be walking the streets. These sections serve as a good barometer of just how supportive the public is of waging a war on it's citizens. I found similar comments from another drug war fatality story Phil Smith had reported on in Eastern Massachusetts. The people making these comments have seen too episodes of COPS or  they have been brainwashed by the thousands of PSA ads put on TV by Partnership for a Drug Free America.  


Comments like these in the Buffalo News are common and should serve as a good reminder that there is a great deal of work and education to be done concerning the drug war. All these messages sent by waging the drug war is sending our children the wrong one. I wish someone would do a study to see if there's any benefit for children by making certain drug illegal. We know about the harm the drug war creates for young people. But a resounding zero might catch the attention of the media. Any publicity that points to another failure of our drug policy is good publicity.

I wonder how much bigotry has

I wonder how much bigotry has to do with this. The name of the victim "sounds" Black--my husband is from Buffalo and his family has shown me how little contact they have ever had with a person of color!

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