Skip to main content

Seven More Drug War Deaths

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #953)

When police in Charlotte, North Carolina, shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in September in an incident that began when they spotting him rolling a joint in his car, the city was shaken by angry protests. Part of it was that he was another black man gunned down by police; part of it was undoubtedly because video taken by Scott's wife as her husband was killed went viral.

Most drug war-related deaths don't get so much attention, but they happen with depressing regularity. The Drug War Chronicle has been tallying them since 2011, and throughout that period, drug war deaths have remained fairly constant, averaging about one a week throughout that period.

The good news is that this year it looks like we're not going to reach that one a week threshold. The bad news is we're still going to get close. With less than a month to go, the Chronicle's tally this year has reached 45.

Here are the seven people killed by police enforcing drug laws since the Scott killing. At least three of them were killed as they attempted to flee police in their vehicles, including one where a bystander video shows police opening fire after he posed no obvious immediate danger to police.

On September 27 in Phoenix, Arizona, a Phoenix police officer shot and wounded John Ethan Carpenter, 26, who died of his wounds a week later. Police were tailing Carpenter as part of a drug investigation and had arranged a drug deal with him. He pulled up to a convenience store parking lot next to an undercover cop who was part of the investigation, and other officers then blocked his vehicle in with a marked police cruiser. When officers approached on foot, Carpenter reportedly pulled a hand gun and pointed it at them. When they retreated, he put his vehicle in reverse, ramming the police cruiser, and the undercover narc then "feared for the safety of his fellow officers" and opened fire. Drugs were found in the vehicle. Carpentier had previously done prison time for aggravated assault and drug paraphernalia (!?).

On October 19, in Willoughby, Ohio, a Willoughby police officer shot and killed Frank Sandor, 38, as he attempted to speed away from two officers questioning him in the parking lot of a Lowe's Home Improvement store. Sandor was wanted on drugs and escape warrants and first gave officers false information when they stopped him, then put his vehicle in reverse, striking a police motorcycle parked behind him before driving off. A YouTube video posted shortly after the incident shows the motorcycle officer shooting three times at Sandor's vehicle as it fled -- after the officer was no longer in any immediate danger. That video showed the officer limping after he fired the shots. Sandor's vehicle rolled to a halt a few yards away. The Ohio Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation of the shooting.

On October 25, in Elkton, Maryland, state police attempting to serve a Delaware drugs and guns arrest warrant at a local motel shot and killed Brandon Jones and Chelsea Porter, both 25, when, instead of surrendering to the dozens of police surrounding the motel, they came out of their motel room with guns pointed at police. Jones came out first, refused demands to drop the weapon, and was shot. Then Porter did the same thing. The shooting will be investigated by Maryland State Police, as is protocol when any police action results in a death.

On November 3, in Salisbury, North Carolina, a member of the Salisbury Police's SWAT-style Special Response Team shot and killed Ferguson Laurent, 23, as the team executed a "no-knock" search warrant looking for drugs, guns, and stolen property. "One subject fired at least one shot at the officers," said an official statement from the department. "Officers returned fire and struck the subject who has since passed away at the hospital." The officer who shot Laurent was identified as K. Boehm. Boehm shot and killed another suspect in 2008; that killing was found to be justified. Word of the killing spread rapidly and a "tense" crowd gathered at the scene, leading Police Chief Jerry Stokes to warn that while people had a First Amendment right to protest, "if you start becoming violent and damaging property, then that is the problem." The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

On November 15, in Webster, Texas, members of the nearby Alvin Police Department Street Crimes Unit shot and killed Robert Daffern, 37, after locating the wanted drug felon at a motel. Police said they approached Daffern, but that he didn't comply with commands to surrender and instead brandished a pistol and aimed at one of the officers. The Alvin Police investigators then fired several rounds, leaving Daffern dead at the scene. Police found a second pistol in his pocket, and a "significant amount" of drugs and cash. The incident is being investigated by the Webster Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney's office and will be reviewed by a grand jury.

On November 28, in Hickory, North Carolina, a Catawba County sheriff's deputy with the narcotics division shot and killed Irecas Valentine, 41, during a "narcotics investigation." The sheriff's office said "an altercation occurred involving the unidentified suspect's vehicle and an undercover deputy's vehicle" and "shots were then fired by at least one deputy." Valentine died after being transported to a local hospital. The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case.

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.


sicntired (not verified)

In my mind,every Fentanyl OD that ends a life can be directly linked to (9/11,the security state and the morphing of the wars on terror and drugs)the government.The supreme difficulty that borders now pose and the ease of producing a drug that never saw an opium poppy.I'm in Canada,British Columbia,Vancouver city.We had 15 deaths by OD last Friday(Dec17)in BC.Vancouver,alone logged 9.I,personally,haven't been able to access real heroin since Feb,14,2014.At that exact same time,the government switched from methadone,a true heroin mimic to Methadose.That "drug",at best mimics Fentanyl.It is cut with something that Mallencrodt,it's compounder,refuses to acknowledge exists.We were told the switch was due to the theft of doses by criminal elements in the drug stores and the selling of those stolen doses on the black market?This was a total lie.They have now,perhaps because someone threatened to expose them on live TV and perhaps due to the overdose crisis.Begun doing the exact same process of adding tang to the former"clear" form of the drug.Creating the exact same situation that they used as their excuse to take the bribe to allow Mallencrodt a total monopoly on drug(opiate)replacement therapy,everywhere.As a long time addict( over 45 years)I believed I would never stop my addiction until death.I was actually looking forward to it,(Death)due to an unoperated on(not inoperable)spinal virus which destroyed 4 of the 5 lumbar vertabrae in my lower back.The virus was destroyed but so was my spine.The pain was all encompassing and 100% debilitating at most times.I tried everything and what worked,wasn't allowed and what didn't ,didn't.Cannabis oil was partially positive but in doses so high that it was far too costly to contemplate.It was the CBD that helped.Not the THC.I was on the 1:20 and it was only helpful at a gram per dose,each dose for 6 hours.A bottle of 55 g. costs 135 dollars.Methadose,is an opioid.Cut with antagonists and dopamine suppressors.There is also an inflammatory that is vein shredding.This leaves street addicts with no replacement options that aren't outright poison.Hence,No street heroin that is Fentanyl free and mostly straight Fentanyl.Now there's carfentanyl,a horse tranquilliser,for F' sakes.All due to current drug policy and the security state cooperation with the drug cops.Real good police work?Absolutely!If they get a little better at this,they just might achieve their true goal.The death of every addict on planet earth.

Sun, 12/18/2016 - 7:07pm Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.