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No Drug Bust is Worth the Life of a Good Cop

Submitted by smorgan on
Peter Moskos at the LEAP blog discusses the anniversary of the murder of police officer Marcellus Ward:

Ward was killed 25 years ago. His assassination and last dying breaths were caught on tape and haunted the memory of many Baltimore police officers.

At a memorial, held where Ward was killed, Commissioner Bealefeld said that it is "not for us to judge the results of his sacrifice." And certainly a memorial to a slain officer is not the time and place for that.

But at some point we need to ask. Why are we risking our lives? What are we getting in return? If we don't ask these questions, more good men and women will die.

25 years later, the same counterproductive approaches that took Ward's life are still in effect, more so now than ever. Baltimore is widely recognized as ground zero for urban drug warfare in America and you could throw many more lives into the fire without even denting the drugs and violence for which Baltimore has tragically come to be known. Sadly, that is exactly what will happen.

Nevertheless, Ward will be remembered -- as he should be – for giving his life trying to make his city a better place. And, were it not for his sacrifice, powerful voices for drug policy reform, such as Kurt Schmoke, Neill Franklin and Peter Moskos might never have emerged from Baltimore.

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