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Ray Kelly Heard "Allegations of Improper [Marijuana] Arrests" Oh Really?

Ailsa Chang, the WNYC reporter who broke the recent New York Police Department marijuana arrests story, blogged about comments by Commissioner Ray Kelly at a news conference this week explaining why he issued the order to his officers:

"Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says he had heard multiple allegations that his officers were skirting the law when charging people for misdemeanor marijuana possession — but he says he doesn't know if they are true."

I suppose "multiple allegations" is one of way describing the in-depth report published on the topic in 2008, the report on the fiscal costs of the arrests published this year, or the extensive discussion of the arrests that's taken place in the media for much of this year. Oh, let's not forget the bill filed this year in Albany for the specific purpose of stopping such arrests.

Of course the nearly 12-fold sudden increase in the number of marijuana possession arrests was no tip-off that anything was up:


And to be fair, the New York Times didn't call for a federal Dept. of Justice investigation of the arrests until last Monday, after Kelly issued the order, so that doesn't count. (But it's a good idea.)

No, there's no reason why the nearly ten-year commissioner of the department, who had been commissioner for another two years prior to that, and who has worked in important positions in the department for a total of more than 30 years, could have known to look into this before now. There was no reason to suspect anything may have been amiss until an "allegation was made" recently. None at all -- he had no way to know! I believe him -- I really do.

New York, NY
United States
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Drug War Comments

To continue with my earlier post, which disappeared in the midst of a sentence--the 1st sentence. I apologize. I was simply saying the I had and still do take the stance that Walter Chronkite [spelling??] has for the past several years, and which has been wisely supported by others around the country, which simply recognizes that the Stop the Drug War Campaign had a great intent. And First Lady Nancy Reagan made a good attempt to ad something good to it. I won't doubt the INTENTIONS of any of the politicians or others that were active in that movement. Drugs had become a large problem in our society.

But I have to agree with the many others who are pointing out that the War on Drugs has outlived its usefulness, and has in FACT, become one of the worst source for bad law and court decisions, that were probably likewise, well-intended, but they back-fired. 

Instead of "just saying no"--most American kids found that that was an inadequate response to which the drug LORDS quickly jumped onto and suddenly we have more young people--young AMERICANS--in their PRIME AGES OF YOUTH, not only being influenced by Drug Sellers--all the way back to Columbia and Mexico--with many, many of our good youth being killed by masses of numbers in this country, and just as many or maybe MORE being send to jail, with JUDGES having the constraints of MANDATORY  sentences for drug offenses. So bad that a finding or plating of even an ounce or two in the possession of kids who should be headed for college, being sent , instead, in droves to bigger and bigger and more and more expensive jails. SUCH JAILS ALL BUILT, or sometimes built by PRIVATE COMPANIES [supposedly at cheaper cost to the government], all for the cause STARTED, innocently by the Stop the Drug War Movement, which had strangely changed our land to a land with MORE of its PRIVATE CITIZENS in jail--imprisoned, THAN ANY OTHER  COUNTRY IN THIS WORLD. That must stop at least SOME PEOPLE and make us wonder, what it all was for??? And why such failure??? Why so many people in jail????       Why so many more minorities in jail. Are they just genetically more prone to take drugs??. COME ON!!!!!

Surely no one can still believe that. Drugs arise from Poverty, and repeats itself until the poverty cycle is stopped. Some would say--as long as they are allowed to grow up, there will be poverty--but THAT IS NOT IT! NOT FOR A MINUTE. If the WAR on POVERTY had been more successful, and if EDUCATION of our children had been the winner of those decades and billions, if not trillions of dollars spent on jails, and sending people to jail--when what they needed was a job. Education for a job. IMAGINE how DIFFERENT our country would be TODAY. Can you even grasp that concept???? >A NATION of well-spoken, well-educated--well dressed,--well paid young people. OH--the difference it would have made. 

I AM WHITE. And yes I graduated with a J. D, from LSU LAW School in Baton Rouge.

BUT I graduated HIGH SCHOOL in 1972. I didn't considered myself, or my family as having been wealthy back then. My Dad was a post man--started when he was 17, and he may have made $1000. a month back then.. But he worked night as a grocery helper. My mother kept children, at times 24 hours a day for other women who were trying to support their families, too, and my mother did that so--so she could be home for her children. When we got out of high school, she fulfilled her life time dream--becoming a nurse. But all the years from my age of 3 or less--in rented homes, and finally in our own home. And my sister and I also worked to help the family. Saving for college [first in our expansive family to make it to college, and then to a professional degree. But EVEN THO my parents had never asked or even suggested to us to get a job, it seems we always wanted to. I remember my first job for money was when I was about 4, and my grandmother, who died at 98, paid me a penny an egg to pick the eggs, and feed and water the chickens, and all that entailed. There may have been a few years after I started in school after I moved to town, that I didn't have a job--but soon I was cutting grass for us, and neighbors, etc. Then on to selling cards--I had my regular customers--and FINALLY as a FULL TIME-PART -TIME job as a carpenter's helpers for my Uncle who was well known in my town for building top-notch new homes. Since the war, new homes are about all he was needed to sell.  

I talk on too much. But of course I worked all the way thru college, lest there would be those who said "they"did--well, I did too. 'Till I graduated from LSU LAW SCHOOL, and onto the date I heard I passed my Bar Exams, and then I started Full time, until I could no longer work.

BUT for that was all for the ones who would criticize me if I had not worked, which they would have assumed, had I not specifically mentioned. It helped me a great deal, although due to scholarships I had won from time to time, it was not always necessary--but the good work ethic was.

BUT, as I learned much later--I had things GOOD, VERY GOOD, compared not only to those in other countries, but to too many of those here in my home country. I did not know that they were not competing with me for those scholarships to go. I HOPE desperately that it would have shamed me back then, as it certainly did in later years. I suppose I believed I STUPIDLY believed the stories of how most people that didn't go--and where I was from they were mostly black--even though a few of my best friends in high school had become close friend. But I don't recall seeing them at the REUNIONS, and once I knew why--after my first one--I never went back--all from shame.

IT IS NO WONDER that Drug Lords, on up the chain,and worse on down had preyed on my poor black and white friends. [We didn't have hispanic friends or school mates where I was from. And there were only a few oriental--I even dated one of them for a while. She still is a very good friend of mine this day--and she was also blessed by her circumstances, and had a very successful CPA Firm in Houston.

I really didn't realize how long I had rambled on, as is my common liturgical error. But my sadness for and of the black, and elsewhere Hispanic friends which I help so dear, and so many were hauled off to jails and sold into drug and other kinds of slavery, none of  which did I know. But that lack of knowledge is unforgivable. While I studied constant, first getting a degree in Biology and psychology, with plans for medical school, I later used that education to enter law school, and did not look back until I was appointed by the Courts to represent indigent defendants for free-back then-. and it was then that I began to see where the black portion of my generation had gone--not ALL of it...but most of it. And it was then that I began to see people my age, maybe facing 2nd, 3rd or more charges on drugs, worse...maybe MURDER--just from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I believed them, and that is what made my job so hard, thank GOODNESS!!!!!. Otherwise I might never have let my perhaps closed mind--or worse SEE that these people were the ones paying for my wealth. For my living, which I had once considered to be "low-middle" class. NO WAY. And I have done all that I can to show and teach MY children what is right, and the wrongs that have been visited upon SO MANY of not only my classmates, but now, theirs. And that they an affirmative duty to do SOMETHING to LEARN ABOUT what went wrong. They have listened to my history lessons, to some extent, but I believe I have at least I made a difference in their souls and what they should do about it NOW--at their age, and as they get older.

With the might Republican Tea Party wing, not that ANY OF MY children would espouse such a doctrine, but I understand how much harder it is for them to fight the plagues set upon their friends. BUT: That does not Excuse them for their duty to do all that they can do to salvage as many poor souls as there are out there.

If my words are cut short, as so often is the case, these days, I will keep them for my book I hope to write before I lose my sight entirely.

To all those I have failed, please understand I have spent much in not most of my latter life trying to address those wrongs, and teaching others to do the dame. But even that is not good enough. We must get to the majority and make them realize the terrible wool scratched over their eyes.

Randal L.Coon


How in the world could the police commissioner NOT REALIZE that something was up?

OMG, just look at that chart!!!

How could he say that he was not aware of the increase!!!

An increase of  323,000 marijuana arrests???? Is he blind!!!  Or is he just plain ignorant?????  Did he think the 323,000 citizens all just decided to start smoking weed all within a short amount of years??? LOL. Ridiculous!!!

We are talking about HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE!!!! This is outrageous!!!

I find it hard to believe that he was not aware!!!

How many of these arrests were innocent people in which the police planted the evidence?  I have read that some cops have been caught doing this, and also that they have a arrest quota to meet.  I would hate to think that the police  planted evidence on THAT MANY PEOPLE!!!   If so, then it makes me afraid to leave the house.

It has already psychologically effected me by just reading about what they have been doing and have been CAUGHT DOING!!!

If we can't rely on our police to be honest and to  "protect and serve", then people will become afraid to call the police for fear of a corrupt cop coming to the scene.  Fear that will make citizens NOT call the cops when needed, and they will end up trying to handle the "situation" themselves!!  God knows where that would lead!!

 This is serious and needs to be addressed by  Congress!

We want all policemen and the Commissioners/Chiefs to be honest & to have high moral standards, to have integrity & to have good values.

We pay their salaries.  They are there to "protect us." And since we pay their salaries, I think the American public should have a SAY in what goes on in their local police departments!!!

I hope the corrupt police get """"LIFE IN JAIL"""" and NOTHING LESS!!!  That is what they DESERVE for "FOREVER RUINING" THESE INNOCENT PEOPLE'S LIVES!!!    The innocents are victims of a corrupt system that needs to be changed!!!

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