Drug Law

L.A. Cops Allegedly Beat Non-Violent Marijuana Detainee

| by NORML
By "Radical" Russ Belville

Remember when John Walters said finding a first-time, non-violent offender behind bars for simple possession of marijuana was like finding a unicorn?  It’s a favorite tactic of drug warriors to claim that gee whiz, nobody really goes to jail for smoking a joint so it’s not like we really need to legalize marijuana.

The problem isn’t the incarceration for marijuana, it is the arrest.

February 8 – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Southern California (ACLU/SC) today condemned a recent brutal beating by two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies of a detainee at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, part of the county jail system.

The violent attack January 24 on James Parker, detained on a non-violent marijuana charge, was witnessed by ACLU/SC’s Esther Lim, who is assigned to monitor all county jails.

“We believe Mr. Parker’s beating is not an isolated incident,” said Hector Villagra, incoming Executive Director of the ACLU/SC. “Rather, it highlights the rampant violence that continues to plague the county’s jails, and demands court intervention to protect detainees from brutal attacks and retaliation. That the ACLU/SC monitor witnessed a brutal attack in plain sight is alarming and can only lead us to conclude detainees are subject to even greater cruelty when no one is looking.”

These two deputies were punching, kneeing, and tasering James Parker as he lay motionless on the jail floor in plain view of the court-appointed monitor who was there because of complaints about sadistic police abuse.

No prisoners deserve to be abused, but no cannabis consumers deserve to be prisoners, either.