By Tyler Durden
Authored by Major Danny Sjursen via TheNation.com,
“This…thing, [the War on Drugs] this ain’t police work… I mean, you call something a war and pretty soon everybody gonna be running around acting like warriors… running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs, racking up body counts.… pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your fucking enemy. And soon the neighborhood that you’re supposed to be policing, that’s just occupied territory.”
-—Major “Bunny” Colvin, season three of HBO’s The Wire
I can remember both so well.
2006: my first raid in South Baghdad.
2014: watching on YouTube as a New York police officer asphyxiated – murdered – Eric Garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner not five miles from my old apartment. Both events shocked the conscience.
It was 11 years ago next month: My first patrol of the war, and we were still learning the ropes from the army unit we were replacing. Unit swaps are tricky, dangerous times. In Army lexicon, they’re known as “right-seat-left-seat rides.” Picture a car. When you’re learning to drive, you first sit in the passenger seat and observe. Only then do you occupy the driver’s seat. That was …read more