Militarization of Law Enforcement, Fueled by the Drug War, Must End

New York, NY – In response to the horrific killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year old EMT shot to death in her own bed by Louisville Police in what was a baseless warrant in a drug investigation, Kassandra Frederique, Managing Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), released the following statement:

“Breonna Taylor’s death is a travesty that cannot go unnoticed, as far too many Black womens’ deaths have. It’s because of the drug war that we have police forces with the money for military-grade weapons and SWAT training. Earmarked federal funds go to the police department with the highest arrest rate, fostering unhealthy competition, unnecessary force in arrests, and lethal mistakes like the one that took Breonna’s life. Regardless of whether the warrant was served at the correct residence or not, gunning someone down in their own bed as they sleep is unconscionable.

The price of the drug war will always disproportionately be paid by communities of color – and Black women especially are targeted, brutalized and killed in unforgivable ways. Policing, the drug war, and racism are deeply intertwined and we must end their parasitic relationship now. Until we do, people in their own homes or cars are at risk of being shot down by the police.

Breonna didn’t deserve to die. 7-year old Aiyana Jones didn’t deserve to die. Atatiana Jefferson didn’t deserve to die. 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston didn’t deserve to die. Sandra Bland didn’t deserve to die. And far too many others…

It’s time to abolish the drug war funding that fuels the militarization of law enforcement and hold elected officials and police departments accountable – none of us can sleep safe until we do.”