I’m not sure if journalism can get much more shoddy than the coverage the shootout that just occurred in Greenland, NH:
The body of a man suspected of killing Greenland’s police chief and wounding four other officers was found dead inside his home early Friday morning, police said.
Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney, 48, who was with the department for 12 years, was shot and killed trying to gain entry to the home while serving a drug-related warrant, Delaney said. He was set to retire in one week.
Maloney and four officers from the Attorney General’s drug task force arrived at the home at about 6 p.m. when Mutrie opened fire.
At first I thought this post would be discussion how the war on drugs has needless claimed more victims and caused the police to insert violence into an otherwise non-violent situation (manufacturing, possessing, and selling unapproved drugs is not a violent action). Unfortunately I ran into a bit of a problem since news articles didn’t go into any detail about the drug-related offense. Finally I came across this:
The Portsmouth Herald reported in February 2011 that Cullen Mutrie, 29, was a resident of the home on 517 Post Road and had been arrested and charged with possession of anabolic steroids.
The newspaper reported that the steroids were found in the home when officers went to confiscate guns after Mutrie was arrested on domestic assault charges. According to a police affidavit, the steroids were found in Mutrie’s living room on July 24, 2010, but were not verified by the state crime lab until Jan. 18.
A domestic violence charge lead to a drug charge. Domestic violence is, oftentimes, a violent situation and therefore intervention is justifiable. With that said domestic violence situations are one of the hardest situations to figure out because it is often an emotionally charged he-said-she-said argument. Sometimes a husband beats his wife, other times the wife beats her husband, and in other cases yelling and screaming leads to one party making false accusations against the other. Needless to say I have zero details on what happened and therefore can’t no comment on it.
What is interesting is the fact the police apparently confiscated Mutrie’s firearms yet he still had firearms to shoot the police with when they arrived to arrest him this time around. Apparently confiscation doesn’t actually work, who would have guessed? Likewise it should go without saying that Mutrie surrendered his firearms peacefully otherwise he wouldn’t have been at home when the police came to arrest him for the drug charges. Therein lies the key, this situation would have been unlikely to happen if it wasn’t for the drug charges so ultimately this case still boils down to the fact violence was used to enforce a decree against non-violent action.
The worst part about the war on drugs isn’t the cost, it’s the fact violence is being initiated against non-violent individuals. Manufacturing, selling, and using drugs are nothing more than commerce. People want the drugs so a market develops and that market is fulfilled legally or not. Since the state uses violence to enforce its decree prohibiting some drugs the obvious response to drug manufacturers, sellers, and users is to use violence to defend their business. In this way the war on drugs should really be called the initiation of violence against drug market actors. I realize that’s quite a mouthful but it would be far more accurate.