Pawns in the War on Drugs
August 28, 2012 11:04 AM Subscribe
Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods."
“You can sit down with us and make a deal. Or you can go upstairs, get a lawyer, and get ready to be ass-rammed in prison.”
“Letting a young, immature woman get into a car by herself with $13,000.00, to go off and meet two convicted felons that they knew were bringing at least one firearm with them, was an unconscionable decision that cost Ms. Hoffman her life,” the grand jury declared. “Less than fifteen minutes after she drove away from the offices of [the Tallahassee Police Department], she drove out of the sight of the officers who assured her they would be right on top of her watching and listening the whole time. She cried out for help as she was shot and killed and nobody was there to hear her.”
“There’s no such thing as training an informant,” Brian Sallee, of B.B.S. Narcotics Enforcement Training and Consulting, told me. “You direct them what to do, and if they follow those directions that will make it safer for them. There’s always going to be a risk, but when things go bad it’s usually because they didn’t do as they were told to. They get themselves hurt, not the officers. The informants cause their own dilemma.”
“Now I lost my baby for an ounce of weed,” Nelson said at her kitchen counter. “It’s like they just threw her away.”
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