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Drugs and ThugsThe History and Future of America's War on Drugs$
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Russell Crandall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300240344

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300240344.001.0001

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Law Enforcement and Incarceration

Law Enforcement and Incarceration

(p.331) 22 Law Enforcement and Incarceration
Drugs and Thugs

Russell Crandall

Yale University Press

This chapter looks at a report by Joseph Goldstein in the New York Times that revealed many of the competing goals and attitudes in the post-1980s era of aggressive drug enforcement. It mentions fifty-five-year-old crack addict, Reginald J., who was arrested on felony drug-dealing charges after purchasing drugs from an undercover narcotics officer. It details how Brian McCarthy, the assistant chief in charge of the Narcotics Division of the New York Police Department, defended buy-and-bust tactics as a necessary response to community complaints. The chapter explores the frequent criminal charges in New York City that involve small amounts of heroin and crack during the 2010s. It describes the buy-and-bust policy as a significant flashpoint in the nascent war over the war on drugs.

Keywords:   Joseph Goldstein, drug enforcement, narcotics officer, buy-and-bust tactics, heroin

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