I am concerned about the tactics of the drug task forces presently operating in Minnesota. Some are multi-county and some are limited to one county. I'm concerned that nobody is monitoring their tactics to ensure that they are ethical. I do question some of the tactics.
For example, drug task forces frequently use "confidential informants." Confidential informants are people who have been arrested for something like drug possession or drug selling. The person is threated with prosecution and prison unless he/she "agrees" to be a confidential informant. So a confidential information is not a willing participant.
Also, I'm concerned about the racial aspects of how all this works. It seems that many confidential informants are young white men. These young white men frequently inform on the minorities communities. So its not unusual for the drug task force to make a raid in the minority community based on information provided by a young white man.
I'm concerned about the suspicion and animosity that has developed in the minority communities against a young white man walking through. It's possible people could think he is a confidential informant. So much fear.
Also, I'm concerned that low level offenders are being targeted by the drug task force. These low level offenders (often people of color) are usually the people sent to prison for drugs. Just how useful are confidential informants are useful in revealing drug kingpins? Not very, I think. The low level offenders are the low hanging fruit. Are these the people the drug task forces focusing on? Why?
I'm also concerned (and have heard) that a confidential informant can often have a more serious criminal history than the people he is informing on. Also, he is often permitted to continue his criminal lifestyle for his cooperation. This leads to anger in the community because it looks like double standard and hypocrisy.
Is anybody supervising the tactics of the drug task forces? Are they becoming like the gang strike force that we all heard about a few years ago. Weren't there lots of lawsuits from gang strike force?
I think we need to ensure that all police work, including police investigations are done with integrity. We must not allow drug task forces to become another police debacle.
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