The Lake County Sheriff’s Department released a video to their Facebook page trying to intimidate heroin dealers in the area
Many have said that the video closely resembles an ISIS video
The video makes clear threats towards street level heroin dealers in the area
Sheriff Peyton C. Grinnell told heroin dealers in the area to “run”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Department posted an intimidating video on their Facebook page which directly threatened street-level heroin dealers in the area. Many have said the video bears a disturbingly similar resemblance to that of an ISIS video.
The video shows Sheriff Peyton C. Grinnell surrounded by four large and armed men in ski masks and sunglasses. The four men stand silently as Grinnell makes threats to those selling heroin in the area.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Department have claimed intimidation was not the goal of the video. Instead, the ski masks were only to protect the identity of the undercover officers in the video.
While that seems like excellent reasoning, it is clearly entirely false. If Grinnell was not trying to show intimidation and was only trying to protect identities, why were they even in the video?
The video was clearly an effort to intimidate dealers and throw more fuel on the failed war on drugs. Grinnell even ends the video telling heroin dealers to “run.”
There are several layers of problems with this video. For one, it is never a police officer’s job to intimidate the public. These are the people we are supposed to be turning to for help. What good could come from them making threatening videos directed towards small-time heroin dealers?
The bigger problem is that Grinnell is obviously talking to street level heroin dealers. He is not shutting down any heroin producers, or international suppliers. In the long run he will actually be making the problem worse.
By busting these street level dealers Grinnell is going to raise the price of heroin in the area, with little to no impact on the rate it is coming in. Meaning Lake County will become a more lucrative area to begin selling heroin on a street level.
With heroin prices going up in the area, heroin addicts needing to get a fix will be much more likely to get involved in crimes in order to obtain their heroin.
Grinnell is trying to take a more aggressive approach in the failed war on drugs. We have already watched this method fail time and time again over the years. However, in recent years we have seen something major change. We are seeing a huge growth in opiate addictions stemming from legal prescriptions.
America is using over 90% of the world’s opiate supply. We are prescribing highly addictive opiates to people in their time of need, then punishing them once they develop an addiction.
In the video, Grinnell claims that they will find anyone linked to selling heroin that caused an overdose. In 2014, over 2 million Americans were using prescription opiates and from 1999 to 2000 there were almost 200,000 overdoses from prescription opiates. Apparently Grinnell does not see this as a problem.
Grinnell clearly still believes the propaganda that scary drug dealers are forcing drugs into the communities. These drugs are not being forced upon communities. People in the communities are welcoming these drugs with open arms. The sooner we can accept that, the sooner we can move forward to actually find a solution to the country’s drug problem.