Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
Washington, D.C. – In response to the Trump Administration activating the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and other paramilitary federal agencies to support police in suppressing the widespread lawful protests over the killing of George Floyd, Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), released the following statement:
“Over the last 24 hours, Trump has responded to the nation’s widespread protests over the killing of George Floyd by activating the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Protection and other paramilitary federal agencies to bolster police forces. He also threatened authoritarian-style military intervention and used military-style assault to rid peaceful protestors from outside the White House, making it clear that lawful resistance against police brutality will be met with a stronger militarized force than protestors are already fighting against.
This type of escalation is a direct attack on communities of color, and is one of many wars being waged against the humanity of Black and Brown people. For far too long, the drug war has been used as a tactic to target, harass, assault, criminalize, and incarcerate communities of color, resulting in a social, economic, and cultural stranglehold around our necks. And with police departments being rewarded by the federal government for making the most drug-related arrests, the drug war has served as an incentive and funding mechanism for police to engage in militarized policing. It’s why Breonna Taylor was shot down in her own bed, and it created the conditions in which George Floyd was mercilessly killed in broad daylight in front of a crowd of people begging for his life.
People of color have a right to be angry and a right to be heard. We cannot meet pleas for liberation with more state-sponsored violence. Until we defund agencies like the DEA and CBP, and remove federal incentives for local police departments, Black and Brown people will forever be gasping for air.”