Police To Stop Undercover Drug Buys For Weed Because Dealers Were All Black

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the undercover stings produced an "unintended consequence."

Minneapolis, MN – The Minneapolis police chief announced that the department would no longer conduct sting operations to arrest dealers who sell felonious “small amounts” of marijuana, after allegations were raised that officers had unfairly targeted economically disadvantaged black men and women.

Undercover officers arrested over 100 people between January and May as part of a crackdown aimed at shutting down open drug dealing, WCCO reported.

Forty-seven of those arrests were felony marijuana sales.

Hennepin County chief public defender Mary Moriarty noticed that 46 of the 47 individuals charged were black, and quickly complained to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, the Star Tribune reported.

The lone white suspect had initiated contact with the officers, trying to sell them drugs.

“If you sell one gram of marijuana, it’s a felony drug sale,” Moriarty told WCCO. “Do they deserve to get felony drug charges simply because they are less fortunate than say kids on college campuses?”

“Approaching black men and women who are low income and homeless and then having the county attorney charge them with felony drug sales makes me very angry and disappointed,” Moriarty told the Star Tribune.

During a Thursday press conference, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said that Frey directed him to put an end to the undercover operations.

“I agree with the mayor’s decision,” Chief Arradondo said. “I never want the MPD to contribute to a sense of hopelessness to our community.”

“The number of particularly African American males who feel at a time that their only choice to survive and provide for themselves by selling drugs is something that deeply concerns me as a chief and as a citizen,” the chief explained.

“The goal here is to keep our city safe, but the goal is we also want to contribute to the hope that so many in our community, and especially our African American males, are not experiencing at this time,” he said.

Frey said that he “strongly” believed that marijuana should be “fully legalized at the state level.”

“The fact that racial disparities are so common nationwide in the enforcement of marijuana laws is one of the reasons I support full legalization,” the mayor added.

Chief Arradondo confirmed that the department would immediately “discontinue specific low-level marijuana enforcement,” and the Hennepin County Attorney’s office vowed that the charges against the 47 individuals charged since January would be dismissed.

“The MPD wishes to be a partner with our community stakeholders in these efforts that reduce the number of African American males entering our criminal justice system and seek other potential alternatives ranging from treatment, counseling, and diversion,” Chief Arradondo said.

In addition to the dismissals, Moriarty has demanded that the one individual who was sentenced to prison as a result his felony arrest be released, the Star Tribune reported.

She said she also planned to file a motion to expunge the arrests from her clients’ criminal histories, and urged the county attorney’s office to support her mission.

The police department says that they will continue arrest marijuana dealers, they will just halt the practice proactively conducting drug buys, which is how drug dealers get arrested.

Frey said that while enforcement against marijuana dealers may be taking a back seat, they will continue to make arrests against gun offenders and opiate dealers.

Comments (48)
No. 1-25
rover77
rover77

surprising, MPD doesn't provide race in suspect descriptions...it's called lowering the bar .if enough 'POC' do it, suddenly it's not a crime anymore...and if they are 'economically disadvantaged' where do the get the weed?

rover77
rover77

Frey said that while enforcement against marijuana dealers may be taking a back seat, they will continue to make arrests against gun offenders and opiate dealers......unless too many 'People of Color' are arrested then they will lower the bar again

LEO0301
LEO0301

Selling marijuana is certainly not the crime of the century but in most areas of the country it is still illegal. The police frequently conduct buy/busts in areas where there are open air drug markets. You don't see that in white neighborhoods but you sure do in black areas. This will most likely create an even larger problem in those neighborhoods by inviting more drug users to frequent those locations which is unfair to the good, law abiding citizens who happen to live where those dealers sell. No problem though because it is the opinion of the mayor and attorneys that these people aren't inclined to seek a real job to pay the bills because it is much easier to stand on the corner yelling "yo, yo, watcha lookin fo'". This decision is an embarrassment to anyone, white or black, who believe you must be a dope dealer if you're poor.

voiceoftreason
voiceoftreason

You caught me breaking the law?! Thats RACIST!!!

T.Good
T.Good

Lord have mercy so glad i'm retired when i worked drugs our biggest days were food stamps and welfare check day