Pubdate: Sun, 28 Apr 2002
Source: Newsday (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Newsday Inc.
Author: Alexandra Meyerson


I must express my outrage at the shooting death of Jose Colon ["Cop Kills 
Bellport Man," April 21]. What a tragedy that any young person would be 
killed by law enforcement over marijuana possession.

How far are we willing to take this senseless zero-tolerance policy? When 
specially-trained, elite police forces with support helicopters are sent 
into residential neighborhoods to recover a pound of pot, we've gone way 
too far.

The accidental nature of this incident as it has been reported - an 
officer's tripping over a tree root - is a perfect illustration of the 
policy run riot. We can strive for the perfect, most safety-conscious law 
enforcement officer, yet sooner or later someone will trip over a tree 
root. And if automatic weapons are used routinely for pot raids in 
residential areas, accused criminals and bystanders alike are going to be 

We have a law-enforcement policy that is more dangerous than the crime it 
is intended to address. It's up to New York State voters and legislators to 
do everything in their power to remedy this outrageous situation. Why let 
the expensive and destructive "War on Drugs" ruin more lives?

Alexandra Meyerson

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