Louisville, Kentucky got unwanted national publicity after Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old unarmed African-American nurse, was fatally shot while she was sleeping in her apartment on March 13, by white plainclothes officers on a “no-knock” drug raid. (No drugs were found.)
The raid was such a fiasco legally that it still isn’t clear who was responsible for what, but because of the national publicity, Louisville has at least banned “No Knock” warrants.
So it is especially outrageous that another incident in Louisville has not been reported anywhere except for the Louisville Courier Journal.
“Former NFL running back Michael Bush was alarmed and bewildered in late September when Drug Enforcement Administration agents cornered him as he was walking his dogs, but he said he knew what to do.
He’s one of the most recognizable athletes of the past 20 years to come out of the city of Louisville…
Bush is over 6 feet tall and built like a former professional athlete. There aren’t many people who look like him in his Louisville neighborhood, he said. But that didn’t help him on Sept. 30 when he was confronted by the DEA.”
The DEA?? The Drug Enforcement Administration is a Federal agency!!!
“It was around 1 p.m., Bush said, when he decided to take his dogs for a walk before a 2:30 p.m. business meeting. He’d walked around the block and down an alley near his home when all of the sudden, he said, three cars rolled up.
(Dog walking while black??)
“Unmarked police,” Bush said this week, recounting the incident. “They start to grabbing and reaching — you know, ‘Hands behind your back’ — and I’m like, ‘Nah, you all got the wrong dude today. This ain’t going down this way.’
“I’m like ‘What, did somebody call you all?’ They said ‘No, you fit the description.’ Of who? Of what? There’s nobody in this area that looks like me. There’s nobody in this area that’s built like me.”
Bush was near his Louisville home. He hadn’t brought along an ID for what was supposed to be a quick stroll around the block.
“I was like, ‘You need to Google this name,'” he said. “‘Do whatever you all need to do. Talk to somebody, because it ain’t me.’”
The people who’d confronted him weren’t with Louisville Metro Police, Bush said he later learned. They were with the DEA. And after their brief encounter, they left without identifying themselves.
For Fiscal Year 2019, the DEA had a budget of over $3.1 billion, and over 10,000 employees, and they were looking for a big, black guy in an alley and mistook a local football hero for someone who was supposedly armed and dangerous.
But who was really “armed and dangerous?” It wasn’t Mr. Bush.
Ms. Taylor’s tragic death was the result of an incredibly botched local police raid, and the outrage that has provoked — especially in the African American community — is perfectly understandable. However, what happened to Mr. Bush might be even more disturbing at a national level, even though no one was injured.
Do Americans really want three cars full of Federal agents stopping people in alleys because they think someone looks like someone?
Does someone have to get killed for Americans to see how dangerous the Drug War is to everyone?
Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of An Overview About Cannabidiol CBD Lozenges.