Dear Editor,

The key lesson of Garner case is the unintended consequences of a bad law.

Remember, this whole tragedy started with the criminalizing of the sale of “loose cigarettes.” This law was begat by the NYC ban on the sale of tobacco products. Every “well intended” law ever enacted in the USA to protect people from themselves and the victimless crime of drug abuse has ended up doing vastly more harm than good and turned citizens and the police officers forced to enforce these bad laws against each other.

From the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s to the War on Drugs that started in the 1970s, these well intended laws have spawned criminal gangs, corrupted our judicial system and exploded our prison population.

And the icing on the cake is that most citizens and police see each other as enemies. Thank God prohibition was ended after 13 years. The Drug War is ongoing.

From 1972 to 2014 our national prison population went from 300,000 to TWO-MILLION, three hundred thousand (2,300,000). That’s a 700 percent increase and that is matched by a similar increase in the level of hate and disrespect between our “Justice System” and the citizens of our country.

Chip Shirley

Trinidad

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