State Investigates and Suspends DRE Program
As you can read here, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has launched a criminal investigation into the allegations that police officers participating in the Drug Recognition Evaluator program gave drugs to Minneapolis residents. This investigation was sparked by the allegations made on the Occupy video. In particular, an officer from Hutchinson, MN is under investigation for giving drugs to DRE subjects.
Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman has also suspended the DRE program until the investigation is complete.
This is a very big deal. I look forward to getting more information from this investigation, but it clearly indicates to me that the allegations made in the Occupy video were legitimate (and not, as some have asserted, some sort of left-wing conspiracy to make the police look bad). I commend these individuals for having the courage to come forward and testify at a City Council Public Hearing. I also applaud the Public Safety Commissioner for being willing to suspend this program until the investigation is complete. From my perspective, at this point the program has zero credibility.
It appears that at least one officer who witnessed came forward with information, and I also highly commend him or her. It is not easy for police officers to 'inform' on each other, in my experience.
All this said: even once the investigation is complete and even if the program is been changed to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again, I do not believe that it should operate in Minneapolis. Minneapolis police do not participate in this program, so it has no real benefit to our city. I'd prefer that the program be permanently ended, but if this type of program is to exist I think it should be run by a public health institution or an accredited college or university. At least we should demand that if police or sheriffs from out state Minnesota want to see what drug use looks like they do it outside Minneapolis and not involve any the residents or visitors in Minneapolis.