The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is infamous for stacking charges on defendants and arresting individuals for seemingly minor possessions. However, when it comes to its own agents, there appears to be an endless level of leniency. In 2012, DEA carried out a raid on a home and arrested a group of young people who were smoking marijuana. One was Daniel Chong. Despite the minor violation, Chong was arrested and interrogated. He was told that he would be released but DEA agents simply forgot about him and left him in a cell for five days without food or water. At one point, as the 23-year-old cried and begged for help, someone with the DEA came in and turned off the light in his cell to leave him in the dark. He was given no food or water. Someone was charged, right? Someone was fired, right? No, the DEA has decided that a few reprimands and short suspensions is fine for starving and almost killing Chong.
I earlier wrote a column on how the U.S. government seems to be gradually adopting the legal standards of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This case seem to fit that storyline all too neatly.
Even the Justice Department has questioned “the DEA’s failure to impose significant discipline on these employees.”
Chong was never charged with a crime and ultimately received a $4.1-million settlement.
The three DEA agents and supervisor responsible will continue to work for the government even though they almost killed Chong who was hospitalized for days after his ordeal. Four reprimands were issued and the supervisor was given a seven-day suspension. Case closed.
Source: LA Times