The Secret Tapes of a Suburban Drug War

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A cop in Westchester, NY, was disturbed by what he saw as corruption. He started recording his colleagues -- and revealed how we’re all still living with the excess of the war on drugs.

Following months of investigation into allegations of police corruption in Mount Vernon, reporter George Joseph of WNYC’s Race & Justice Unit brings us a story about unchecked power, policing in communities of color and our long national hangover from the war on drugs.

Part of George Joseph’s story, “The Mount Vernon Police Tapes: At Least Seven Black Men Now Allege False Drug Charges Involving Controversial Detective,” was published via Gothamist last year and can be found here.

Special thanks to Jami Floyd (the editor of WNYC’s Race and Justice Unit), Celia Muller and engineers Bill Moss and Wayne Schulmister.

Companion listening for this episode:

The Drug War” (7/3/2017)

We didn’t always respond to drug addiction with militarized policing. In this episode, a look back at the political and cultural shift Richard Nixon’s administration drove.

Revisiting Caught: ‘I Just Want You to Come Home’” (7/30/2020)

The first episode in our award-winning series “Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice,” created in partnership with WNYC’s Radio Rookies program.

“The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.

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