If we were to declare a winner in the decades-long war on drugs today, hands down, drugs would be the victor. For over 50 years, the US has waged a cruel and horrific campaign of violence, injustice, brutality, and oppression to eradicate arbitrary substances they’ve deemed illegal. Not only was this campaign unsuccessful at eradicating substances, but it’s led to the most deadly drug overdose epidemic in history in which enough people die every year to pack an NFL stadium.
Instead of realizing the error of their ways, the callous, obstinate, and violent state has simply doubled down on enforcement — driving a black market consisting of increasingly dangerous synthetic substances. Fentanyl, in particular, has gripped the nation thanks to the prohibition of safer alternatives, driving crime, suffering, and death. As the following case illustrates, it also fuels an incentive for rampant police violence.
Eric Nathaniel Thornton, 38, was suspected of buying this substance in Jacksonville, Florida last month which landed him six feet under. According to police, officers were watching Thorton and Brian Brightman — who they referred to as a “known drug dealer” — conducting an “illegal drug transaction.”
Because cops claim the right to kidnap, cage, and even kill you over these arbitrary substances they deem “illegal,” they moved in to make an arrest. Not wanting to be kidnapped and caged, Thornton ran from officers.
Thornton never once attempted to harm the officers and was merely attempting to avoid being thrown in a cage for his addiction. He needed medical help for a medical problem; instead, he received bullets… at least ten of them.
As Thornton ran from officers, they claimed he was holding a knife and used this as a reason to fill the fleeing man with holes.
“He’s got a knife,” an officer can be heard saying before executing a fleeing man.
As the body camera footage shows, Thornton dropped to the ground, let out a groan, and died on the scene. Police would go on to justify his execution by releasing photos of knives, which they claim were a threat to their lives as Thornton ran away.
We’re told that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is now looking into the matter and the result of the investigation they are conducting on themselves will be released when it’s complete.
Thornton was the third person killed by this same department in the first few weeks of 2023. As long as this country continues to treat addiction and substance abuse with violence and coercion, Thornton will be but a single line on an ever-increasing list of names whose lives were taken by the losers of the war on drugs.