No one owned up so they decided to take in everyone there
In the Atlanta suburb of Cartersville on December 31, around 70 people were confronted by police raiding a house party. When nobody admitted to being the owner of less than an ounce of marijuana found by cops, they arrested everyone there.
Cartersville authorities were responding to a call in the early hours of the morning that claimed gunshots had been heard around the house, where a ‘Christmas lingerie’ 21st birthday party was being held. Attendees told WSBTV that police said they had no warrant, but entered the premises anyway. Authorities say two firearms were found at the scene as well as “smoking devices”, according to HuffPost.
Buzzfeed News says a party invitation promised Jell-O shots, strip Twister and beer pong, while attendees also said gunshots were in fact fireworks.
Less than an ounce of marijuana was found by the police. When no one owned up to possessing the weed, partygoers – aged between 15 and 31 – were arrested in their dozens. Jail records highlight that the majority of those arrested were black males aged 19-25. Four other men were booked on separate felonies.
Deja Heard – the party host – told WSBTV: “all of us are innocent – it’s not right.” Other people present told the network that police “threatened tasers” and had “tied (people) up with zip ties”.
A GoFundMe page started by the Georgia NAACP detailed the ‘Cartersville 70’: “Some of these young people need money to make bail and all of them need assistance with their legal fees. A good majority of these individuals are college students and members of the U.S. military who were visiting home over the holiday break, and decided to attend a party to catch up with old friends while in town.”
“Others were working citizens who lost their jobs the second they walked into work this morning. They need your help to bring justice and light to the unjust treatment these individuals experienced leading to and during their incarceration,” it added.
The NAACP will investigate the incident. Cartersville police released a statement that detailed they will explore whether each drug incident requires the county drug task force to be present.
States like California have brought in broad legalisation laws for weed, though half of all drug arrests in the U.S are for marijuana. Across the United States, a black person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested on a marijuana charge than their white counterpart. Drug war casualties are overwhelmingly black people.
I wish people realised the racial and economic aspect of weed legalisation. Middle-class, white people are smoking on the news and having cannabis parties while black and brown people are literally still being prosecuted for the same thing in private. https://t.co/nwc34uDlFL— Tito.M.W (@UnorthodoxTito) January 3, 2018