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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 31, 2013 at 7:02 PM

DEA to settle with man left in holding cell

Government needs to clean up its act

Daniel Chong at a news conference where he discussed his detention by the DEA in San Diego. [AP Photo/U-T San Diego, K.C. Alfred]

Daniel Chong at a news conference where he discussed his detention by the DEA in San Diego. [AP Photo/U-T San Diego, K.C. Alfred]

A college student is arrested for smoking marijuana and is put in a 5- by 10-foot windowless room without food, water or toilet facilities, and forgotten for five days. [“DEA to pay $4.1M to man forgotten in holding cell,” News, July 31.]

He almost suffers kidney failure and is close to death from dehydration. The government pays and apologizes.

My question is this: If this is how we treat someone for smoking marijuana, how many more government agencies (local, state and national) have similar holding cells where the same thing can happen?

It makes us look like a Third World country. Maybe we need more whistle-blowers to try to keep the clean image America has always conveyed to the rest of the world.

Don Rogers, Camano Island

Comments | More in Politics | Topics: daniel chong, DEA, drug enforcement administration

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