By Antonia Noori Farzan | Phoenix New Times
Terry Blevins still remembers when, as a new patrol officer for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in the 1980s, he pulled over a young African-American man dressed “in a preppy sweater” on Bell Road.
His training officer told him to search the man’s car, and he ended up finding half a joint in the ashtray.
“I will never forget, as I leaned the young man over the hood of the patrol car and put the handcuffs on him — I could see tears running down his face,” Blevins, who now advocates for drug reform on behalf of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, recalls.
“He told me that he was heading to an Ivy League school in the fall with a full scholarship — and I knew that it was true, that it would be a felony risk.”