A non-profit group affiliated with the Drug Enforcement Administration apologized on Monday after sending out a tweet commemorating the arrest of a Harlem drug dealer in recognition of Black History Month.
After receiving a torrent of criticism in response to the original tweet, the DEA Educational Foundation today clarified that the "focus of original tweet was to be invaluable hard work of African American DEA agents, not the target of the investigation," and issued an apology.
The original message struck a nerve as there is widespread agreement that the DEA's prosecution of the drug war, particularly in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, has had a disproportionate impact on black families and communities.
With the Justice Department and politicians from both political parties taking active steps to reduce racial disparities in drug sentencing, and many states taking steps to reduce penalties for drug possession or legalize the use of some drugs altogether, the DEA has, at times, appeared out of touch with public sentiment in recent years.
The DEA Educational Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial support to the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum here in Washington. Its Board of Directors is comprised mainly of former high-ranking DEA officials and special agents.