In what can only be described as a horrifying incident, a 25 year old engineering student at the University of California in San Diego was forgotten in a cell for 5 days last year after being caught up in a raid which occurred on April 21st.
The man – Daniel Chong – was arrested simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (the house he was visiting was believed to have been distributing ecstasy and other drugs); he was never officially charged, or even arrested, according to the DEA.
After being swept up in the raid, Chong – who was at the house because he went to a 4/20 party there the night before – was questioned at the DEA facility in San Diego, before being told that he was going to be released, Despite this, Chong was placed, and left, in a 5-by-10-foot windowless room. During this time he received no food, no water, and didn’t once have access to a bathroom.
During this terrible occurrence, Chong ended up resorting to consuming his own urine to survive; he carved the statement “Sorry, mom”, on his arm with a piece of glass when he felt he was going to do die.
5 days after initially being placed in the cell, Chong was found by DEA agents; he was found nearly dead, close to kidney failure, barely breathing and severely dehydrated. He subsequently spent 5 days in the hospital before being released. Although Chong has since recovered physically, he now suffers from severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
After this happened, Chong and his attorney Eugene Iredale filed a lawsuit against the DEA. This lawsuit has now officially ended in an out-of-court settlement; the DEA will pay Daniel Chong $4.1 million. Although this will surely help, this money does absolutely nothing to remove the pain and suffering this man went through because of pure incompetence.
This incident – and those like it – are further reasons for us to put an end to the DEA, and this ridiculous war on drugs, which allows the government to seize individuals, ruining their lives in the process, over a personal choice.