“I saw many parents, who otherwise were law abiding citizens with good jobs, pulled into the criminal justice system.”
Titus Peterson served as a prosecutor for five years in the Colorado Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, under the Honorable Peter F. Michaelson. He began as a deputy district attorney and was eventually promoted to lead felony attorney for Clear Creek County, where he prosecuted all drug-related felonies as well as violent crimes.
From Titus’s view, the drug war often directly took resources away from violent crimes. “Because grants that go toward fighting the drug war put an excessive amount of limited resources toward investigating, indicting and prosecuting non-violent offenders, violent offenses and theft often go under-investigated and therefore the culprits are not prosecuted or indicted,” he says.
The saddest part of the drug war that he witnessed was children who were convinced to turn their parents in. He explains, “In order to have drug war grants renewed, police and prosecutors must show that they are utilizing the grant though indictments and convictions. Sadly, this often led to the practice of going into schools to convince children to turn their parents in. I saw many parents, who otherwise were law abiding citizens with good jobs, pulled into the criminal justice system. Some of these children who had been convinced to turn their parents in were taken out of their homes and placed in foster care. The result was that the children were used to get funding for law enforcement and then disposed of in a system that really did nothing to help their situation.”
A graduate of Skidmore College and the University of Colorado, Titus is now an attorney practicing personal injury, criminal law and international law. He is a former president of the Chamber of the Americas and a recipient of the Skip Boyd Chase Human Rights Award. He joined LEAP in 2012.