Dear Senators Marshall and Shaheen,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for S. 4858, the “Cooper Davis Act.”
The bill is named after 16 year-old Cooper Davis from Johnson County, Kansas. Cooper and three of his friends obtained what they believed was Percocet from a drug dealer who sold fake prescriptions using Snapchat. Each of the boys took half a pill, which proved to be fentanyl, and Cooper died.
Fentanyl is currently the most dangerous drug threat facing Americans. Between April 2021 and February 2022, approximately 100,000 Americans died, like Cooper did, from an overdose of fentanyl hidden in fake prescriptions or other drugs. Fentanyl trafficking in the United States is dominated by transnational criminal organizations which have established large, sophisticated distribution networks online through social media. Fatal overdoses and poisonings are growing fastest among 14–23-year-olds. Investigations into these deaths have found that this deadly drug is accessed through social media platforms like Meta, TikTok, and Snapchat. Currently, Federal agencies do not have reliable data on the presence of drug dealers on these platforms to intervene and prevent fentanyl’s availability.
The legislation you have introduced would require social media providers to report all suspected illicit drug activity occurring on their platforms to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This requirement, which is supported by the DEA, will provide additional information to assist law enforcement’s efforts to arrest, prosecute, and convict the drug dealers that are devastating so many of our communities.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you both for your leadership on this issue and we support this legislation. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.