On this day 23-years ago, former D.C. mayor and current D.C. Council member for the city's eighth ward Marion Barry was arrested for possession of crack cocaine in an FBI sting operation at a Ramada Inn. During the incident, Barry was videotaped smoking crack with ex-girlfriend Rasheeda Moore, who was working with the bureau.
In an interview with U.S. News, Barry said the fact that the FBI brought paramedics with them suggests that they were targeting him for something far more serious than a drug bust:
"The FBI had a mind to entrap me, also the FBI tried to kill me by having some substance that wasn't proven to be crack," Barry told U.S. News in a phone interview.
"They had an EMT on the spot, which is not only unusual but rare in history of the FBI," Barry noted as he offered evidence to support his claim that the FBI attempted to kill him. “Why would they have an EMT on the scene if they weren’t trying?”
The 76-year-old Barry claims that the FBI was trying to get him to smoke a substance that was as potent as 90 percent pure cocaine, and a chemist present at Barry's trial testified that the substance was actually 93 percent pure cocaine.
The FBI told the U.S. News that paramedics were present for Barry, should he need them: "The purpose of the medical standby was to provide potential medical attention to Marion Barry should his criminal activities require it."
Barry, who was in his third term, was sentenced to six months in prison. After being released in 1992, he decided to run for mayor again in 1994. He was re-elected, and is still adored in D.C.