Skip to comments.Highway Robbery? Texas Police Seize Black Motorists' Cash, Cars
Posted on 03/09/2009 10:18:56 PM PDT by nickcarraway
You can drive into this dusty fleck of a town near the Texas-Louisiana border if you're African-American, but you might not be able to drive out of itat least not with your car, your cash, your jewelry or other valuables.
That's because the police here allegedly have found a way to strip motorists, many of them black, of their property without ever charging them with a crime. Instead they offer out-of-towners a grim choice: voluntarily sign over your belongings to the town, or face felony charges of money laundering or other serious crimes.
More than 140 people reluctantly accepted that deal from June 2006 to June 2008, according to court records. Among them were a black grandmother from Akron, who surrendered $4,000 in cash after Tenaha police pulled her over, and an interracial couple from Houston, who gave up more than $6,000 after police threatened to seize their children and put them into foster care, the court documents show. Neither the grandmother nor the couple were charged with any crime.
Officials in Tenaha, situated along a heavily traveled highway connecting Houston with popular gambling destinations in Louisiana, say they are engaged in a battle against drug trafficking and call the search-and-seizure practice a legitimate use of the state's asset-forfeiture law. That law permits local police agencies to keep drug money and other property used in the commission of a crime and add the proceeds to their budgets.
"We try to enforce the law here," said George Bowers, mayor of the town of 1,046 residents, where boarded-up businesses outnumber open ones and City Hall sports a broken window. "We're not doing this to raise money. That's all I'm going to say at this point."
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
police highway robbery ping
The title just might be a little misleading, since the text of the article states that “many” of the motorists are black.
How many of the 140 were black?
On the other hand, it's also sad that there's also too many black neighborhoods where a white person has a great chance of losing his property and well-being without being charged with a crime. A little media even-handedness and outrage at ALL systematic denials of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would be welcome.
As it turns out, the route in question is not the main traffic corridor to the LA casinos, but instead one that stretches out into the middle of nowhere.
And in the one example the reporter actually lists, that poor woman ostensibly targeted for her interracial family was actually driving in the wrong lane with a crack pipe and $6k in cash for the “used car” she said she was going to buy.
Alright, so, the lesson here is, if we’re “going Galt,” let’s all make sure not to keep too much cash on hand while we’re on the move. ;-)
Sadly, our current president's policies take away the wealth of predominently white citizens, and give a few scraps to predominently black citizens.
This makes my blood boil. We really need reform in all this seizure crap.
Jennifer Boatright, her husband and two young childrena mixed-race familywere traveling from Houston to visit relatives in east Texas in April 2007 when Tenaha police pulled them over, alleging that they were driving in a left-turn lane.
After searching the car, the officers discovered what Boatright said was a gift for her sister: a small, unused glass pipe made for smoking marijuana. Although they found no drugs or other contraband, the police seized $6,037 that Boatright said the family was carrying to purchase a used carand then threatened to turn their children, ages 10 and 1, over to Child Protective Services if the couple didn’t agree to sign over their right to their cash.
“It was give them the money or they were taking our kids,” Boatright said. “They suggested that we never bring it up again. We figured we better give them our cash and get the hell out of there.”
Several months later, after Boatright and her husband contacted an attorney, Tenaha officials returned their money but offered no explanation or apology. The couple remain plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit.
Reminds me of my visit to a small Texas city. They hit us with a ridiculous traffic ticket for going 1 over. Yes, one mile over the speed limit. 66 in a 65 zone.
When my friend, a lawyer, wanted to fight the ticket, he was told that he would have to return in 90 days for an initial court appearance. Then they would schedule the trial.
He checked and found that there was no reciprocity with Texas. So, they didn’t get their money and he just won’t go back to Texas.
Sounds like a poor economic model to me. Creating is ALWAYS more profitable than stealing.
If you make money, Obama’s philosophy will tax you dry without respect to race, religion or national origin. The far left tax collection policy wants to grab Lebron James’s money as much as anybody else.
Radiator Springs' evil twin, I guess.
I am sick of this whole business. What about the other 157 motorists? What color were they?
Tickets are the only way small Texas towns can reliably come with operating funds. ;)
Oh yeah, $6,000 fines are appropriate for driving in the wrong lane.
Frankly, these people need to see these two videos.
Actually, EVERYONE should see them.
The wrong way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaCe6nQUX5c
The right way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDJrQBwJpqk
It’s that old media lack of an even hand.
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