Skip to comments.How Police Profit by Seizing Private Property
Posted on 04/12/2010 11:37:26 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Police and prosecutors offices seize private propertyoften without ever charging the owners with a crime then keep or sell what theyve taken and use the profits to fund their budgets. And considering law enforcement officials in most states dont report the value of what they collect or how that bounty is spent, the issue raises serious questions about both government transparency and accountability.
Under state and federal civil asset forfeiture laws, law enforcement agencies can seize and keep property suspected of involvement in criminal activity. Unlike criminal asset forfeiture, however, with civil forfeiture, a property owner need not be found guilty of a crimeor even chargedto permanently lose her cash, car, home or other property.
According to the Institute for Justice civil asset forfeiture is one of the worst abuses of property rights today. The Institute has released a national study on civil forfeiture abuse. The reportPolicing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture - is the most comprehensive national study to examine the use and abuse of civil asset forfeiture and the first study to grade the civil forfeiture laws of all 50 states and the federal government. The report finds that by giving law enforcement a direct financial incentive in pursuing forfeitures and stacking the legal deck against property owners, most state and federal laws encourage policing for profit rather than seeking the neutral administration of justice. (For additional resources on this report, visit: http://www.ij.org/PolicingForProfit. For a brief video on this topic, visit: www.ij.org/Forfeiture.)
The problem is growing. For example, in 2008, for the first time in its history, the Department of Justices forfeiture fund topped $1 billion in assets taken from property owners and now available to law enforcement. State data reveal that state and local law enforcement also use forfeiture extensively: From 2001 to 2002, currency forfeitures alone in just nine states totaled more than $70 million. Considering this measure excludes cars and other forfeited property as well as forfeiture estimates from many states for which data were unreliable or that did not make data available for those years, this already-large figure represents just the tip of the forfeiture iceberg.
Read the full report at the Institute for Justice Web site
It was even worse than this until (IIRC) the late congressman Henry Hyde sponsored a bill, passed into law, that most seizures must meet the highest evidentiary standard supported by civil law or else they will be annulled in court.
with state and local tax revenues down, it will only get worse.
It is a police state. You can’t do a thing about it. Except turn to anarchy.
Some of us recognized this dangerous trend for what it is and where it would go a decade or two ago.
The War On Drugs is way a great way for police to get all kinds of seized goodies. In ______, a City employee would give tours of the evidence warehouses to other employees to pick and choose merchandise. The vice cops use confiscated cars to patrol undercover. All of the stuff is taken from people who have not yet been convicted of anything. Prohibition corrupts the entire system and gets in the way of managing serious crimes.
Police... City ... County ... State ... Federal Govt. ...
All PROFIT ( Gain Funds ) by regulating Freedom... Less Freedom ... More Money
never talk to cops.
As the economy suffers and times get harder, more people turn to escapism in self administered street drugs. It’s estimated that only 10% of street drug imports are caught but it’s difficult to blame governments for not ignoring the cash cow of red handed dealer busts. There’s certainly enough of them.
Personally (it’s been on my freep page for years) I would be willing to permit physicians to administer anything for medical purposes as long as the physicians are willing to assume liability for any resulting harm. That would probably result in more existing addictions being humanely managed, and less worry about moot issues like getting the terminally ill hooked. This does not translate to a blind eye for street pushers.
That sounds like San Antonio It used to be big business for the city PD.
Spot on, and I’m retired LE.
Why should physicians need to assume liability for something that would have been passed into law by governing assemblies??
Thanks- I couldn’t find that one quickly.
I’m seeing more tow trucks accompanying CHP cruisers along major highways in Silicon Valley than ever. They’re looking for cars with expired plates, which means lots of fees split between the towing company and the CHP.
Give Pee Wee back his stuff.
Yeah, but it is done in the name of the War On Drugs, so it’s o.k.
Don't confuse anarchy with patriotism.
I really would like to have an original of that poster. It will be worth something someday.
I haven’t even seen that yet.
Indeed. What makes it poignant, is that it’s based on true events:
I’m sure you’ve watched this. I’m posting the link for those who might not have.
Ping to #28.
I can’t play videos on this machine. Thanks, though.
Maybe you can tell me what’s on the video? Thx.
“”The lowest-graded states overall, combining both poor laws and aggressive use of equitable sharing, are Georgia, Michigan, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Each received overall grades of D-.””
It’s about what you said. It’s an entire lecture by a lawyer and a police chief, explaining the legal provisions that keep an accused at the best advantage, by not talking to the police.
It is an excellent lecture, and I insist you save the link and watch the entire video, whenever possible. It is extremely educational.
I will indeed save the link. If we ever find the restore disk for the new computer we can put this 10 yr. old POS back in moth balls.