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How Police Profit by Seizing Private Property
Kingsport Times News ^ | April 12th, 2010

Posted on 04/12/2010 11:37:26 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Police and prosecutors’ offices seize private property—often without ever charging the owners with a crime — then keep or sell what they’ve taken and use the profits to fund their budgets. And considering law enforcement officials in most states don’t 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 crime—or even charged—to 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 report—Policing 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 Justice’s 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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: government; police; propertyrights

1 posted on 04/12/2010 11:37:26 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

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.


2 posted on 04/12/2010 11:42:12 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

with state and local tax revenues down, it will only get worse.


3 posted on 04/12/2010 11:44:46 PM PDT by RC one (WHAT!!!!)
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To: nickcarraway

It is a police state. You can’t do a thing about it. Except turn to anarchy.


4 posted on 04/12/2010 11:49:47 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (NEW TAG ====> **REPEAL OR REBEL!** -- Islam Delenda Est! -- Rumble thee forth)
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To: nickcarraway

Some of us recognized this dangerous trend for what it is and where it would go a decade or two ago.


5 posted on 04/12/2010 11:57:17 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: nickcarraway

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.


6 posted on 04/12/2010 11:58:07 PM PDT by rockhardo (Socialism creates its own hell.)
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To: nickcarraway

7 posted on 04/13/2010 12:02:46 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: nickcarraway

Police... City ... County ... State ... Federal Govt. ...

All PROFIT ( Gain Funds ) by regulating Freedom... Less Freedom ... More Money


8 posted on 04/13/2010 12:05:15 AM PDT by TexasTransplant (I don't mind liberals... I hate liars...there just tends to be a high degree of overlap)
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To: scott7278

Bookmarked.


9 posted on 04/13/2010 12:13:40 AM PDT by scott7278 ("...I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked." BHO)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

never talk to cops.


10 posted on 04/13/2010 12:23:13 AM PDT by max americana
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To: rockhardo

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.


11 posted on 04/13/2010 12:24:34 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: rockhardo

That sounds like San Antonio It used to be big business for the city PD.


12 posted on 04/13/2010 1:58:16 AM PDT by Sarajevo (You're jealous because the voices only talk to me.)
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To: max americana

Spot on, and I’m retired LE.


13 posted on 04/13/2010 2:09:49 AM PDT by chilltherats (First, kill all the lawyers (now that they ARE the tyrants).......)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
"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."

Why should physicians need to assume liability for something that would have been passed into law by governing assemblies??

14 posted on 04/13/2010 3:37:15 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: chilltherats

Ditto.


15 posted on 04/13/2010 3:40:40 AM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: nickcarraway; All

16 posted on 04/13/2010 3:45:01 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an Old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the trakball into America's Twilight...)
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To: SpaceBar
True, but back then it was just the druggies they were after, and you certainly couldn't argue with that. Now, 20 years later people are miffed because they might lose their stuff to the same laws. Too little, too late.
17 posted on 04/13/2010 3:48:07 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: backhoe

18 posted on 04/13/2010 3:55:09 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ("...a whip of political correctness strangles their voice"-Vaclav Klaus on GW skeptics)
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To: James C. Bennett

Good movie.


19 posted on 04/13/2010 4:34:58 AM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: Fresh Wind

Thanks- I couldn’t find that one quickly.


20 posted on 04/13/2010 4:50:51 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an Old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the trakball into America's Twilight...)
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To: nickcarraway

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.


21 posted on 04/13/2010 5:03:20 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten per cent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: backhoe

Give Pee Wee back his stuff.


22 posted on 04/13/2010 5:21:33 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: nickcarraway

Yeah, but it is done in the name of the War On Drugs, so it’s o.k.


23 posted on 04/13/2010 7:16:46 AM PDT by zeugma (Waco taught me everything I needed to know about the character of the U.S. Government.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
It is a police state. You can’t do a thing about it. Except turn to anarchy.

Don't confuse anarchy with patriotism.

24 posted on 04/13/2010 7:19:22 AM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: Fresh Wind

I really would like to have an original of that poster. It will be worth something someday.


25 posted on 04/13/2010 7:19:27 AM PDT by zeugma (Waco taught me everything I needed to know about the character of the U.S. Government.)
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To: jiggyboy

I haven’t even seen that yet.


26 posted on 04/13/2010 8:28:41 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: wally_bert

Indeed. What makes it poignant, is that it’s based on true events:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wineville_Chicken_Coop_Murders


27 posted on 04/13/2010 10:46:07 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: max americana

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865#

I’m sure you’ve watched this. I’m posting the link for those who might not have.


28 posted on 04/13/2010 10:47:10 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: chilltherats

Ping to #28.

Enjoy!


29 posted on 04/13/2010 10:48:43 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

I can’t play videos on this machine. Thanks, though.

Maybe you can tell me what’s on the video? Thx.


30 posted on 04/13/2010 2:44:19 PM PDT by chilltherats (First, kill all the lawyers (now that they ARE the tyrants).......)
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To: nickcarraway

“”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-.””

Bookmark


31 posted on 04/13/2010 2:48:45 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: chilltherats

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.


32 posted on 04/13/2010 11:56:15 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

Thank you.

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.


33 posted on 04/14/2010 1:07:34 AM PDT by chilltherats (First, kill all the lawyers (now that they ARE the tyrants).......)
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