Every time I think I have heard it all when it comes to the abuse of power by Police and the "Justice" system in America...along comes another mind
Under a process called "Civil Forfeiture", apparently, the State has the right to seize property that it has "probable cause" to believe is
somehow involved with an illegal drug transaction.
In the case highlighted in the linked-to video, a couple's son was arrested for possession of $40 worth of heroin...which Police said they believed
was for the purposes of distribution (I am not up on the street value of heroin, but that seems like a pretty tiny amount of heroin "inventory").
The Police filed a lawsuit against the kid's parents house - and literally threw his mother, father and two sisters out on the street with no notice.
They screwed all of the doors and windows shut and turned off all of the utilities...while taunting the parents that the house was now theirs, and
they were going to take sledge hammers to the home.
These people had never been charged with a crime in their lives (and still haven't been), but here was the State throwing them out on the street for
a mistake their son made.
That's bad enough, but their only course of appeal of this "without due process" seizure was to the very office that had taken their home from
them! The Prosecutors Office took their house...and they had to appeal (not to a judge but) to the Prosecutors Office to try to get it back.
Good luck with that...especially since the proceeds from this city-wide seizure "program" for the most part go directly into a pot for salaries
for...Prosecutors and Police. Conflict of interest anyone?
Over 10 years, Philadelphia has seized more than 1,000 homes generating over $60 million in revenue for the City...in 2011 alone, they filed over
6,500 petitions for Civil Forfeiture.
I wonder what this gentleman (by the sounds of his accent, an immigrant from Greece) thinks of the American dream now...