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This Federal Program Lets Cops Seize Cash, Evade State Laws And Keep Over A Billion Dollars

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posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 10:12 PM
This article does a great job of explaining how asset forfeiture amounts to strong armed robbery.

John Yoder and Brad Cates, who headed the Asset Forfeiture Office at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1983 to 1989, slammed civil forfeiture as a “complete corruption” and “fundamentally at odds with our judicial system and notions of fairness,” in an op-ed for The Washington Post. Thanks to civil forfeiture laws, police and prosecutors don’t need to charge someone with a crime to seize and keep their property. Yoder and Cates “were heavily involved in the creation of the asset forfeiture initiative at the Justice Department,” they write, but after seeing civil forfeiture become a “gross perversion of the status of government amid a free citizenry,” the two now believe it should be “abolished.”

In order to seize cash, police typically pulled drivers over for minor traffic infractions. During the stop, police would look for “indicators” of suspicious, criminal activity. Tinted windows, air fresheners, trash in the car, “a profusion of energy drinks,” “a driver who is too talkative or too quiet” and signs of nervousness have all been considered indicators. For one Florida sheriff, “cars obeying the speed limit were suspect—their desire to avoid being stopped made them stand out.”

Police are sworn to protect the public, not to profiteer. “The police belong to the people,” remarked Stamper. “Not the other way around.”


posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 10:21 PM
Yes, it's finally getting attention in the mainstream. There are accounts on here dating back nearly half a decade that I can think of, but recently threads have been popping up left and right. It's amazing they got away with it for as long as they have. Especially the one office in Texas that kept a portion of the proceeds in that specific department or detachment, and they ended up with police corvettes or some other nonsense.

posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 01:16 AM
a reply to: AlaskanDad

If I am not mistaken you're talking about the RICO act. Asset Forfeiture was at issue in several cases trumped up in order to seize property. Before the citizen could blink he was gone and if they could afford it the lawsuit begins to get everything back. This has been going on for years. I think it was California that had several cases that made something like a 60 minutes program.

posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 01:22 AM
a reply to: AlaskanDad

from your article

For one Florida sheriff, “cars obeying the speed limit were suspect—their desire to avoid being stopped made them stand out.”

really a case of damned if you do and damned if you no matter what you do you stand cannot make this # up

the cops are become truly devious ...anything to make a quick buck in the name of promotion
edit on 1-10-2014 by hopenotfeariswhatweneed because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 09:23 AM
This is why cops are so hot on keeping the marijuana laws in place!

posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 09:47 AM
Police Officers in general do not see any of the money that is seized in the long run it might trickle back down but for the most part the amount that a department would receive if so small it makes no real difference

posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 09:50 AM
a reply to: AlaskanDad

How can Americans look themselves in the mirror, spout about being free and brave, then pass this on to their kids?

It's truly appalling.
edit on 1-10-2014 by InverseLookingGlass because: spelling

posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 10:03 AM
a reply to: InverseLookingGlass

Being an American is much more then being free and brave also I am sure that the things talked about in the post have and still due happen but always remember "don’t judge the all on the actions of a few"

posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 01:57 PM
a reply to: MaineAR

First you might want to read the article before commenting, secondly this is not an attack on the police but on the law that allows this misbehavior. Fix the laws so our police have to act in an ethical manner, do not make laws that protect those that do not, is that simple enough?

posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 03:39 PM
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Civil Forfeiture (HBO)
edit on 6-10-2014 by TheBandit795 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 05:36 PM

originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
a reply to: AlaskanDad

How can Americans look themselves in the mirror, spout about being free and brave, then pass this on to their kids?

It's truly appalling.

maybe you can point to someone that does that. I don't know anyone that has done this...but, you believe what you want to, because we Americans are just one big stereo type.
edit on 6-10-2014 by jimmyx because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 07:38 PM
a reply to: TheBandit795

That was GREAT.

Civil and criminal. Mind-boggling stuff. Just goes to show you what a racket law enforcement can be.

posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 07:49 PM
a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

Let's not forget that Cops are also trying to label those who want to form Cop Watch organizations and those who advocate filming police activity as 'domestic terrorists'.

As I have posted before, we are quickly reaching that critical point for the majority will not support and trust even the local LEOs. This has already happened long ago in many lower class communities throughout the US.

Truly Law Enforcement, their friends and family have become a special class in the US. A class that is essentially above the law.

posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 08:11 PM
a reply to: MaineAR

That is BS. The individual officers may not get money, but the department surely does. They buy new equipment, training, and hire more officers using the money they get. They get a certain percentage of the seized capital, even property is auctioned off and proceeds split up among the DA, Sheriff, and Federal Law Enforcement.

It has become the focus of many departments to get seizures, especially in agencies with a low budget in smaller towns. Once they start getting money coming in, new weapons, new body armor, new cars, new officers, the greed simply takes hold and they will do anything to get another seizure.

- There have been 61,998 cash seizures made on highways and elsewhere since 9/11 without search warrants or indictments through the Equitable Sharing Program, totaling more than $2.5 billion. State and local authorities kept more than $1.7 billion of that while Justice, Homeland Security and other federal agencies received $800 million. Half of the seizures were below $8,800.

- Only a sixth of the seizures were legally challenged, in part because of the costs of legal action against the government. But in 41 percent of cases — 4,455 — where there was a challenge, the government agreed to return money. The appeals process took more than a year in 40 percent of those cases and often required owners of the cash to sign agreements not to sue police over the seizures.

-Hundreds of state and local departments and drug task forces appear to rely on seized cash, despite a federal ban on the money to pay salaries or otherwise support budgets. The Post found that 298 departments and 210 task forces have seized the equivalent of 20 percent or more of their annual budgets since 2008.

-Agencies with police known to be participating in the Black Asphalt intelligence network have seen a 32 percent jump in seizures beginning in 2005, three times the rate of other police departments. Desert Snow-trained officers reported more than $427 million in cash seizures during highway stops in just one five-year period, according to company officials. More than 25,000 police have belonged to Black Asphalt, company officials said.

-State law enforcement officials in Iowa and Kansas prohibited the use of the Black Asphalt network because of concerns that it might not be a legal law enforcement tool. A federal prosecutor in Nebraska warned that Black Asphalt reports could violate laws governing civil liberties, the handling of sensitive law enforcement information and the disclosure of pretrial information to defendants. But officials at Justice and Homeland Security continued to use it.

Steven Peterson, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent who arranged highway interdiction training through a company called the 4:20 Group, said that patrol officers used to try to make their names with large drug busts. He said he saw that change when agency leaders realized that cash seizures could help their departments during lean times.

“They saw this as a way to provide equipment and training for their guys,” Peterson said. “If you seized large amounts of cash, that’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

Source - Washington Post

There is a lot more information out there and in the above article. To say they don't get hardly any money is just delusional.

edit on 6/10/14 by spirit_horse because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:50 PM
a reply to: jrod

i agree ...this path that is forming is fast becoming a slippery slope.....and because law enforcement no longer protects and serves they punish collect and enslave seems to have bolstered their "judge dredd" type beliefs ...

i am amazed when i watch shows like "cops" adults only version where the entire program is made up of stings on hookers and those who seek their services......which is just sad....and then couple the war on drugs into the scene and it paints a bleak future

posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:59 PM
If you buy a new car and pay $10,000 down or more, it gets you on a suspect list. As an example, someone buys a new car with $10,000 down. The auto dealer is required to report the amount to the authorities.

You buy the car, take off down the street and notice numerous Police driving by eyeing it. They stop you and claim you bought it with drug money and confiscate it for sale by the department.

Now you have to hire an attorney, go to court and prove that it wasn't bought with drug money. All the while, the car has been sitting in an impound lot for months.

It happens.
edit on 6-10-2014 by eManym because: (no reason given)

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