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Police to innocent mom: "Give us all your money or we'll take your children away!"

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posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 10:38 AM
This is an article in the New Yorker Magazine reporting how many police the story in question, the police department of Linden, Texas...steal lawful assets from innocent people by abusing a clause known as a civil asset forfeiture. It essentially means that when someone commits a crime, their assets may be siezed for police consumption...but it is currently being abused to the point where assets are being siezed simply because the police suspected a crime. When no evidence is available, the police resort to outright blackmail to take it away. Here is the story of Jennifer Boatright-

n a bright Thursday afternoon in 2007, Jennifer Boatright, a waitress at a Houston bar-and-grill, drove with her two young sons and her boyfriend, Ron Henderson, on U.S. 59 toward Linden, Henderson’s home town, near the Texas-Louisiana border. They made the trip every April, at the first signs of spring, to walk the local wildflower trails and spend time with Henderson’s father. This year, they’d decided to buy a used car in Linden, which had plenty for sale, and so they bundled their cash savings in their car’s center console. Just after dusk, they passed a sign that read “Welcome to Tenaha: A little town with BIG Potential!”

They pulled into a mini-mart for snacks. When they returned to the highway ten minutes later, Boatright, a honey-blond “Texas redneck from Lubbock,” by her own reckoning, and Henderson, who is Latino, noticed something strange. The same police car that their eleven-year-old had admired in the mini-mart parking lot was trailing them. Near the city limits, a tall, bull-shouldered officer named Barry Washington pulled them over.

He asked if Henderson knew that he’d been driving in the left lane for more than half a mile without passing.

No, Henderson replied. He said he’d moved into the left lane so that the police car could make its way onto the highway.

Were there any drugs in the car? When Henderson and Boatright said no, the officer asked if he and his partner could search the car.

The officers found the couple’s cash and a marbled-glass pipe that Boatright said was a gift for her sister-in-law, and escorted them across town to the police station. In a corner there, two tables were heaped with jewelry, DVD players, cell phones, and the like. According to the police report, Boatright and Henderson fit the profile of drug couriers: they were driving from Houston, “a known point for distribution of illegal narcotics,” to Linden, “a known place to receive illegal narcotics.” The report describes their children as possible decoys, meant to distract police as the couple breezed down the road, smoking marijuana. (None was found in the car, although Washington claimed to have smelled it.)

The county’s district attorney, a fifty-seven-year-old woman with feathered Charlie’s Angels hair named Lynda K. Russell, arrived an hour later. Russell, who moonlighted locally as a country singer, told Henderson and Boatright that they had two options. They could face felony charges for “money laundering” and “child endangerment,” in which case they would go to jail and their children would be handed over to foster care. Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha, and get back on the road. “No criminal charges shall be filed,” a waiver she drafted read, “and our children shall not be turned over to CPS,” or Child Protective Services.

“Where are we?” Boatright remembers thinking. “Is this some kind of foreign country, where they’re selling people’s kids off?” Holding her sixteen-month-old on her hip, she broke down in tears.

This isn't coming from some antiestablishment crackpot like Alex Jones; this is from The New Yorker (full article may be read HERE). I try to support our local police, but I'm sorry, this is outright STEALING that's no different from holding a gun to someone's head and mugging them. The police are all but admitting all they care about is the cash because despite the police intending to charge these supposed criminals, they'll still let them go if they give up all their money.

Anyone from Texas here who'd like to put their two cents in on this?

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 11:09 AM
Rather similar to this story:

Judge Orders $1 Million Returned to Exotic Dancer

State troopers confiscated the money in March 2012 when they pulled over Rajesh and Marina Dheri, of Montville, N.J., for speeding in Nebraska, according to court documents. The Dheris are friends of Mishra and had been given the cash so they could buy a nightclub in New Jersey.

When they were pulled over for speeding, a state trooper asked the Dheris if he could search their vehicle, which they allowed, Bataillon explained. The state trooper found the money and after suspecting it was drug money took the Dheris into custody, according to the judge's opinion. But police did not find any evidence of drug activity in the car

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 11:23 AM
Personally, I avoid going through Tenaha, especially when I am headed to the casinos. I got through page 8 of the article and by then, I was just too irate to continue. I just about had it with all this corruption on the working class. Legislators don't change the laws because they benefit. Lawyers don't get involved because they benefit. Judges benefits...police benefits....Just an extra tax that doesn't have to be accounted for.

That is what makes this whole thing even that more pathetic. Because I know there are some dang good people who are fully aware of this scam and rather keep their mouth shut instead of doing the right thing and putting an end to this corruption. If you are a cop and get a bonus for seizure, you going to tell me that all of those seizures came from the bad guys. Since when did carrying an excess amount of money makes somebody a drug dealer?

All cops, all cop vehicles should have a 360 degree camera installed with quality picture and audio.


posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 11:23 AM
This this their job, where did you get the idea that they are there to support you, help you? They only do this if it is good PR - they are under no obligation to do so at all, legal or otherwise. They are the king's tax collectors, and you are the slaves they collect from.

Change the title of the article to: Kings Tax Collectors May Have Gone A Little To Far. Now what is your response?

The policy enforcement agencies work to protect the ASSETS of the city that hires them, as well as collect taxes. They are subcontractors hired by the corporation called City X, and their job is not to HELP you at all. The subcontractor hires the least intelligent, least moral, most economically desperate to work for them - why do this? They are trained in helping people, they are trained in: guns, tasers, pepper spray, hand to hand, billy clubs, gang fighting, handcuffs and they are NOT versed in law. They have PR firms that scream their job is hell, in order to get as much money as they can for the company - never once pointing out that their way of doing the job they are doing is by definition combative, and creating the hell they use to get more money.

They see you, the civilian, as a target, either for money, jail, or death.

Now, reread the article, notice the outrage leave once you know what is really going on.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 11:32 AM
Good OP! I hate civil forfeiture laws. They started with SOME tiny scraps of logic in the 80's for going after the biggest of the scumbags in international contraband markets of all kinds. That DID make some sense. Then, they discovered crime fighting could be DIRECTLY profitable. (facepalm) That would be about the time I think American Law Enforcement took a nose dive and pretty well sold out to the greed they had been assembled to fight.

It's been a sad thing to watch the steady fall of law in our country, in no small part due to THIS aspect of things, IMO. When the people enforcing the law started directly benefiting by it in dividing up seizure assets to their department's own use? The WHOLE face of law enforcement changed forever. This was the worst thing to ever happen.

YOU are innocent until proven guilty. The Constitution says so...for now. Your money and assets are guilty until proven innocent says civil forfeiture statutes.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 11:42 AM
The couple screwed up by not asking for a lawyer. If I was faced with a similar situation, I'd immediately tell the police to get my lawyer there before I said anything or agreed to anything. These extortion tactics are used by these aholes on people who don't know their rights.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 11:42 AM
I've no use for police. They are under zero obligation to protect you. They are there to protect city property and collect revenue. I have not had many situations to deal directly with them, but when I have the experience is less than comforting. One recent experience was the final straw.

I noticed an injured dog walking through my neighborhood in the dead of winter. He looked well fed and I assumed he had simply gotten off of his leash. Fearful that he had suffered a critical injury, or would succumb to below freezing temperatures, I retrieved the dog and called city hall. Being a Sunday, the city hall phones were forwarded to the police non-emergency desk.

It turned out the animal warden has weekends off. So, I requested an officer pick up the dog and place him in the city kennel. What happened next is simply astonishing. I was told, "No, our officers don't do that." So I offered to bring the dog down if someone could meet me to place the dog in the city kennel. The response, "We don't do that either." I indicated that I could not keep the animal and asked what I should do and was met with, "Well, you shouldn't have got involved. If you release the dog you will be arrested and charged with the release of a menacing animal; a charge of up to 30 days in jail and up to $5,000." So I offered to keep the dog in the garage overnight until the animal warden came in and was told, "You do that and we will charge you with animal abuse; a charge of up to 3 months in jail and $10,000." So, basically left with no other option, I offered to keep the dog in my house until morning. The response, "Be aware that you can be charged for theft."

WTF!?!? There was nothing helpful offered from our "Civil servants" except to be repeatedy told what I'd be charged with and how much it was cost just for doing the right thing and being a good citizen. Needless to say, I haven't bothered with the police since then.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by GoodOlDave

This has been an issue for some time.

Civil Forfeiture Laws And The Continued Assault On Private Property.

...many states shift the burden of proof from the state to the owner to prove that he or she is innocent of the crime in forfeiture cases. In other words, with civil forfeiture, property owners are effectively guilty until proven innocent.

The following video is 4 years old and its only gotten worse:

edit on 5-8-2013 by gladtobehere because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by Krazysh0t

These extortion tactics are used by these aholes on people who don't know their rights.

Some people do know their rights. But they also know that when the legal system wants to nail you, it will.


posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 12:17 PM
Yea, you could go read the Texas constitution and our national constitution and decide whether you think its ok.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 12:18 PM
The first mistake they made was allowing the police to search their vehicle. If they would have known their rights, and more importantly, asserted them, this may not have happened. Also, if they would have called their bluff and took option A, it would have worked out for them, but instead they caved into the intimidation. Having said all of that, this story gives me yet another reason to hate cops.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 12:26 PM
reply to post by GoodOlDave

Here is a very similar one from the Pennsylvania State police....

Police said they seized $22,000 from a minivan that had been stopped for traffic violations at 7:08 p.m. Wednesday on Interstate 80 eastbound in Wolf Creek Township, police said. Police said there were indicators of criminal activity but did not say what they were. The driver was identified as a 37-year-old man from Hamtrmck, Mich., but his name was not disclosed, and there was no mention of whether charges had been filed.


Notice how charges weren't filed and all they had was "indicators of criminal activity"?

This crime of criminal activity by our police is much more common than people think.....

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 12:54 PM
I've heard more and more stories about this coming out of Texas. Basically, if you're stopped by police and they find any amount of cash, they will basically seize it under the flimsiest of excuses and nothing you can do about it.

Rule #1 - if you're driving through TX, don't take any money with you, just bank and credit cards only.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 01:21 PM
This happened in Wisconsin last year as well. The story is a little different but the end result is the same.

Under Asset Forfeiture Law, Wisconsin Cops Confiscate Families' Bail Money

"The police specifically told us to bring cash," Greer says. "Not a cashier's check or a credit card. They said cash." So Greer and her family visited a series of ATMs, and on March 1, she brought the money to the jail, thinking she'd be taking Joel Greer home. But she left without her money, or her son. Instead jail officials called in the same Drug Task Force that arrested Greer. A drug-sniffing dog inspected the Greers' cash, and about a half-hour later, Beverly Greer said, a police officer told her the dog had alerted to the presence of narcotics on the bills -- and that the police department would be confiscating the bail money.

I think its common knowledge that most money contains traces of narcotics. Crazy world we live it.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 01:22 PM
As a mom I understand why they would just choose to give up the money and then continue on their way.

I have never had a problem with cops personally but I read these types of scary stories all the time and frankly this kind of behavior by cops and the like has driven me to seriously think about investing in portable spy cameras.
They are not too cheap but still affordable, fit right onto your dashboard or your front door, or even your top button of your shirt. I think if more people starting catching these bad cops they would start thinking twice about acting above the law. Because right now it sounds like it is their words against the cops and when it comes down to it the cops are "always" in the right.....unless you got proof otherwise.

There are good cops still out there and they are getting a bad name from cops like this.

Texas doesn't sound like the utopia they kept claiming it was, jeez making NY look like the better state to live is mighty hard to do.

edit on 5-8-2013 by brandiwine14 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 02:03 PM
Excellent article Dave. Worth the read! I had some notion of civil forfeiture laws being abused around the country but had no idea it was so endemic or applied with complete denial of circumstance. Trying to throw old people dying of cancer out of their homes is going way too far. I can understand cops initial suspicion upon finding large amounts of cash but lacking any evidence of criminal activity they have no right to help themselves to private property.

Just more terrible results from America's "wars' on everything; drugs, terror, poverty - you name it we have a war against it. That kind of mentality permits these abuses and more, portraying everything as some kind of life and death struggle. Madison avenue meets law enforcement. This is overselling in the extreme.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 03:00 PM

Originally posted by Asktheanimals
Excellent article Dave. Worth the read! I had some notion of civil forfeiture laws being abused around the country but had no idea it was so endemic or applied with complete denial of circumstance. Trying to throw old people dying of cancer out of their homes is going way too far. I can understand cops initial suspicion upon finding large amounts of cash but lacking any evidence of criminal activity they have no right to help themselves to private property.

Just more terrible results from America's "wars' on everything; drugs, terror, poverty - you name it we have a war against it. That kind of mentality permits these abuses and more, portraying everything as some kind of life and death struggle. Madison avenue meets law enforcement. This is overselling in the extreme.

What made my blood boil wasn't even the outright abuse of civil forfeiture laws, but by just how unrepentently open they are in stealing...yes, STEALING...people's money:

“We all know the way things are right now—budgets are tight,” Steve Westbrook, the executive director of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas, says. “It’s definitely a valuable asset to law enforcement, for purchasing equipment and getting things you normally wouldn’t be able to get to fight crime.” Many officers contend that their departments would collapse if the practice were too heavily regulated, and that a valuable public-safety measure would be lost.

Not to mention the response they give to people complaining about it is outright racketeering-

When Jennifer Boatright and Ron Henderson complained to the county in the hope of retrieving their savings, they got another surprise. Lynda Russell, the district attorney, told them she had warned “repeatedly” that they did not have to sign the waiver, but, if they continued to contest it, they could be indicted on felony charges. “I will contact you and give you an opportunity to turn yourself in without having an officer come to your door,” she wrote in a letter mentioning the prospect of a grand jury. Once again, their custody of the kids was threatened.

The article specifically says the people who are disproportionately mugged...yes, them are blacks and hispanics. Where the hell is that phony Al Sharpton when people genuinely need him? Well, yeah, we know where he is; Al Sharpton only cares about cases that he can use to make himself look good; but you get the point.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 03:14 PM
Law enforcement officers are in no way there to help you with anything. They are the enforcers of the power elite, given free reign to take as they please in return for compliant enforcement of the unjust laws of society. Even the few officers with good intentions are forced into unjust actions of quotas, asset forfeiture, and forcibly quieting any action against the ruling class.

Where are the honorable men and women who should be there to serve our greater good? Where can we find honor in this country of charlatans? It's as if the good heart of man barely exists any more, and where it does, it is trampled underfoot. Our world is a dark, dark place.

Best advice: keep your head low and out of the way. Same thing people did when there were still tyrannical kings and emperors. If the kings men demand tribute, give them tribute. Some things never really change.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 03:20 PM
well real everyday people tend to call that robbery and the cops do it all the time with zero checks and balances in place to stop them, when enough good people get off their asses and say enough, it will change, until then we must await the growth of awake people.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 03:47 PM
I have a friend who had this done to him. He is a horse dealer. Was pulled over with a pickup pulling a trailer full of horses and $100k. The placard on the side said "Horse Trader."

They took all his money.

It took a lawyer a year to get it back. The lawyer "earned" more than half of it.

Don't forget the lawyers. None of the drama would be possible without their fine acting skills.

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