Seizure Fever: Proof is for Suckers


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publius
August 21, 2006, 11:24 AM
Suspicion is good enough for drug warriors (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/northern_california/15310257.htm).

Court rules 2003 money seizure correct despite no drugs found
CHUCK BROWN
Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. - Authorities were correct to assume nearly $125,000 they seized from a California man's car during a traffic stop may have been connected to narcotics trafficking, despite finding no drugs in the vehicle, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The ruling from the three-judge panel overturned an earlier decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Thalken in Nebraska in the case of Emiliano Gomez Gonzolez. A state trooper stopped Gonzolez for speeding on Interstate 80 on May 28, 2003.

Gonzolez's lawyer, Donald Yates of San Diego, said they would appeal the ruling. He said the government is treating unfairly people who don't have credit or bank accounts and are forced to do business in cash.

"They do not allow for anybody to have a lifestyle different from the average person in Nebraska," Yates said.

Gonzolez was driving a car that he told officers had been rented by a man named "Luis." Gonzolez also said he had never been arrested and that he was not carrying drugs, guns or large amounts of money.

After Gonzolez consented, the car was searched and $124,700 in cash was found in a cooler in the back seat. Authorities also learned that Gonzolez had once been arrested for driving while intoxicated and that the person registered as having rented the car was not named "Luis."

A drug dog later detected the scent of narcotics on the money and seat where the money was found.

Gonzolez testified that he lied about having the money because he believed that carrying large sums of money might be illegal. He said he secreted it inside the cooler because he feared it could be stolen while he was on the road.

He planned on using the money to buy a refrigerated truck in Chicago, Gonzolez said, but after arriving there by airplane from California he learned the truck had been sold. He decided to rent a car and drive back to California but needed someone else to rent the car because he had no credit card, he said.

Gonzolez also said he didn't tell officers about his previous arrest because he didn't think driving while intoxicated was a crime.

A federal judge in Nebraska said the evidence was not strong enough to link the money to drug trafficking, but the 8th Circuit Court on Thursday disagreed.

"We believe that the evidence as a whole demonstrates ... that there was a substantial connection between the currency and a drug trafficking offense," the court wrote. "We have adopted the commonsense view that bundling and concealment of large amounts of currency, combined with other suspicious circumstances, supports a connection between money and drug trafficking."

In dissent, Judge Donald Lay said the evidence provided was not enough to conclude the money was used in drug trafficking.

"At most, the evidence presented suggests the money seized may have been involved in some illegal activity - activity that is incapable of being ascertained on the record before us," Lay wrote. "Finally, the mere fact that the canine alerted officers to the presence of drug residue in a rental car, no doubt driven by dozens, perhaps scores, of patrons during the course of a given year, coupled with the fact that the alert came from the same location where the currency was discovered, does little to connect the money to a controlled substance offense."

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ilbob
August 21, 2006, 11:41 AM
The problem with these civil seizures is that the thieves get to decide whether they can keep the money. You can litigate it in court, but the chances are you will spend as much in legal fees as you ever get back. Your chances of getting a fair hearing in such a matter is ZERO.

geekWithA.45
August 21, 2006, 12:43 PM
Gah.

For starters, if you're transporting that much money, YOU BETTER CONCEAL IT if you want to keep it.

Next, IIRC, back in the 80's, they found that something like 8/10 bills had some detectable quantities of coke residue on them.

That whole mess is going to need to be cleaned up sooner or later.

It's not acceptable as is.

Justin
August 21, 2006, 01:06 PM
I ♥ The War on Drugs.

benEzra
August 21, 2006, 01:14 PM
if you're transporting that much money, YOU BETTER CONCEAL IT if you want to keep it.
It was concealed.

Parker Dean
August 21, 2006, 02:10 PM
Based on the article it appears the guy was being evasive, which likely means the cash was for illegal purposes, so I agree with the outcome on this one.

FWIW, I don't care for the potential for abuse that seizure laws allow. The appearance of impropriety is just too great, even when perfectly justified under the law. Seized items need to go to something other than government entities to take away the stench of corruption.

mike101
August 21, 2006, 02:45 PM
Doesn't the prosecution have to PROVE their case anymore?:barf: :fire: Another case of civil liberties being stomped on.

roo_ster
August 21, 2006, 02:54 PM
I find it interesting how .gov is finding ways around protections provided by COTUS by going the civil route: asset forfiture and red light cameras being two of the better known outrages.

FreedomKommando
August 21, 2006, 03:29 PM
Based on the article it appears the guy was being evasive, which likely means the cash was for illegal purposes, so I agree with the outcome on this one.

When did evasiveness become a crime punishable by what amounts to a $124,700 fine?

Gonzolez testified that he lied about having the money because he believed that carrying large sums of money might be illegal.

Turns out he was, in essence, right. Unauthorized possession of "too much" cash has become a crime.

He said he secreted it inside the cooler because he feared it could be stolen while he was on the road.

Turns out that Gonzolez' fears proved correct. In the end, thieves took his money.

*****

Constitution of the United States of America
Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Bill of Rights, RIP. :(

DKSuddeth
August 21, 2006, 03:34 PM
"We believe that the evidence as a whole demonstrates ... that there was a substantial connection between the currency and a drug trafficking offense," the court wrote. "We have adopted the commonsense view that bundling and concealment of large amounts of currency, combined with other suspicious circumstances, supports a connection between money and drug trafficking."
so now everybody who lives in the jurisdiction of the 8th circuit and carries large amounts of cash are automatically suspected of connections to drug trafficking. yippy ki yay!!!

CTD99
August 21, 2006, 04:01 PM
I deal with large sums of cash everyday. In fact the auctions I go to insist on cash or cashier's check for 10% of the purchase price. Unless you know what the purchase price is how are you gonna have a cashier's check for that amount? The auctions are held on the court house steps and I've been doing it for 15 years. I have to go through security to get there, and never been questioned. Sounds like racial profiling to me.

If they found no drugs there is no crime.

Only in Nebraska. :banghead:

Car Knocker
August 21, 2006, 04:06 PM
It shall certainly be interesting to see what "other suspicious circumstances" devolves into. I've seen where some LEO's consider driving cautiously to be suspicious and I've no doubt that carrying or transporting a firearm, let alone several, can be considered suspicious. We all know that having a coffee can in your vehicle is certainly considered to be suspicious by some.

Now that this slippery slope is getting steeper, the erosion of rights is keeping pace.

mike101
August 21, 2006, 04:16 PM
I'd like to let a drug sniffing dog loose in any bank vault, in any city in this country, and see how much "drug money" they find. Do you mean to tell me his lawyer couldn't beat this?

Harley Quinn
August 21, 2006, 04:18 PM
I would think to get it back, all he has to do is to show where he got it.
His lawyer did'nt/wasn't able, obvioulsy, now he has that bill. Plus to file the appeal. He is definitly between a rock and a hard spot.

Or, was it an attorney supplied by the county, because he could not afford one? Now that all his money is gone.
LOL...

Allowing them to search your car is a mistake. Don't allow it. He felt that because it was out of sight he was safe.

There might have been an informant, they just did it like that. IMHO

This has been overturned by a 3 judge panel. His lawyer did beat it originally.

HQ:)

Augustwest
August 21, 2006, 04:48 PM
...the commonsense view...

*shudder*

Who knew a few years ago that "common sense" would be so Orwellian?

Liberal Gun Nut
August 21, 2006, 04:50 PM
The lesson here:

Listen to Nancy Reagan! When they ask if they can search your car, "Just say no".

The War on Drugs is a war on YOU!

El Tejon
August 21, 2006, 04:58 PM
At least a war on my freedom. Guess I better stop going to gun shows with cash.:uhoh:

Doesn't the prosecution have to prove it? Yes, but only by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning more likely than not).

How can we reform it? Well, if you want the view from the trenches, change the standard of proof to clear and convincing or beyond a reasonable doubt.:)

vynx
August 21, 2006, 05:36 PM
I've heard the "coffee can" reference before.
Can someone explain what it refers to?

Harley Quinn
August 21, 2006, 05:39 PM
Basically $125,000.00 in cash in his car and you want him to be found not guilty. How can you relate this as a violation of his rights?

Speeding and getting caught. He should go to jail for basic stupidity.
Nebraska is a state where you can go 75 miles an hour I believe.

Gets stopped for speeding and he is searched, because he is full of lies and no registration to him.
Probably going to buy some weapons of mass destruction. Forget about the laws against drugs.

Think, one less terrorist on the street.

It works for me.

HQ:)

mike101
August 21, 2006, 05:40 PM
I don't see why he should have to show where he got it. He wasn't accused of stealing it. It's still legal to posess cash, as far as I know.;)

TallPine
August 21, 2006, 06:18 PM
I've heard the "coffee can" reference before.
Can someone explain what it refers to?
There was an infamous supposed LEO member of THR (can't remember his nickname) who once posted that having an empty coffee can in your car was probable cause for search (on the assumption that the coffee grounds were used to hide drug odors) :rolleyes:

He caught so much ridicule for it that he seems to have disappeared, or else his mommy cut off his computer priviledges ;)

Pilgrim
August 21, 2006, 07:06 PM
I suppose Gonzolez will soon be a dead man if the money wasn't his.

Pilgrim

Monkeyleg
August 21, 2006, 07:25 PM
My wife's "poor" uncle died in a fall in his home a few years back.

When my mother-in-law and her brother went through his apartment to prepare for his funeral, they found over $300,000 in cash, CD's and other financial instruments.

The uncle was 75, and had lived almost as a hermit. Not exactly the profile of your typical drug dealer.

It's a good thing my mother-in-law reported the cash to an estate attorney, and not to the police. :(

Whatever happened to the concept of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?

tyme
August 21, 2006, 07:44 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asset_forfeiture#Legal

hoji
August 21, 2006, 08:54 PM
Those 3 judges are in collusion

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Basically $125,000.00 in cash in his car and you want him to be found not guilty. How can you relate this as a violation of his rights?

Speeding and getting caught. He should go to jail for basic stupidity.
Nebraska is a state where you can go 75 miles an hour I believe.

Gets stopped for speeding and he is searched, because he is full of lies and no registration to him.
Probably going to buy some weapons of mass destruction. Forget about the laws against drugs.

Think, one less terrorist on the street.

It works for me.

HQ"





:barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: SIEG HEIL HQ

Harley Quinn
August 21, 2006, 09:29 PM
Me I am just agreeing with their over-turn. This will be a good one to follow.

What is interesting to me is it is being over turned by the judges going against the defendent, who won in the first place... Hilarious.

I guess the County/State, had already spent the money on the trial and figured it into the budget.

Monkeyleg: That is very honest of them to turn it into the estate, that way they will get it, and not have to look over their shoulder. Other wise they would not sleep well, I figure.

The law's are here, to protect the innocent :what:

HQ:neener:

Tokugawa
August 21, 2006, 09:44 PM
As I see it, there are two big problems with the forfeiture laws- one is the no proof required part, and the other is that the money goes directly into the local Gov. coffers. I am not positive, but think it goes straight to the police.
Could anyone think of a better way to encourage corruption?

ctdonath
August 21, 2006, 09:58 PM
I would think to get it back, all he has to do is to show where he got it.I would think to get it back, all he has to do is show that he was not convicted of any crime involving it.

You know, that whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing?

One of Many
August 21, 2006, 09:59 PM
These asset forfeiture laws are nothing more than a way for the government to commit armed robbery, without the owner being allowed to defend himself. In a typical armed robbery on the street, by common thieves, the owner has a chance to fight off the robber, and possibly keep his propety.

When the government comes in with cops, takes your property by force at the point of a gun, and then goes to court to have your property declared forfeit, you have no chance to prevail. The cops and the courts get to decide how they are going to spend your money, for items they get to use exclusively.

The courts get to decide if your evidence of property acquisition, ownership and transportation meet criteria for your continued ownership and possession of that property. The courts make the rules, change the rules when it favors the courts, and ignore the rules when it pleases them; they ignore the US constitution with impugnity, and reward the police for doing something that would result in any non-police or non-court person being sent to prison for many years. If a common citizen would be sent to prison for some action against a fellow citizen, then the police and judges should also be sent to prison for that action against a citizen.

The criteria for asset forfeiture must be changed to match that for ciminal conviction. The practice of sueing an inanimate object, in order to defraud the owner of that object of his right to possess that inanimate object, must be eliminated.

Another practice used by "law enforcement" that needs to be eliminated is the sham arrest on fake charges, resulting in confiscation of personal property, and setting BAIL at exhorbitant amounts that no common person could hope to pay without losing all of their life savings. Get arrested for reselling cell phones, charged with phoney counterfeit and money laundering offenses, with bail set so high that the bondsman gets $30,000 (non refundable) just so you can get out of jail until the case is heard; even if you win the case and your freedom, you are still out the lawyers fees and the bondmans fees. This is persecution by malicious prosecution under the law, and is designed to harrass the common citizen serf into kowtowing to the lord and master that controls the execution of the law.

The law enforcers and judges must answer to the people, not be masters over the people. If things keep on the way they have been recently, we may see another american revolution or civil war in the next couple of decades; when/if that happens the elite ruling class will find themselves ruling no one, and having to fend for themselves in the midst of an angry populace. Money and social status means nothing if there is nothing for money to buy. Police and courts mean nothing when no one respects or follows the law, because it has been abused to the breaking point.

The new ruling class will be those that have the goods (food shelter clothing medicines guns ammo) to survive without depending on someone else to provide the basics for them; those without the means to defend themselves will become servants of those with guns, on one side or the other of the conflict.

gezzer
August 21, 2006, 10:45 PM
Theft by JBT no other reasonable answer.:cuss:

publius
August 21, 2006, 11:18 PM
As I see it, there are two big problems with the forfeiture laws- one is the no proof required part, and the other is that the money goes directly into the local Gov. coffers. I am not positive, but think it goes straight to the police.
Could anyone think of a better way to encourage corruption?

You're close, but it's not quite that bad. It's not "no proof" as opposed to "absolute proof" because that's not how things work. It's a question of how much proof is enough. For "civil" actions like this, the standard is "more likely than not." That is very different from the criminal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt." We have criminal asset forfeiture laws, but it is far more profitable and much easier to use the "civil" laws to punish crimes. Though the popularity of this kind of action skyrocketed in the drug war, it has been around for a while (http://www.fear.org/hadaway.html).

That gets to your second point on incentives. Yes, in many cases, the seizing agency gets to keep the loot. In some cases, it goes into the general tax fund. More on Policing for Profit (http://www.fear.org/chicago.html).

Diomed
August 22, 2006, 03:46 AM
But we're supposed to give up some of our antiquated civil liberties for some more security! The Wall Street Journal said so, and why would they lie?

By the by, where's the padlock? Someone's losing a step, I think...

Lupinus
August 22, 2006, 03:57 AM
yeah, real easy to work withen the system these days :rolleyes:

Kinda hard to work in the system when its the system screwing you over

mike101
August 22, 2006, 06:18 AM
I hardly know where to begin. What was Gonzales actually charged with? Speeding, is a traffic offense. As far as I know, traffic offenses are not grounds for a vehicle search, though it happens all the time. Nor should it be grounds for them to even ask if he had ever been arrested. If he hadn't consented to the search, maybe this wouldn't have happened, but I doubt it. Some LEO's have a way of creating probable cause. This is absolutely Racial Profiling.

A few years ago, there was a piece on American Justice, about a town in Fla. that is notorious for just this sort of thing. A major road between Orlando and Miami passes through this town. The police routinely stop people on the grounds of a "routine check". No speeding, no improper lane changes, nothing. The people they stop tend to be Black, Hispanic, or young and White. The police ask, politely, if they can search the car. When they find nothing, they ask, politely, for you to empty your pockets. If you have a large amount of cash, they confiscate it as "suspected drug money", and then send you on your way, without charging you with anything. These poor idiots just hand the money over, expecting, I assume, that they will be able to get it back eventually. What they don't know is, to get it back, they have to file suit in Federal Court, which, at the time, cost $10,000. If they can't afford the 10 G's, they lose their money. This is how this town was able to afford a brand new 2.5 million dollar Police Station.

One young white kid did not give them permission to search his car. He told them they had no probable cause to search his car. Then, the LEO's politeness vanished. "Don't give me any of that ACLU crap. What do you have to hide?" the officer said, right on camera! Another time they stopped a middle aged black man. He was nicely, but casually dressed, and driving a brand new, loaded pick-up truck. They asked why he had a large amount of cash. He told them he owned a restaurant, and was going to purchase a new oven. They confiscated the money. Well, this guy did own a restaurant, and had the 10 G's to file suit. He got his money back eventually. This incident is what got the story on TV.

When the reporter asked these cops by what cryteria they make these stops, they said something to the effect that they stop people who look like they can't afford the car they are driving. Sounds like heavy-duty profiling to me.

Gonzales comitted no actual crime, and from what I read, was not charged with one. I don't understand how this even qualifies as a civil case, but then, I'm not a lawyer. I hope, for all our sakes, that he wins his appeal.

HQ- he was going to buy "weapons of mass destruction". "one less terrorist on the road". ARE YOU SERIOUS ? I hope not. To be honest, I can't really tell. You did say you agreed with the over-turn. If you are serious, I would say you have spent too much time in the Land of Feinstein.:fire: If you are not, my apologies.

publius
August 22, 2006, 07:52 AM
By the by, where's the padlock? Someone's losing a step, I think...
Oops! Forgot to establish gun relevance, and some may not remember...

The power to tax was used to gain regulatory authority over drugs in the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. 20 years later, that precedent was applied to firearms, and we got the NFA.

Since then, the Constitution has grown, as living documents do, and nowadays, the power to regulate guns and drugs comes from the commerce clause. Some things never seem to change, and one of them is gun grabbers following the trails blazed by drug warriors. It just happened again last year, with the Raich (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZD1.html) and Stewart (http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/315E1DE83BC0D4258825719D005C71F8/$file/0210318.pdf?openelement) cases.

The gungrabbers will continue following the trails blazed by drug warriors, and last year there was a proposal in New Jersey (http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44183) to apply civil asset forfeiture laws to gun law violators.

The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Louis Manzo, D-Jersey City, authorizes the forfeiture of "motor vehicle, building or premise" if a firearm is found in it that is not possessed legally per state law "even if the firearm was not possessed by the owner of the motor vehicle, building or premise," states a summary of the bill, A3998. The legislation was introduced Thursday.

Manzo pointed out his bill extends government power now reserved for targeting those in possession of illegal drugs.

Brett Bellmore
August 22, 2006, 08:26 AM
Part of the problem is that in civil forfieture cases, you don't have even as much in the way of rights as in regular civil cases. Because, don't you see, they're not accusing you of the crime.

They're accusing, and putting on trial, your money. And money, of course, doesn't have any civil rights.

The other problem, of course, is that these are actually criminal cases being called civil cases in order to get the lower standard.

publius
August 22, 2006, 08:40 AM
Someone posted the opinions on Free Republic (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1687380/posts#23). I found the cited precedent case titles interesting.

Here are a few:

United States v. $84,615 in U.S. Currency, 379 F.3d 496, 501 (8th Cir. 2004); see also United States v. $117,920.00 in U.S. Currency, 413
F.3d 826, 829 (8th Cir. 2005)

United States v. U.S. Currency in the Amount of $150,660.00, 980 F.2d 1200, 1206 (8th Cir. 1992)

United States v. U.S. Currency, $30,060.00, 39 F.3d 1039, 1044 (9th Cir. 1994)

mike101
August 22, 2006, 08:45 AM
Publius-Do you know if this abomonaition passed? I thought the PRNJ was beyond surprising me after they passed that mandatory smart gun thing. North Jersey should sink into the Atlantic, or we should give it to New York, or secede and form our own state. I really need to move to PA.

In NJ, the law basically is, if it shoots anything, it's regulated. Black powder guns are considered firearms, you need permits for airguns, handgun permits for air-pistols, slingshots are illegal altogether. I don't think they have gotten around to bows and arrows yet, but I'm sure they will.

Meanwhile, Gay Governors are giving high-paying state jobs to their boyfriends.

I HATE THIS PLACE!!!

joab
August 22, 2006, 09:06 AM
"We have adopted the commonsense view that bundling and concealment of large amounts of currency, combined with other suspicious circumstances, supports a connection between money and drug trafficking."I can see their point somewhat. But what were the other suspicious circumstances?
There were no drugs in the car or the suspect and the car was being legally operated and had not been reported stolen.

The guy's story sounds iffy but where does the constitution say or imply that I have to have a reason for drive across country with all my money.

The job of the police is to investigate crimes and apprehend criminals.
If the investigation reveals no crime then there is no criminal to apprehend.

mzmtg
August 22, 2006, 09:12 AM
I thought I was living the American dream when I got out of school and got a good job and bought a home and all that.

Recently, though, reality has begun to set in.

The only reason I have anything I feel is "my own" is because someone from the government hasn't decided to take it from me yet.

publius
August 22, 2006, 09:29 AM
mikeburk101, I don't know whether it passed, but I don't believe it did, because I haven't heard a thing about it since.

Every place has its faults. Down here, we have giant cockroaches which will fly RIGHT AT YOU, we have hurricanes, and even Janet Reno.

Biker
August 22, 2006, 09:33 AM
I wonder if transporting large amounts of gold or silver is subject to the same set of confiscation rules? Anyone?

Biker

mike101
August 22, 2006, 10:38 AM
Here we have giant cockroaches ( the two legged variety ), Nor-Easters, and we even have Frank Lautenburg:barf: . Wanna trade?

publius
August 22, 2006, 01:26 PM
I don't know. Will Lautenberg fly right at your face while you're trying to swat him?

Biker, it depends on whether the people who get to keep your gold think that it probably was involved in some drug crime for which no one has been charged. If the answer is yes, you lose.

Phetro
August 22, 2006, 03:37 PM
I thought I was living the American dream when I got out of school and got a good job and bought a home and all that.

Recently, though, reality has begun to set in.

The only reason I have anything I feel is "my own" is because someone from the government hasn't decided to take it from me yet.

It's true--this is what America has degraded into. I also once thought I had found the American Dream. Later I realized that the Founding Fathers had the Dream, and that the country had awakened to the horrible reality: government cannot be trusted with anything.

Cosmoline
August 22, 2006, 03:56 PM
This is a justice system so corrupt it will justify any theoretical excuse to take money for its own benefit. You have to question whether or not the police and courts are just another gang, stealing money and demanding protection tribute like the mob. Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. The vaunted war on drugs has become an excuse for various governmental entities to take a cut of money from the dealers. Whether it comes in the form of overt bribes or through civil forfeiture based on "acting funny" the end result is the same. Local, state and federal governments need the drug trade, and wouldn't shut it down even if they could.

I wonder if transporting large amounts of gold or silver is subject to the same set of confiscation rules? Anyone?

There are no rules. They take what they want. If you have enough gold they'll argue you must have stolen it or mined it illegally from public lands. If they can't do that they'll zing you with tax laws.

gezzer
August 22, 2006, 09:55 PM
How does a Cop taking YOUR money be a civil case? Civil rights case more than anything. Money stolen at the point of a gun by a cop is NO differant than by a crook.

But then look at all the goodies and overtime it gives the cop for seizng it. It makes me sick that cops can realy belive this is right.:barf:

TallPine
August 22, 2006, 10:10 PM
You have to question whether or not the police and courts are just another gang, stealing money and demanding protection tribute like the mob.
I don't think there is any question about it anymore ... :uhoh: :(

Harley Quinn
August 23, 2006, 01:43 AM
But those three judges seemed to think it is ok. They are the ones who overturned it.

HQ:)

tyme
August 23, 2006, 04:15 AM
If you are dealing in narcotics, you should loose your house, car, dog, etc
Hmm... or if you are dealing alcohol or nicotine-laced products, you should lose your house, car, dog, etc.

Stop picking on narcotics just because they're illegal. If you're gripe is with mind-altering, physically- or psychologically-addictive substances that destroy lives, at least have the honesty to include alcohol.

Sindawe
August 23, 2006, 04:33 AM
You have to question whether or not the police and courts are just another gang, stealing money and demanding protection tribute like the mob.
I don't think there is any question about it anymore ...No, I don't think there is either.

A few years back, one of the members of another forum I used to frequent had in his signature the image of some graffiti that stated "The Police:Largest Street Gang in America".

Sad thing was, he was/is a LEO...

mike101
August 23, 2006, 07:24 AM
Your story is amazing. I wonder if you would have been searched if you had denied having a lot of cash. Supposedly, they can't search your person unless you are already under arrest for something. I didn't realize that just having cash is grounds for arrest. What did he tell you he was arresting you for?

I used to think those malitia guys out in Montana were all nuts. Now, I am beginning to understand. You should call a newspaper, or better yet, a local TV station.

I just don't understand how they get away with this stuff.:fire:

Start the Revolution!

crazed_ss
August 23, 2006, 07:41 AM
I just don't understand how they get away with this stuff.

They get away with this stuff because people these days are willing to sacrifice freedoms for the promise of security. Look at the threads on this board where people are supporting racial profiling and things like that. Sure, it sounds good when only Arabs are being harrassed, but supporting tactics like that is a slippery slope. Once you start allowing one people's rights to be violated, no one will be safe.

mike101
August 23, 2006, 07:57 AM
Yes, but apparently the police around the country have been pulling this cash confiscation nonsense for some time now,since long before 9/11. That piece I saw about the incidents in FLA was on 6 or 8 years ago, and not all of those people were minorities. And these people aren't arrested for anything. The cops take their cash under the claim that it is suspected drug money, and send them on their way! It's a totally transparant scam.

crazed_ss
August 23, 2006, 08:41 AM
I imagine this whole confiscation thing is a result of the "war on drugs".. Many people are willing to sacrifice a lot in the name of busting drug dealers.

benEzra
August 23, 2006, 09:10 AM
Yes, but apparently the police around the country have been pulling this cash confiscation nonsense for some time now,since long before 9/11. That piece I saw about the incidents in FLA was on 6 or 8 years ago, and not all of those people were minorities. And these people aren't arrested for anything. The cops take their cash under the claim that it is suspected drug money, and send them on their way! It's a totally transparant scam.
Because many people have the perception (carefully nurtured by the proponents of asset forfeiture, IMHO) that the victims in these scenarios are people who are Not Like Them. If they are having their assets stolen, er, seized, they MUST be criminals or bad guys, or they wouldn't have had their stuff siezed, right?

For some people, the fact that a victim of a crime is Not Like Them makes the crime in question more palatable. I think that's a crying shame.

TallPine
August 23, 2006, 08:02 PM
Then he asked if I had a "large amount" of cash on my person.
"Well, since the tail light is okay, then I must be free to go now, correct...?" :p


Honestly, it's crap like this that makes me not trust cops much anymore :cuss:

spartacus2002
August 23, 2006, 09:53 PM
I just don't understand how they get away with this stuff.

because the American public has been brainwashed into believing the following:
1. All illegal drugs are evil.
2. Anyone who uses or sells illegal drugs is evil.
3. Anyone who exhibits characteristics of someone who uses or sells illegal drugs is evil.
4. Anything the government does to someone evil is by definition "not evil."

I would rather have meth, heroin, cocaine, and pot be legal, manufactured by Anheuser-Bush or Hersheys, and available for purchase at the state ABC store than have a government that stomps all over the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and our liberties.

And for those who say "FOR SHAME!! Do you actually WANT people to be able to get drugs? Do you want YOUR KIDS TO GET DRUGS??", all I can say is "well, they can get them now with our BoR being systematically shredded, or they can get them now and the BoR remains intact. Which would you prefer?"

ceetee
August 23, 2006, 09:57 PM
Coconut Creek cop admits thefts from four immigrants, gets probation (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-823creekcopplea,0,7328984.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines)



FORT LAUDERDALE -- A Coconut Creek police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday morning and was sentenced to probation for stealing money from immigrant day-laborers during traffic stops.



Steal a few hundred you go to jail. Steal a few hundred thousand, you get "Officer of the Year." I guess it's just a matter of degree, isn't it?

publius
August 24, 2006, 07:37 AM
This place is full of pretty sensible people, so the other side of this argument is poorly represented. Anyone who wants to see someone seriously argue that taking your property is not an attack on your freedom, the show goes on right here (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/1592490/posts?q=1&&page=1).

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