Cops Mock Victims While Learning How to Legally Steal Their Property
Police departments around the country make a fortune by stealing private property from innocent people. This process, known as civil forfeiture, lets police confiscate your property without ever suspecting of or charging you with a crime, and they are laughing while doing it.
As more and more cases of civil forfeiture come to light, national outrage surrounding the practice has grown. But, thanks to video footage released by the Institute of Justice, the cops might finally have a valid excuse for their criminal ways – they can legitimately claim, “We were just doing what we were taught!”
Rebel Pundit is an interesting site. This article is a must-read.
There's a very good reason federal guidelines prohibit the counting of
chickens asset forfeiture proceeds before they're hatched "liberated" at badgepoint by law enforcement. It helps curtail the abuse that results from perverted incentives. No one likes a budget shortfall, but very few government entities have the means to immediately impact the bottom line — at least not in the way a few uniformed officers granted the power to arbitrarily seize the possessions of others can. No proof of criminal intent is needed and, thanks to an agreement with the DOJ, 80% of what it seizes goes directly to the District's law enforcement agencies, rather than into the District's general fund. All it takes to divert these funds to law enforcement is the invocation of federal crimes — like drug possession.
The very convenient DOJ agreement works out incredibly well.
District financial records show that D.C. police receive about $670,000 annually from the Equitable Sharing Program. About $30,000 in proceeds from forfeitures under District law go into the general fund.
The Justice Department refused to comment on its agreement with DC law enforcement, one that sees nearly 96% of funds derived from forfeitures go directly into the PD's pockets. DC police chief Cathy Lanier defends the program — and the pre-budgeting of anticipated seizures — as being essential to "removing the profit gained from facilitating a crime."