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Policing For Profit

Discussion in 'Politics' started by njlefty, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    Libertarian Group: NJ Among Worst In Nation For Civil Forfeiture

    TRENTON
    — New Jersey's laws surrounding civil forfeiture — the police practice of taking property allegedly tied to criminal activity through civil courts — are among "the worst in the country," according to a new report by a libertarian legal group.

    The Garden State is one of 35 states given a "D" or lower in the report, titled "Policing for Profit" and released this week by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice.

    Police departments regularly keep contraband or ill-gotten goods seized from people convicted of crimes. But often, law enforcement agencies can also obtain money, high-end electronics and luxury cars through the less well-known civil process, which in some cases doesn't even require a criminal conviction.

    A person pulled over with large sums of cash, for example, can have their money seized on mere suspicion and be forced to wage an expensive legal fight to get it back, the group says. In one high-profile case, it took a New Jersey woman years to get her car back after a relative used it in commission of a crime.

    Prosecutors and police chiefs defend the practice as a deterrent to criminal enterprise that comes with the added benefit of revenue for their agencies. But the authors of the report claim law enforcement in New Jersey "enjoys a hefty financial incentive to seize" that violates citizens' right to due process.

    MILLIONS SEIZED IN NEW JERSEY

    County prosecutors across the state collected $72 million in forfeiture proceeds from 2009 to 2013, including more than $57 million in cash and vehicles worth $9 million, according to the report.

    In addition, the report found county agencies received an average of $7 million a year from federal "equitable sharing" programs that give state and local agencies a cut when they serve on federal task forces.

    But the millions tallied by the institute "are a vast undercount for what's going on in New Jersey," according to Dick Carpenter, the group's director of strategic research and one of the authors of the report.

    Carpenter said it's difficult to get the whole picture in New Jersey because while the state does collect some data, it was not able to provide the group with comprehensive figures for local and state law enforcement agencies.

    "The transparency in New Jersey is pretty poor," he said. "The ability for average folks — or even elected officials — to know what's going on in their state or municipality just isn't there."

    Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, declined to comment on the report, but said New Jersey has "strict parameters" for seizing assets from citizens.

    "We certainly are more restrictive with regard to forfeiture than the federal government and many other states," Aseltine said.

    --nj.com 11/14/15
     
    JohnGalt69 likes this.
  2. JohnGalt69

    JohnGalt69 Contributing Member

    It would be great if we had a Constitutional amendment that protected us from being deprived of our property without due process. ;)
     
    Dream Team, Atl Guy and njlefty like this.
  3. siilverfox

    siilverfox Senior Member

    "Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing."

    "What the hell are you talking about?" Yossarian shouted at her in bewildered, furious protest. "How did you know it was Catch-22? Who the hell told you it was Catch-22?"

    "The soldiers with the hard white hats and clubs. The girls were crying. 'Did we do anything wrong?' they said. The men said no and pushed them away out the door with the ends of their clubs. 'Then why are you chasing us out?' the girls said. 'Catch 22,' the men said. All they kept saying was 'Catch-22, Catch-22. What does it mean, Catch 22? What is Catch-22?"

    "Didn't they show it to you?" Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. "Didn't you even make them read it?"

    "They don't have to show us Catch-22," the old woman answered. "The law says they don't have to."

    "What law says they don't have to?"

    "Catch-22".

    -- Joseph Heller
     
    Raindog and njlefty like this.
  4. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    Makes me wonder how much money is seized from mongers and providers who are arrested each year.
     
  5. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    I never thought about the profit side of this. The hobby is easy pickings.

    Yeah, we got the cash, LE will say, and we'll document it on Form 22!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  6. LINK

    LINK Senior Member - vi et animo

  7. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    Whenever you see read about AMP raids, you usually see the sentence "officers seized a large amount of cash" or "officers seized $x,xxx in cash."

    That money is always kissed goodbye.
     
  8. oldfart

    oldfart Senior Member

    If you see $x,xxx in the paper the actual about is often $x,xxx + $y,yyyy.
     
  9. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    The AMP raids make for good theatre, but personally I prefer Sharknado.
     
  10. NJShoreGuy51

    NJShoreGuy51 Senior Member

    So what's the lesson learned? When seeing someone go with the minimum amount of cash in your oldest car? Likely, not going to happen, I'd say!
     


  11. I'll just post this video above. I don't want to go beyond that.
     
    JohnGalt69 likes this.
  12. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    As the guy on that video said, "it's legalized robbery by law enforcement.":mad:

    It's a wonder that more cash-rich AMPs are not hit these days. They sit on too much cash and that cash is taken regardless of any arrests.
     
  13. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    If you want a State to avoid, it is Pennsylvania -- worst grade level.

    Pennsylvania earns a D- for its civil forfeiture laws:
    • Low bar to forfeit and no conviction required
    • Poor protections for innocent third-party property owners
    • 100% of forfeiture proceeds go to law enforcement
    -- Institute for Justice
     
  14. green2

    green2 Member

    There are obviously several great officers out their that are ethical, fair, and dedicated. However, as a group they are prejudice, lazy, and grossly overpaid. The entire criminal justice system needs a radical over hall. It's big business and full of corruption (e.g. look at the cops in hunts point that take bribes and cover warehouses that house the east coasts heroin supply...ever wonder why we're not winning war on drugs)
     
  15. JohnGalt69

    JohnGalt69 Contributing Member

  16. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    Very sad to see this happening and growing worse. From that link....

    Bloomberg News has reported now that Stop-and-Seize authority is turning the Police Into Self-Funding Gangs. They are simply confiscating money all under the abuse of this civil asset forfeiture where they do not have to prove you did anything. Prosecutors are now instructing police on how to confiscate money within the grey area of the law.
     
    JohnGalt69 likes this.
  17. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    True story about "civil asset forfeiture"....

    The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit’s monthly “Funk Night” party got weird in May of 2008. The all-night dance party was raging when police burst in around 2 a.m.

    Officers alleged the establishment did not have a license for the party.

    They passed out loitering tickets and impounded 40 vehicles parked outside.

    They all got their cars back.

    Oh, except for the one guy who had his car stolen from the impound lot. Also, they each paid a $900 impound fee, totaling more than $35,000.
     
    JohnGalt69 likes this.
  18. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    Lawsuit Filed Against Albuquerque

    Two New Mexico state senators announced a lawsuit against the City of Albuquerque Wednesday in an effort to stop the civil forfeiture program.

    The program allows law enforcement officials to seize and keep private property without a criminal conviction. The practice put New Mexico into the national spotlight last year when Las Cruces City Attorney Pete Connelly called civil forfeiture "a gold mine."

    Earlier this year, the state legislature unanimously passed a bill outlawing the practice of civil asset forfeiture in New Mexico, but some state senators and the Institute for Justice want the program shut down for good.

    The Institute for Justice says the city of Albuquerque earned $1 million over the last year through its program.

    "The profit incentive created by civil forfeiture is so strong, officials charged with upholding the law are now the ones breaking it," Institute for Justice attorney Robert Everett Johnson said in a statement. "Albuquerque's law enforcement officials seem to think that they are above the law. But if they won't listen to the state legislature, they'll have to answer to a judge."

    "The city of Albuquerque runs a civil forfeiture machine," Johnson continued. "Every year the city takes over 1,000 cars and rakes in over $1 million using civil forfeiture."

    The lawsuit was filed by Sens. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, and Lisa Torraco, R-Albuquerque, and the Institute for Justice.

    -- Yahoo
     
    JohnGalt69 likes this.
  19. njlefty

    njlefty Senior Member +My Reviews

    $8,400 Stolen From 81 Year Old Man

    James Huff, an 81 year old Nevada resident, was traveling west on I-40 when he was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. The officer asked Mr. Huff if he had any illegal substances; Huff answered in the negative and then refused to consent to a search of his car.

    The officer’s drug-sniffing canine, however, “alerted” to "possible" narcotics. A subsequent search revealed NO DRUGS, but $8,400 in cash.

    The officer seized the funds and immediately presented Mr. Huff with a “Disclaimer of Ownership” form, attempting to convince the octogenarian to sign away all legal interest in his money right there on the side of the road.

    Huff refused, but they took his money anyway.

    Six months later, the Apache County Attorney’s Office published a generic notice in a local paper that the office intended to forfeit “$8,400 in currency.”

    The notice gave no specifics, so Huff and his lawyer did not know that the notice was for his money. As a consequence, he missed the deadline to file a claim, and a judge ruled that he had lost the opportunity to challenge the seizure. The money was ordered forfeited by default.

    Huff had his $8,400 stolen by police for a minor traffic violation.

    -- Daily Signal
     
    JohnGalt69 likes this.
  20. LINK

    LINK Senior Member - vi et animo

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