Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lock These Bastards Up

OK, legal eagles, how is this anything but legalized theft? The cops have no proof of criminal activity, nothing. Why should they be allowed to take these people's money? What possible justification could they have for keeping it other than "we're taking your money because we can"?

These cops, and cops like them, should be in jail. They're common thieves, pure and simple. They just hide behind a badge.


Ben said...

I will say that carrying that much money without explanation would make me suspicious, too.

But "being suspicious" is not a crime. If they aren't charged with anything, I don't see why the money should be forfeited. As I understand forfeitures, they often have a "guilty until proven innocent" approach. But this goes way beyond that. It's "guilty without ever being charged."

To be clear, I don't have a problem with forfeiture in the abstract. But it should be a punishment that ensures people don't get to keep the fruits of their crime. Not this.

Miguel said...

It's the MO of government.

When government wants something it just takes it.

Asset forfeiture has been abused for decades. From making up phony reasons to confiscate cash/property during botched drug raids, to declaring areas "blight" so they can evict the rightful property owners so their political donors can build parking lots/bulidings/etc.

At this point, the government and police force have become no different than a legalized form of the mafia with taxes and asset forfeiture being their cut to wet their beaks.

Mike said...

First off, if we're not going to abolish speed limits, particularly once they breach 50, then cops should be giving up to 15 mph leeway.

Secondly, I know you read Radley's blog. Does anything surprise you about the police anymore?

Ben said...


The Mafia does not catch and lock up murderers and rapists. The Mafia does not provide a means for victims of racial discrimination to seek redress. The Mafia does not pave roads. The Mafia does not seek to prevent terrorists from killing us. The Mafia has no rules in place to ensure workplaces are safe.

It's one thing to point out and decry corruption in government. Certainly there should be limits on government power because of the potential for abuse. (These limits should include overruling Kelo v. New London and ending the War on Drugs. Perhaps also ending forfeitures, if the potential for abuse like this case is determined to outweigh any deterrent benefits.)

But the government is not the Mafia. The government exists to serve society in a variety of ways (even if that service is constantly in need of improvement). The Mafia has no such purpose.

To use such a broad brush and paint the government as the Mafia is an insult to all the civil servants out there who are simply trying to do a job that makes their world a little better, including me. (On the other hand, the comparison is more legitimate when government officials twist/break/abuse the law, as in this case, or that horrible case of the DEA killing that mayor's dog.)

Ben said...

(Or torture.)

Matthew B. Novak said...

To build off of Ben's point, we also don't have any influence over the Mafia. If we don't like something in government, we have the power to change it. Government derrives power from the people it governs. Posts like this one that point out the big problems are a useful tool for promoting change. We just need to get word to our representatives too (or run for office ourselves I suppose).