Cops nationwide stealing cash, jewelry, valuables from innocent citizens under 'civil forfeiture' laws
Astonishingly, many police departments defend this abomination.
"We all know the way things are right now - budgets are tight," Steve Westbrook, the executive director of the Sheriffs' Association of Texas, told Silverman.
"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," he said.
Other officers said, if the practice of civil forfeiture becomes too heavily regulated to use, their departments would collapse economically - and, of course, that would endanger public safety (can you say fearmongering).
But a system that proved successful at wringing profits from drug cartels and white-collar fraudsters has also given rise to corruption and violations of civil liberties. Over the past year, I spoke with more than a hundred police officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and forfeiture plaintiffs from across the country. Many expressed concern that state laws designed to go after high-flying crime lords are routinely targeting the workaday homes, cars, cash savings, and other belongings of innocent people who are never charged with a crime.
This pathetic use of the law amounts to little more than legalized theft. If a private citizen were to do something like this, he or she would go to jail.
Civil forfeiture in the case of a convicted criminal is one thing; stealing from innocent people to fund your police department is quite another.
And quite despicable.
Black Blade: Simply put - criminals in cop costumes pretending to be cops while they steal and extort from defenseless victims.