Monday, August 30, 2010
Downsizer Dispatch, from downsizeDC.org, urges that we copy and/or borrow from the following and send to our congress critters. I think that's a wonderful idea! You can too! While you're at it, join downsidedc.org. The more, the merrier and the greater the impact.
Civil asset forfeiture corrupts our police. It turns cops into robbers.
Civil asset forfeiture is at the heart of government lawlessness:
* It disregards the Bill of Rights.
* It confiscates property from innocent people.
The federal government compounds the problem by cutting-in local law enforcement. They've turned the Drug War into a referral program! In a process known as "equitable sharing," local law enforcement can work with the federal government in pursuit of criminals, and keep as much as 80% of the booty. http://www.ij.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3117&Itemid=165
And where does this money go?
* In Texas, a district attorney has been indicted for using $200,000 of forfeiture funds to line his own pockets and pay for trips to casinos http://www.examiner.com/headlines-in-san-antonio/former-texas-county-district-attorney-indicted-for-misusing-200-000-for-extra-pay-and-casino-trips
* In Indiana, where the law requires forfeiture loot to be spent on public education, only one county is complying with the law. In the other counties, law enforcement departments are keeping almost all the money, and the Attorney General doesn't seem to care! http://reason.com/blog/2010/08/18/indianas-attorney-general-on-a
Are you surprised by this corruption? You shouldn't be.
If confiscating property is an institutional mission, one must worry about the people such a group will employ to carry out that mission. If a government tells its employees that they must steal to meet their budgets - that is, engage in asset forfeiture - then some will rationalize that stealing is okay.
And they'll steal from their employer, too.
The Institute for Justice has a tantalizing list of how some local posses have spent the loot. http://www.ij.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3117&Itemid=165
When asset forfeiture (is aboilished) government corruption (will be reduced.) ...Send a message to the people that the police really are there to serve and protect -- not to steal.
Labels: cops and robbers
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