Police seize cash
Increasingly stories shocking readers about police taking cash money and other goods, according to the Washington Post police departments and drug task forces have spent over $2-billion dollars seized from Americans since 2008. How is this money acquired?
Video shows NYPD officer taking $1,300 from man, then pepper-spraying him. A guy in New York has a lawsuit against the police alleging an officer took his wad of birthday cash and then pepper sprayed him and his sister in the face. According to the NYPD in the New York Post the officer handled the situation properly, the man fit a robbery description, “The officer returned to the precinct and vouchered the suspect’s cellphone and $62. The suspect never returned to the precinct to obtain his property,”
Or another story relayed by popular host John Oliver tells of a man driving from Michigan to California with $2,400 cash money in his car. Police pulled him over on the highway in Nevada took his money and told him he was traveling across the country to buy drugs.
These stories are part of a dangerous trend that assumes anyone with anything of value is guilty. When police engage in this behaviour they are the modern day highway men.
Sheriff of Nottingham of the Year 2014
This trend is tied to a civil forfeiture law that allows police forces to take things of value and spend 80% of the ‘proceeds’. According to research an average police department in the State of Texas takes in about 14% of its overall budget annually. This is referred to as ‘Policing for Profit‘ and is even thriving in Canadian provinces like British Columbia.
Even in Toronto, Canada these kinds of tactics are at work. Highlighted in the corruption trial of Toronto Police Service’s Central Field Command “Team 3” drug squad was accused of running game on drug suspects, beating them up and taking all their money then falsifying evidence. The charges go back to the 1990s, when the current police chief was involved with the drug squad, did he know what was going on?
At least the Toronto Police have taken some steps to make this business more honest, recently announcing officers will start providing receipts following interactions with the public.