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It’s Time For Law Enforcement To End ‘Policing For Profit’

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policing for profit asset forfeiture reformIt troubles me to see how many people in the marijuana industry and culture that have no idea how important asset forfeiture reform is. Essentially, if you get busted, cops will take your stuff (money, cars, etc) and then use those things to fund their mission of busting other people. This ‘policing for profit’ mentality is harmful to society and unfair to the people that have their stuff seized. Below is a great article out of Missouri talking about the practice. Contact your politicians today and demand reform:

Some Missouri schools lack effective air conditioning.

Some Missouri school children shiver at their desks because the budget is tight.

Some Missouri schools share textbooks.

All Missouri schools could use a little more help in their funding: a few new books, a roof repair, another teacher or afterschool activity to help keep kids in school and away from drugs.

Many police cars in Missouri never shut off. They happily burn precious gasoline for hours on end while the officers sitting in them blast the air conditioning or heat. The officers are comfortable, sporting new equipment purchased from the Feds with asset forfeiture funds for pennies on the dollar.

Other Missouri cops dig into fine dining and give each other awards, celebrating the money confiscated through asset forfeiture, money that has largely been returned to department to purchase toys, dinners, awards and serve as a general slush fund. These funds have been misused by law enforcement across the nation. But in Missouri, it is supposed to be different.

In Missouri, the police aren’t supposed to steal from the schoolchildren.

Yet they do.

Columbia, Mo., Chief of Police Ken “Pennies” Burton made regional and national news for describing federal asset forfeiture returns as “pennies from heaven.” Burton recently received permission from the Columbia City Council to spend asset forfeiture money to purchase wearable cameras for his officers.

But Burton’s “pennies” come with a price.

Some assets are confiscated from people who have not been convicted a crime. Those people experience strong-arm robbery at the hands of street gang. There is little to no difference between having your property stolen by criminal and having your property stolen by a cop. The only difference is recourse. If a criminal steals your stuff, you can call a cop.

But when a cop steals your stuff, attempting to stop him is a crime that will result in years as a guest of the Missouri Department of Corrections, which leaves the victim only two choices: hire an attorney or bend over and take it. Hiring an attorney to reclaim your property is pointless – except when there are significant sums involved. It is an expensive long process with the deck stacked against you.

The process is simple. If the cops find a significant amount of property they want to keep, they call in the DEA or other federal agency. The feds seize the property and return a large percentage back to the department. It is just like the old mafia business: Vito brought his idea to the Don. The Don blessed it and Vito kicked a share up to the Don.
If there is a smaller amount, the local law enforcement may simply confiscate it and send it over to the prosecuting attorney for forfeiture. Once the property is forfeited in this manner, 100% of the proceeds are transferred to Missouri schools.

Missouri law requires forfeited funds to benefit the schools.

So, when the police want to throw a party, buy some swag, or give each other awards, they bring in a fed and circumvent Missouri law.

This essentially means that the local and state police departments decided that they are above Missouri law and they should make a profit from their policing. And they do.

Millions of dollars funnel into Missouri law enforcement coffers through this system – Millions of dollars that should be spent teaching our youth.

In Columbia, the city council questioned the distribution of funds. They still approve the theft of money from Missouri schools, but at least they started questioning.

It is an old maxim among detectives and reporters: follow the money. When you find out who profits, you find out who had motive for the crime. It is time to end policing for profit.

Source: Americans for Asset Forfeiture Reform

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8 Comments

  1. to see the hundreds of pages of property our Government has seized from its citizens and hopes to keep go to “forfeiture.gov”—you need never be charged with a crime to permanently lose your property. Expect anything that makes money to become more and more prevalent. The Government now has asset forfeitures in the Billions.

  2. Florida,,,,,Your gonna love this.

    10/6/2012,, A 36-year-old Palm Coast woman was arrested for possession of marijuana under 20 grams after deputies stopped her vehicle which was observed on Belle Terre Parkway. Deputies said they found a small hand-rolled joint cigarette on the floor board. One more jail bed and a future ruined. This made the local crime report in the news paper. True she may have acted stupid, but lock her up for Felonious Stupidity (which is a misdemeanor in FL) not for a dead roach.
    Something needs to be done regarding Florida, at the very least DE-Crime., it to a
    violation.

    THX1138

  3. I couldn’t agree more. It is time that these scandals are brought out and exposed. Thanks for sharing, and if you want some dank recipes check out ganjalicious.com

  4. Asset forfeiture was supposed to hinder criminal activity, but the practice never paid off – for the public, but has been profitable for law enforcement. Harsh penalties for criminal activity do not deter crime even when the criminals may suffer the ultimate penalty of death.

    We all talk about corruption in other nations, but we rarely talk about the corruption in America. Corruption in other nations is more overt (in your face) where here in America our corruption is covert, usually prefaced by some sort of law or ordinance. When we craft a law to be use in special circumstances that law usually gets corrupted into something entirely different. Asset forfeiture was such a law that was corrupted into what we now observe today – pseudo legalized corruption by the government to steal personal property.

    There are many laws that have been crafted for specific purposes, but they get repurposed and applied in areas where they should not be applied. Congress has written the book on creating a policy and pretending that the policy will be used for one purpose then using the policy for an entirely different purpose at a later time. A prime example of this is the Patriot Act (USA PATRIOT that stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001).

    Today the Patriot Act can be used to name (simply refer to the individual as) a US citizen as an “enemy combatant” which can strip a citizen of his rights to due process. Obama authorized the killing of an American citizen by drone, because of his alleged ties (CIA intel – not always correct) to terrorist activity. Execution without a trial by jury, that law can be applied to you.

    Asset forfeiture is one of many corrupt (or corrupted) policies crafted by our government (intentionally or not so) that goes against the constitution and benefits the governing agency. Crafting laws that make it easier to govern are not always best for the republic. “We are a nation of laws” the quote should read that we are a nation of too many laws…

    When you inform yourself of these kind of tactics you begin to wonder about our government agencies and their intentions or agenda (larger plan). Think about this when they begin to reform policy concerning your second amendment rights. If you are stripped of your liberty and your means to protect yourself, family or community from harm then what is left?

    We need to continue to our fight for personal rights (liberty). Cannabis prohibition is one of many policies that inhibit your right to personal governance. There are many more policies that attempt to legislate morality. They are mostly crafted by our most immoral members.

    P.S. – I’d like to see asset forfeiture applied to Wall Street corporations, brokers and execs; more so than what happened to Bernie Madoff. Don’t fine them, take all profit made during the time of their illegal activity, that’s what they do in the U.K.

    Okay, I’m done…

  5. DEA Head M lentard studders when congressman Jared Polis qeustioned

    her about DEA priorities , budgets

    “how much money is seized? , she would not answer!

    Now that the FEDS shut down Mendo count Ziptie program they are looking for the money take in.

    Sheriff Allman ” the money is spent already”

    No one can answer how much thy have seized but very few if any “get it back”

  6. I live in Missouri. I see the new police vehicles are suv’s for the most part. I saw a fleet of 50 of these vehicles sitting at a lot in my town. Its disgusting to think that to seize property for their profit, they just call the feds. As the Rolling Stones said in Sympathy for the Devil, “All the cops are criminals”.

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