Monday, January 18, 2016
How Police Officers Seize Cash From Innocent Americans
Under the umbrella of “civil forfeiture,” officers of the law confiscate millions of dollars in cash from thousands of individuals like Charles Clarke every year. In doing so, they need no proof that the money is obtained through illegal means. They do not need to file a criminal charge. The law flips the American justice system upside down: the burden of proving innocence is on the “suspect” -- and if he or she can’t do that, the property is fair game for officers to take.
Using cash that is unjustly seized from Americans, police departments across the nation buy firearms, SWAT gear, flat-screen TVs, and a slew of other goods they deem to be “essential” to operation.
But how exactly is this legal, and why is such a crazy procedure permitted in a country that prides itself on its civil liberties?