Police Rob and Kill

Ray Thomas raythomas101 at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 5 10:21:28 MDT 1999


POLICE ROB AND KILL

Forced Altruism List 7/5/99
Reposting permitted in complete form with the contact information at the end
intact.

This is important enough for me to violate the "no forwarding" procedure on
this List. If it angers some List members, I apologize.

This came from  Keith Nobles keithnobles at earthlink.net, moderator of the
"Keith's Forum Against The Man" List. Contact him if you're interested in
subscribing. This story is an excellent example of why we need to completely
DO AWAY WITH RICO LAWS. They are an abomination and are unconstitutional if
anyone would take the time and effort (and the money) to challenge them in
an honest court (rather than one of the courts where judges rule based on
current liberal ideas). The day has come when you wonder whether that red
light in your mirror means you're going to get a ticket or be robbed. When
the police become bandits, we're lost. When they "target" someone's property
and even have it APPRAISED before the raid. they can no longer be called
police, but bandits with badges.

RAY THOMA$


REIN IN POLICE RAIDS FOR PROFIT

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. E-6
July 4, 1999 Lead Editorial

On Oct. 22, 1992, 61-year-old Donald Scott was shot dead in his own home by
a sheriff's deputy serving an early-morning search warrant on Scott's ranch
in Ventura County, Calif. No drugs were found, and the local district
attorney later determined that the search warrant had been obtained by using
false evidence.

So why was the raid undertaken?

The district attorney's investigation determined that the deadly raid "was
motivated, at least in part, by a desire to seize and forfeit the ranch for
the government." Before the raid occurred, deputies had gone so far as to
get an appraisal of the $5 million ranch, which they hoped to confiscate for
their department's profit.

"We find no reason why law enforcement officers who were investigating
suspected narcotics violations would have had any interest in the value of
the ranch," the report noted.

Since the early '80s, when federal property-confiscation laws were relaxed,
local, state and federal law enforcement officials have seized billions of
dollars of private property from those whom they merely suspected of a
crime. Most of the owners of confiscated property were never found guilty of
anything. In fact, in 80 percent of confiscation cases, no criminal charges
were even filed.

Under the law, passed during the first Reagan administration as part of the
war on drugs, police agencies were empowered to seize property that they
suspected was either used in crime or had been purchased with illegal
profits. If they had "probable cause" to suspect the property was tainted --
essentially the standard needed to get a search warrant -- they could seize
the property.

Furthermore, the law allowed police agencies to keep or sell whatever they
confiscated. In essence, it put a dangerous profit motive into law
enforcement, and agencies began behaving just as you would expect with such
a carrot dangling in front of their noses.

In Volusia County, Fla., for example, sheriff's deputies began making random
stops on I-95, confiscating cash in quantities of more than $100. They
argued they had "probable cause" to believe that anybody carrying more than
that amount of cash was engaging in drug trafficking. An investigation by
the Orlando Sentinel discovered that 90 percent of motorists targeted for
confiscation were black or Latino.

Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives finally voted to reform the
law that created such outrages. The bill, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde
(R-Ill.) was backed by congressmen and lobby groups from across the
political spectrum, and passed overwhelmingly, 375-48.

The Clinton Administration opposes the bill, as do many law-enforcement
groups. U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.), who voted against the measure,
expressed the sentiment of the administration and many of those groups when
he warned that changing the confiscation law could devastate the budgets of
local law enforcement agencies. [It would cost them millions of dollars in
stolen money and billions in stolen property. -RT]

If true, Ramstad's warning is all the more reason to reform the law. IF
CONFISCATIONS ARE OCCURRING ON SUCH A SCALE AS TO BE A PRIME SOURCE OF
FUNDING FOR LOCAL POLICE, THIS THING HAS GOTTEN WAY OUT OF HAND. [Emphasis
mine. -RT]

The Hyde bill does not by any means eliminate confiscation as a tool in
crime-fighting. It merely strengthens the standard that law enforcement must
meet to justify the taking of private citizens' property.

Under the reform, police officers would have to offer clear and convincing
evidence, rather than mere probable cause, that the property being seized
had been used in a crime or been purchased with the proceeds of crime. That
returns the burden of proof to where it belongs, to the government agency
that is attempting to confiscate a citizen's property.

Two hundred and twenty-three years ago today, people such as Thomas
Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin declared their independence from
a nation that treated their citizens' property and liberty as if they
belonged to the state, to be withdrawn whenever the state deemed fit.

The heritage they left us must be defended even now, not just from outside
threats but also from more dangerous, if well-intentioned, threats from
within. To protect that legacy, the U.S. Senate ought to pass the Hyde bill,
and President Clinton should sign it into law. [If I am correct (and I
wasn't paying much attention at the time), I believe this bill failed in the
Senate. -RT]

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