ASSET FORFEITURE AND THE DESTRUCTION OF AMERICAN LIBERTY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ASSET FORFEITURE AND THE DESTRUCTION OF AMERICAN LIBERTY

Realizing that all of their previous efforts to “win” the war on drugs had failed, the feds came up with what they considered was a brilliant idea, but one that actually has turned out to be one great big crooked and corrupt racket that forcibly takes money out of the pockets of law-abiding citizens and puts it in the coffers of state cops and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, in direct contravention of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Here is how the system works.

The state police decide to stop a late-model car traveling down the highway that is being driven, say, by an African-American. The cop might come up with some excuse for the stop, such as a defective tail light. After asking for a driver’s license and car registration, the cop will ask the driver if it’s okay if he searches the vehicle. The driver, who has nothing to hide, says yes. The cop finds a case containing $10,000 in cash. The driver explains that he is on his way to buy a used car for his son.

What happens then? Under traditional rules of jurisprudence, nothing should happen except to let driver proceed on his way, with, at most, a citation for a defective tail light. The driver has not committed any other offenses. Under our system of justice, he should be free to be on his way.

But that’s not what happens under the asset-forfeiture law. The law permits the cops to assume that the cash must be “drug money.” Thus, the law now permits the cop to just take the driver’s money and transport it back to the police station, where the loot is divided up between the police department and the DEA.

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