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When cops become some of the biggest thieves

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  • When cops become some of the biggest thieves

    The Washington Post:
    Joseph Rivers was hoping to hit it big. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the aspiring businessman from just outside of Detroit had pulled together $16,000 in seed money to fulfill a lifetime dream of starting a music video company. Last month, Rivers took the first step in that voyage, saying goodbye to the family and friends who had supported him at home and boarding an Amtrak train headed for Los Angeles.

    He never made it. From the Albuquerque Journal:
    A DEA agent boarded the train at the Albuquerque Amtrak station and began asking various passengers, including Rivers, where they were going and why. When Rivers replied that he was headed to LA to make a music video, the agent asked to search his bags. Rivers complied.

    The agent found Rivers's cash, still in a bank envelope. He explained why he had it: He was starting a business in California, and he'd had trouble in the past withdrawing large sums of money from out-of-state banks.

    The agents didn't believe him, according to the article. They said they thought the money was involved in some sort of drug activity. Rivers let them call his mother back home to corroborate the story. They didn't believe her, either.

    The agents found nothing in Rivers's belongings that indicated that he was involved with the drug trade: no drugs, no guns. They didn't arrest him or charge him with a crime. But they took his cash anyway, every last cent, under the authority of the Justice Department's civil asset forfeiture program.
    Rivers's life savings represent just a drop in the Justice Department's multibillion-dollar civil asset forfeiture bucket. Rivers has retained a lawyer in the hope of getting at least some of his money back. Rivers says he suspects he may have been singled out for a search because he was the only black person on that part of the train.

    There is no presumption of innocence under civil asset forfeiture laws. Rather, law enforcement officers only need to have a suspicion -- in practice, often a vague one -- that a person is involved with illegal activity in order to seize their property. On the highway, for instance, police may cite things like tinted windows, air fresheners or trash in the car, according to a Washington Post investigation last year...Once property has been seized, the burden of proof falls on the defendant to get it back -- even if the cops ultimately never charge them with a crime. "We don’t have to prove that the person is guilty," an Albuquerque DEA agent told the Journal. "It’s that the money is presumed to be guilty."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Paprika View Post
    It's a bad law. One that politicians passed and the police merely enforce

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Paprika View Post
      I'm very suspiscious about the truth of this story, something seems to be missing. What was the original suspiscion that gave the agent the right to interrogate the passengers on the train or to ask to search their belongings? There is nothing suspiscious about traveling to LA on a train in and of itself.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JimL View Post
        I'm very suspiscious about the truth of this story, something seems to be missing. What was the original suspiscion that gave the agent the right to interrogate the passengers on the train or to ask to search their belongings? There is nothing suspiscious about traveling to LA on a train in and of itself.
        This story was extensively documented several weeks ago. It did, in fact, actually occur.
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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        • #5
          Being that I don't break the law, guess if I ever get stopped by police with cash on me that'll be the day I die, because that's the only way they'll get the cash from me. That's just my nature unfortunately.
          "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JimL View Post
            I'm very suspiscious about the truth of this story, something seems to be missing. What was the original suspiscion that gave the agent the right to interrogate the passengers on the train or to ask to search their belongings? There is nothing suspiscious about traveling to LA on a train in and of itself.
            Your skepticism is only natural being how outrageous it is. But it's apparently happening everywhere: Texas, LA, Michigan...
            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
              This story was extensively documented several weeks ago. It did, in fact, actually occur.
              I'm not suggeating that it didn't occur, I'm just questioning the accuracy of the reporting of it. According to the law as cited, suspicion has to come before an interrogation of a suspect, not as the result of an interrogation.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JimL View Post
                I'm not suggeating that it didn't occur, I'm just questioning the accuracy of the reporting of it. According to the law as cited, suspicion has to come before an interrogation of a suspect, not as the result of an interrogation.
                "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seanD View Post
                  Being that I don't break the law, guess if I ever get stopped by police with cash on me that'll be the day I die, because that's the only way they'll get the cash from me. That's just my nature unfortunately.
                  Don't blame you. I would never have allowed the agent to interrogate me or search my belongings without cause or a warrant in the first place.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                    It's a bad law. One that politicians passed and the police merely enforce
                    Rubbish.
                    “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                    “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                    “not all there” - you know who you are

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seanD View Post
                      Being that I don't break the law, guess if I ever get stopped by police with cash on me that'll be the day I die, because that's the only way they'll get the cash from me. That's just my nature unfortunately.
                      Don't blame you. I would never have allowed the agent to interrogate me or search my belongings without cause or a warrant in the first place.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                        Rubbish.
                        How can I possibly refute such a carefully thought out rebuttal. One in which you so expertly marshalled the evidence and presented it in such an organized manner so as to be irrefutable. Indeed, I am undone.

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          It's a bad law. One that politicians passed and the police merely enforce
                          I hate it when I hear people say "police don't make the laws, they just enforce them!" as a way to excuse their participation in enforcing an unjust use of force against citizens.

                          If somebody beat you, tied you up, and stole your stuff would you feel less anger if they said "I don't actually want your stuff, I just work for a gang and they pay me to steal from you, so this is nothing personal blame them."? I doubt it.

                          And yes, I know not all cops are bad.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                            It's a bad law. One that politicians passed and the police merely enforce
                            The law gives them the option but not the obligation to seize the money.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For anyone wanting an overview,

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kEpZWGgJks

                              John Oliver did a 16 minute segment on this in October

                              Comment

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