This is brazen overreach and needs to be reigned in
It’s not a tainted or not situation… for small denomination bills it’s really just a question of how tainted.
If I recall their conclusion section correctly, the issue is with these chemicals becoming macroscopically embedded into the fibres of a bill along combined with repeated exposure to liquids (mostly sweat and other water exposure) dissolving them in to the fibres at the microscopic scale
Sadly, I don’t expect any thing as serious as even a slap on the wrist for this act that makes a joke out of the laws of the country.
That's exactly what it is, but there's generally no enforcement against police in the USA, and there's definitely no real enforcement against federal police as a group in the USA.
(Sometimes individual federal police get busted, but nothing happens to medium-to-large criminal conspiracies within the FBI/DEA/BATFE/etc.)
It's a known bug that nobody with the power to fix really cares about fixing.
If the police ask permission to search you, your car, or your house, say "I do not consent to a search". Followed by, "Am I being detained?" If the answer is "No, you are not being detained." then leave immediately (unless at your house, in which case go inside and lock the door).
Police are good at making you feel as if you have to consent. They might say, "We're going to search your car now." Makes it seem like you don't have a choice and it's happening one way or another, yeah? Well it's not the case. That was your cue to say, "I do not consent to a search". Saying "I do not consent to a search" might prevent a search or make evidence obtained during that [illegal] search inadmissible. Or it might be found that the police had probable cause or other reason to make the search legal, in which case you lost nothing.
Record + immediately upload such an interaction if you can.
As an aside, I appreciate like 90% of the work the police do.
I've actually had US border pigs physically penetrate female partners of mine traveling with me, as retaliation, because I exercised my fifth amendment right to not answer their questions upon re-entering the US.
Do not consent to a search, and do not talk to the police.
Sadly in the US you must actually vocalize your silence, simply standing silent has been determined by the courts (in a completely insane decision) to be a potential admission of guilt. Practice speaking the following: "I'm sorry, officer, but I must insist on affirmatively exercising my right to remain silent."
More info if you need/want it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE
Therefore he recommends AGAINST saying anything regarding your right to remain silent, and even recommends against remaining completely mute (as this can also be used against you -- again, in contradiction with the constitution, but apparently the courts don't care).
The author therefore recommends that the proper way to invoke your 5th amendment right is to actually invoke your right to council. If you are questioned by authorities and wish to remain silent, then the correct response is the exact phrase: "I want a lawyer".
This effectively prevents then from further questioning you, ensuring your 5th amendment right, while also preventing them from testifying in court along the lines of "the suspect refused to answer questions and we found that to be suspicious"
The US Supreme court has a long history of disregarding the constitution in favor of legislative deference or perceived public will
The 5th is just the latest in a long line of rulings that make the bill of rights looks like swiss cheese with all manner of exception, backdoors, and work arounds to ensure that government agents do not actually have to respect anyone's rights, and even if they blatantly violate them they get "qualified immunity" (a standard invented wholly by the US Supreme court) from any and all punishment for said violation
I fear the progress made by the Youtube video you linked may have been wiped out by this event.
If an officer stopped you in your automobile and asked if you had any drugs on your person and you said "I plead the fifth", does that alone give them probable cause to search your car?
If you crossed a border and an officer asked you if you were carrying any dangerous goods and you answered "no" they might let you continue. If you answered "I plead the fifth" would they be constitutionally required to also let you continue or would they be able to discriminate based on that answer?
I know the ruling class and their ruling class lawyers would like to gaslight us into not believing our lying eyes and think that pleading the fifth is a perfectly normal and totally innocent thing to do. I don't think that is progress at all. The reality is that it obviously raises very real questions about their motives.
It doesn't mean they did commit a crime, it doesn't mean it is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is a data point that is perfectly legitimate to judge on its merits.
The fifth is to help defend against forced or coerced confessions, not to liberate a person being tried from being subject to judgement of their behavior.
Your process is missing a bit of exposition here - I see lots of videos of people repeatedly asking that question and it not having a great outcome.
Lots of videos of Sovereign Citizen nutjobs screeching "am I being detained?" hasn't helped things.
It is a double edged sword because sadly the police view the public as the enemy in alot of cases, and if you know your rights under the law they view you as "aggressive" or "hindering" their job.
Most do not understand that their primary job is to protect those rights the same rights that they hate people knowing and exercising. Instead they are deluded into this belief by elected officials that their legal role is one of overseer, or ruler over the residents or subjects in the jurisdiction...
"I appreciate your work officer, but I'm going to have to decline to consent to a search."?
This would not be needed to be said if
1. There was a proper process to remove bad actors from the force
2. If we did not over criminalize society to the point that every person needs to fear the police because chances are the police could find some law or regulation you have violated to ruin your day, week or life.
2. This is a huge problem, you're right. We should maybe have a process for reviewing laws that have been on the books for a while. Maybe an automatic sunset: Every new law has a 7-year sunset provision. In 7 years after being passed, it automatically goes away UNLESS the legislature actively does something to renew it. Also drugs, of course--end the war on drugs.
2. I prefer a Jefferson view that all laws should expire Automatically, forcing the legislature to renew them if they want to keep them. The number of laws that have been removed from the books absent an expire clause is pretty low. Jefferson thought the constitution itself should have to be affirmed every 19 years
For example, abuse of forfeiture in Philadelphia . There are cases where a teenager is arrested with selling small amounts of cannabis and then his parents have to repeatedly fight to not have their house seized as the proceeds of crime.
In the very minimum, asset forfeiture should require a criminal conviction. If you, the government, want to seize $1 million as the proceeds of drug trafficking, you should be required to convict someone with trafficking $1+ million in drugs. And I don't mean "street value" of drugs in their possession.
Anything less should be ruled as unconstitutional by virtue of being an unreasonable search and seizure.
The article says that asset forfeiture requires only a "more likely than not" standard of evidence, which seems terrible, but there's no indication that standard has been met. Most money isn't the product of drug trafficking. Seeing rubber bands and having your dog bark in the presence of the money may be slight evidence of drug dealing, but not enough to overcome the low prior.
Note: Assets stolen by law enforcement through CAF far exceeds assets stolens to home burglaries in USA.
Police don't have to file any charges to keep the cash. The onus is on the victim to file a claim. Average cost to file a claim including attorney fees is $3000. Average size of forfeitured property is $1400. Most people let go of that money and no charges are filed and hence we do not have any data on the question you have raised. Various states have refused to share this data as well making it hard to obtain.
If the cops have not seeked conviction and have not obtained it I would argue that it is just plain theft.
Also, repeating my comment from below:
Specifically, related quotes from Wikipedia:
"From 2005 to 2010, government seizures of assets from both criminals as well as innocent citizens went from $1.25 billion to $2.50 billion"
"In 2010, there were 15,000 cases of forfeitures."
If you divide $2.5B by 15k cases, you'll get avg. $166k/case, which is far from $1400 you mention. So either your source or my interpretation of Wikipedia is wrong.
It is more complex than that. Under CAF the property is on trial and not you. While the state laws vary, around 12 states use what is call Administrative forfeiture. All they have to do is send you a notice claiming they intend to take away your property and you have 20 days to approach the court. 20 days. If you fail to do so, there is nothing you can do and the government keeps the property.
But even if you decide to file the claim, federal and state laws grant the power to government authorities to decide if the case should go to court. Federal law and some state laws give government attorneys the power to decide whether the claim can proceed to court. Most often you wont get your day in court at all.
CBP is the worst of federal agencies. By law when it steals your property, it is required to inform this to DOJ who is then supposed to either return the property or follow judicial forfeiture. In 7 out of 11 cases CBP simply ignores the law. The desperate property owner then have no choice but to negotiate with CBP which than splits the loot and returns only part of it to the owner.
> From 2005 to 2010, government seizures of assets from both criminals as well as innocent citizens went from $1.25 billion to $2.50 billion
I think your math is wrong because you are dividing 5 years worth of money with 2010's number of cases. But that is not very relevant. Bernie Madoff's few billion dollars were also under CAF so they would skew the mean. Also I would suggest look at state data. Institute of Justice has much detailed numbers. Florida's average CAF value is $4.5k and every other state is below $2k where as median cost to litigate is around $3000K.
> The median currency forfeiture is small, averaging just $1,276 across 21 states with available data. In some states, the median forfeiture is only a few hundred dollars. These low values suggest forfeiture often is not targeting kingpins or major financial fraudsters. 
> In the four states that track this information, people seek return of their property in 22% of cases or fewer. 
> The low median value of most forfeitures is in line with media reports about forfeiture activity. For example, from 2012 to 2017, Cook County, Illinois, law enforcement conducted over 23,000 seizures totaling $150 million. The median value of these seizures was just $1,049, and approximately three-quarters of the seizures were of cash (most of the rest were vehicles). Many of these seizures, including most cash seizures of less than $100, were clustered in the poorest parts of Chicago. 
These trends of median value of CAF hold pretty much for every state but you can look at the IJ report yourself.
But any rate the original point stands, cops steal more than burglars.
 - https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit-3/pfp3content/exec...
 - https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit-3/policing-for-pro...
My understanding $1.25B and $2.5B are per year numbers. But even if they are not, they are still 10x time more than your number.
ij.org is not the primary source, it does not reference the originals, and clearly has an agenda, so a different source is needed for the raw data.
Secondly, while I suspect 15K is far to less number perhaps it might be tru for federal CAF, but we need to add state CAFs as well as Cook county alone seems to have seen over 23K instances over five year period.
IJ of course has an agenda to end CAF and without a doubt they will cherrypick data that suites their agenda, which is still better data that law enforcement which has far nefarious motives may provide.
(I haven't attempted to see if that breakdown can be derived, I suspect it's true, but if you won't find it convincing it isn't worth trying to figure it out. :) )
I am unsure about that. I'd argue that one must only include undisputed forfeitures. Despite the arguments about attorney costs, the total sum indicates that most of forfeited property costs much more than the cost of an appeal.
If you divide $2.5B by 15k cases, you'll get avg. $166k/case, which is far from averages posted above.
What if you were the .1%? I think any amount of unjustified seizure of money from citizens is unacceptable.
I think that's fine. It is not like judgement is 100% correct. We prefer the current system that might convict an innocent to a complete lack of a system. Doesn't mean there's no room for improvement. But also doesn't excuse using two incomparable metrics.
Various chain emails over the past seven years have warned readers about the possibility of Homeland Security seizing items like gold, silver and guns from their safe deposit boxes at the bank. This isn’t possible without first obtaining a search warrant, since those boxes are private property. And banking officials told us random seizures just aren’t happening. We rate this statement Pants on Fire.
That is, Politifact was replying to a specific chain email that US Dept of Homeland Security had made it a written policy that they could seize any safe-deposit boxes at will. This is clearly false, and Politifact's analysis is correct.
In this specific case, the government did get a warrant, and from what is being reported it does look like they exceeded the boundaries of that warrant. That said, there is a far cry from "individual raid, for which there is an underlying warrant, exceeds the boundaries of that warrant" and "DHS has said they can confiscate any safe-deposit box at will."
The more important issue is that HN should be a place where I come to the comments to learn more about some of the underlying circumstances of a story (and I usually do), not a place where a low effort comment is made with the deliberate intention to obfuscate. Please leave that shit on Twitter.
Again, I'm in no way absolving the FBI for what they did in this case, and I think civil asset forfeiture is just official theft in many instances, but just highlighting that there is a mountain of difference between what Politifact was originally responding to with respect to "DHS will seize your bank safety deposit box at will" and what happened with this shady outfit.
"Various chain emails" != "a specific chain email"
>The FBI also said a dog had smelled unspecified drugs on Ruiz’s cash.
that works too. Especially given that most, or something like this, cash in US has traces of drugs on it.
> In warrants authorizing the search and seizure of all “business equipment” at U.S. Private Vaults, U.S. Magistrate Steven Kim placed strict limits on the government, explicitly barring federal agents from searching the contents of each box for evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
"U.S. Private Vaults was indicted in February on charges of conspiring with unnamed customers to sell drugs, launder money and structure cash transactions to dodge government detection. No people were charged."
Meaning that the private company offering these deposit boxes was the target; and then everyone who used them is collectively facing the government seizing it for an indictment completely unrelated to them.
1. Islam and some fundamental Christian denominations prohibit dealing with those who do usury, so some people can't use banks.
2. One could just have sold a car for cash.
3. People lend money to each other and the chef could just have been paid back.
4. Some people believe in reptiloids, some believe in imminent collapse of the society, so they buy bitcoin, dig bunkers and store cash in safe boxes.
5. Some people may want to store money in a place which is out of reach of their ex-spouses.
My point being: big pile of cash is a bad excuse for a search.
Innocent until _proven_ guilty. It is not "could be guilty until you prove your innocence" nor is it "assumed guilty just because it fits a narrative" and nor is it "guilty because that is something other people who turned out to be guilty also did"
Sure, sleeping on a mattress made of $100 bills might raise suspicion.. but that's still not a crime. If the government suspect you haven't paid your taxes, the burden is still on them to prove you didn't pay your taxes. If they have any evidence to bring this to a court, it would need to pass the threshold of actually being evidence of absent tax payments, it is not enough to say "They are sleeping on a bed of benjamins, your honor."
I'm well aware this is ignoring how hilariously broken actual legal proceedings are, of course, thus scenarios like the one that started this thread.
Frankly, neither #2 nor #3 apply to a pile of cash in a safe deposit box (and who loans almost twice the median income to someone?!), and #5 is illegal.
But yes, big pile of cash is definitely a bad excuse for a search and a worse excuse for a seizure.
As far as number 5, you can't assume that's illegal either. I have a family member who's ex wife continues to commit identity theft and cause headaches for him 5 years after the divorce is over.
In that case, it would also be illegal.
> As far as number 5, you can't assume that's illegal either. I have a family member [whose] ex wife continues to commit identity theft and cause headaches for him 5 years after the divorce is over.
Okay? So he keeps his money in cash in a safe deposit box? Doubt.
It'd only be illegal if they weren't paying taxes on it or otherwise not reporting it for other purposes. Having a giant pile of cash because I don't like my bank auto reporting my money in and of itself isn't evidence of anything.
Only if that's an attempt to evade legal requirements, rather than (for example) moving personal money out of accounts that the ex-spouse has access to.
This the Orwellian society people continue to demand. You don’t get the parts of an authoritarian regime that just benefit your desires. You get the whole enchilada.
>The state returned the $525 but kept $20,000 in the other case.
I don't see myself ever needing to carry that much cash, but if I did, my carotid artery would be "pulsating" too.
Statistically, it seems like the police would very rarely, if ever, catch a person traveling with a lot of cash. First, a person would need to be pulled over (granted, isn't that rare), then the police would need to think to search the vehicle (they certainly aren't searching every out-of-town vehicle that is pulled over).
Yet, somehow they are managing to collect billions each year from civil asset forfeiture.
I suspect, without any proof what-so-ever, that police get records of large cash deposits/withdraws from banks and that information is available to them during traffic stops. These kind of cases happen too frequently to be chance, IMHO. There must be some kind of a priori knowledge available to the officers. Especially when they are nicking people going to pick up used cars from out-of-state or something.
Answer "yes" and now it's a series of questions about the money of which none of it is the cop's goddamn business, and if you feel it's none of his business, boom, you're "acting suspiciously" and cash is seized and you end up in jail for the night or left on the side of the road with no car or money.
Particularly when traveling out of state. And presumably officers are pretty good at profiling people of the relevant ethnic and economic status that make them more likely to be carrying substantial amounts of cash.
I think it's likely if ordinary police were getting this kind of information on a regular basis we'd know. There are just too many police to keep that kind of thing a secret.
Add a decent number of general cash transactions happening overall and if anything it’s surprising CAF numbers aren’t bigger. I suspect a lot of the ‘seizures’ go unreported as they know the party won’t try to report it/fill out paperwork.
That's how I'd do it if I were in charge of a well funded gang of thieves!
All credit/debit card swipes get fed into the FBI in realtime without a warrant, since 2010:
All of your purchase locations and timestamps are put in your cop file.
In Italy it's already illegal to use cash for payments bigger than 2000 eu.
What makes the US situation silly is that they could say "here is a new law, big cash transactions are illegal" instead they're formally legal but they treat you like a criminal if you happen to do it (effectively discouraging any citizen who has "nothing to hide" to just prefer traceable money transfer methods).
Somebody should push legislators to just make a clear-cut decision. It's either legal or illegal.
That's sad. Fortunately, it will be somewhat hard to enforce.
I tried buying my car in the USA in cash. Surprisingly, while it was legal, the dealership denied me.
Its like I am reading report from the high-sea piracy
The onus is not on the police to prove a crime has been committed and the "innocent until proven guilty" system has flipped to where the accused now needs to move heaven and earth to verify he is innocent.
In all likelihood this is just a cash-grab by the cops and I would be suspicious whether all of the funds were entered as evidence or if some of it has "accidentally" been lost in transit.
(I think this is more a matter of the FBI being the FBI: they were convinced that they'd find lots of evidence of crime inside those boxes, evidence they couldn't stand not to get their hands on, because they're the FBI and they don't like anything they can't see)
What do warrants even prove at this point? That a cop went down a list of increasingly convoluted excuses and picked an attractive looking one?
If you are an actual drug dealer you can hire one of those armored cash moving trucks to move your cash and the cops will never bother stopping it.
edit: I believe this was the incident: https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/aclu-sues-dhs-over-unlaw...
edit 2: It was $4700. Wouldn't raise eyebrows in a bank withdrawal. Not what I had in mind when I said "massive".
A EU wide rule may follow, but maybe a bit higher.
Sometimes I feel restrictions on cash are at the behest of large banks ad duopolies like Mastercard and Visa.
The actual restrictions are (as you mentioned) on transactions under 10k that need to avoid any possible appearance of structuring to avoid the 10k deposit reporting
Carrying $20k+ to a good home game is not uncommon in California.
A lot of the framework and the beginnings of domestic spying really started after the Oklahoma City Bombing. The underpinnings of the Patriot Act were originally passed then.
> war on drugs (which was itself an outgrowth of anti-black racism)
I think this is an oversimplification of the history of the war on drugs. Racism is certainly a facet, but the association of drugs use with counter culture and the anti war movement are just as important. Soaring crime rates in the 70s and 80s are also related to the war on drugs. There were also cultural and political incentives to ratchet it up in the name of :doing something". Average people of every racial and economic background were concerned about drugs in the early 80s. Boiling it down to any one thing really does a disservice to complexity of the issue. Radley Balko's "The Rise of the Warrior Cop" has a lot of good historical information on the topic.
The "relation" is that those soaring crime rates were caused by the war on drugs.
There isn't broad consensus on what causes crime rates to soar from roughly 1960 to 1992.
Not really sure what you are trying to say here. Your tone suggests that you are refuting OP's point when you are actually reinforcing it (the Oklahoma bombing was a terrorist attack albeit domestic)
The average American in 1970 really wanted more drug enforcement as an ends unto itself. It was something of a national preoccupation across the political divide by 1980.
How do you even begin to quantify such a thing as intent? Not least when the best evidence for intent is a dodgy quote published years after the death of the man who might have disputed it?
Where did you get this ridiculous counter-factual? As a group, Black people,by fact of being concentrated in poor and urban areas, where drug violence did its greatest destruction to the public realm, were some of the biggest proponents for the war on drugs. This spanned all levels of government, from community organizers in New York City to the Congressional Black Caucus.
In a surprising turn of events, sometimes mistakes are just mistakes.
Given that the war on drugs existed before the ramp up of civil forfeiture, I doubt that. But I’m down to find out if you can get that single law passed - my point was the perception of drug dealers rich off drug money are the reason there’s not a lot of support for ending civil forfeiture.
The "justification" for it is: a criminal can amass vast sums of money, then use it to buy so many top lawyers that he or she is untouchable.
That may be a problem, but "fixing" the problem requires harming so many people who haven't committed any crime that the fix is worse than the problem. A serious criminal will keep the assets safe from law enforcement, i.e. not in a strip mall "bank."
Why not just require everyone to use a public defender? That would fix the "problem" too. (That was a joke, in case you're wondering.)
So, logically follows that the ruling class is above the law?
Her appearance on Ellen alongside Snoop was pretty funny, though.
So they're admitting the justice system is dysfunctional and the only way to fix it is via more dysfunction. It shouldn't matter how much money the defendant has. It works the other way, too. The gov has access to a vast number of resources compared to the people they try to convict. I sat on a jury and witnessed this myself. The defendant had a lone public defender, while the gov had an army of lawyers and public workers at their disposal.
According to Wikipedia there were only 15k asset forfeiture cases in 2010 in total, and that includes criminal forfeiture. Chances are many of them are either criminal money or are actually easily returned. So how many innocent people are actually affected by this?
And "Chances are many of them are either criminal money": we have a process for determining if someone's a criminal. It doesn't involve the government just deciding that on its own.
Yes! Just like it is OK (as in better than nothing) to have innocent people imprisoned sometimes, or denied common rights unjustly due to judgement mistakes. Policies are hard like that. There's a thin line and to discuss them it is important to understand everything that will happen if you move one.
Let's take a different case: Duterte in the Phillippines. "We know who's a drug dealer, so the police can just kill them. Yeah, maybe a few innocent people will get killed, but hey, small price to pay."
Is that too extreme? What if the police just rounded up people they thought were drug dealers and jailed them, putting the burden of proving their innocence on them?
"Innocent until proven guilty" - that's the policy that you cannot violate.
Which is simply a process, written into the law.
> before one is deprived of liberty or property
I'd be curious to hear what the universal right to "due process" is, if it is not defined as above, and which would allow to arrest people on the crime scene or even better after a short chase from the crime scene, including the property they might have just stolen.
> Let's take a different case: Duterte in the Phillippines.
You said immediately after my comment, whose point was that how much exactly to move the line and which direction is the process of policing.
(Sadly in reality even when innocent, it's hard to get the assets back without a legal battle.)
The law enforcement understands this and uses it to profit from this public support.
So when you hear people say "well, Floyd committed a crime previously," it's the long shadow of the past of (1) criminalizing them and then (2) dehumanizing them, in order to treat them as low value chattel - justifying killings or other mistreatment.
That said I think it disgusting to pretend that George Floyd was subject to a "web of laws designed to incarcerate black people", unless that web of laws targeting only black people includes prosecuting things like armed robbery. If his priors had only included things like jaywalking or drug possession I might agree with you.
"In 2007, Floyd faced charges for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon; according to investigators, he had entered an apartment by impersonating a water department worker and barging in with five other men, then held a pistol to a woman's stomach."
If anyone wants to talk about disproportionate prosecution thats fine. I think more armed robbers should be in jail to protect innocent victims, and if that means catching more white or asian ones I'm all for it.
Sentencing disparities are disgraceful but I thought I remember reading that they largely disappeared if you adjusted for prior convictions and mitigating circumstances(armed robbery with an straw purchased gun vs. a bat for example). Also I think somewhat related were economic reasons(affording a better lawyer), and honestly though tackling poverty is probably a better way to prevent future criminals, we still need to do something about today's criminals and protect future victims.
OK, and? That quote is from Wikipedia and I'm sure that you read on and saw the next few sentences documenting that he served 5 years in prison for that crime, and then worked with rehab mentoring organizations and was never again charged with a violent crime or property crime. He was briefly arrested in 2019 for possession of opiates due to his personal drug addiction.
I think more armed robbers should be in jail to protect innocent victims
But he went to prison, for 5 years. Armed robbery is bad for sure, but how long do you want to keep people in prison? Nobody was shot or otherwise injured. After he was released, there were no similar offenses. Why would you still want to treat him like a violent criminal 13 years later?
I was responding to the disingenuous claims in the original post.
>Nobody was shot or otherwise injured
Being held at gunpoint might not cause physical injuries but its dismissive to pretend it causes no injuries.
>After he was released, there were no similar offenses. Why would you still want to treat him like a violent criminal 13 years later?
I wouldn't, don't attribute the strawman in your head to me.
More relevant to the original post I responded to I also wouldn't pretend he was only subject to a "web of laws designed to incarcerate black people" after getting punished for committing a violent crime.
Then you say you were responding to disingenuity? Sorry, no sale.
Investigators also once said "After Floyd got out of his car, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later."
I don't always trust what investigators say, especially ones from a department that once jailed Floyd for 15 days for "failure to identify to a police officer" (???), and later murdered him.
Edit: Apologies, it was actually a different department that murdered him.
Maybe the 7 year old who identified him was coerced by detectives. Anything is possible. That doesn't mean we discount all evidence presented with the thought terminating cliche "ACAB".
I'm very comfortable saying that even in an ideal future where racial harmony has been achieved and police misconduct is a distant memory, if placed on a jury I still would never convict someone on the sole evidence of a 7-year-old's photo array testimony 3 months after the crime occurred.
In absense of other evidence, I'll presume innocence, and that the officer is lying. That's what the thought terminated ACAB means there, a presumption of innocence.
Someone who is known to have committed a crime in the past, is what 'criminal' should mean. However the word has decayed to implicitly meaning 'career criminal', which might also be an apt label. Contrast to the phrase 'reformed criminal'.
The problem of __dismissive labels__ rather than specific labels being bad, hadn't been conveyed to me previously and this helps me see the rhetoric about avoiding other dismissive terms such as 'homeless' in a clearer light. Even the new PC terms often only get used in the same way; which does not solve the problem, nor communicate why the change in phrasing was necessary.
I disagree. There is indeed a web of laws and subsidies that makes black people to chose a career of crime.
It starts with public schooling system. Black ghettos have some of the countries worst schools. These schools fail all the black kids in their early formative years. This blame is not on racist white conservatives but teachers union funded political left.
Not only black kids fail to get a good education, their overall lack of abilities are glorified by political left in the name of multiculturism. Failure to speak good english, dress well, do basic math, reading and writing etc. is something portrayed as uniquely black things that somehow we should celebrate. A black kid who does well academically is called a coconut. The kid who is out of school can not find a job or unpaid work because of minimum wage laws enacted by political left.
If you are white kid and 17 years old it is much easier to find a job. You have a social connections, other white people trust you and other small business owners are mostly white. If you are black kid of a single mom living in a ghetto getting that first job is incredibly hard. How do you survive then ?
Your bad second hand car gets tickets which you can't pay. You get arrested for not paying them. Out of desperation you learn to peddle drugs and go to jail a few times. You record means you can never get even the lowest of low jobs at Costco or Walmart. The only choice you have now is to continue working in the underground economy which has worst of ethics and higher probability of getting jailed.
Warren Buffet use to say that the modern cash register made an entire generation of Americans more honest. He had a point. Larger dishonesty starts with smaller thefts. But reverse is also true, if you are never exposed to honest work, it is hard for you to stay out of jail in this country.
I do feel crime among black people is a systemic issue and not an issue of genetics and both political left and right are responsible for pushing them into this sad state.
PS: My arguments are mostly based on Thomas Sowell's work around race. He has put in lot of efforts to show that while culture matters, the culture itself is not determined by genetics. Culture evolves based on incentives.
As a practical matter, I'd say it's more along the lines of just how do you control a crazy acting person without hurting them. A certain number of them are going to die, there's no way around it. Most people would probably agree that a lot of traffic stops and arrests are for chickenshit offenses. Add to that the fact that police are wired a little like German Shepherds. You run, they chase.
That’s… quite a summary of a cop putting his knee on someone’s neck while people all around screamed at him that the man was suffering, and staying in that position until the man died. Floyd was already on the ground and had four armed policemen surrounding him - how was he a threat, or someone who couldn’t just be hauled up and cuffed / placed in a police car? Compare it for example to the almost-courteous way Dylan Roof - who committed a crime far worse than anything Floyd ever did - was treated by the police when they finally caught up to him.
I’m sorry but you sound like a right wing TV host doing their best to paper over the truth / make it about anything else but the inherent racism of American policing. Perhaps if Floyd was an aberration your point might hold - but this is clearly a pattern, as we’ve seen over and over. The only way to solve the problem is by understanding its roots, not blasé statements reducing it to statistics and a “crazy acting man” who couldn’t be subdued without hurting him.
Usually they don't die. Designing a protocol is not such an easy thing.
Talk to someone who has worked in a cell-extraction team, it's a pretty outrageous scene.
'inherent racism'? Sounds like someone who has a purely internet knowledge of policing. The world's a complicated place. Save your outrage to bore your friends.
I didn’t bring it up before because it wasn’t germane to my point, but I’m an African man (from West Africa, where the effects of chattel slavery are still being felt every day) who has lived in the US for a decade. So yes, as a person who has experienced both the racism displayed to us people
living in the so-called “third world”, as well as racism in the US, I think I am entitled to my outrage. Perhaps working in a cell-extraction team as you said is making you take this personally. But this isn’t about you, it’s about a system set up after slavery to keep black people in their place. It doesn’t mean every policeman / woman is racist, just as I wouldn’t say “all white people are racist” just because they continue to benefit from a system that was setup to heavily favor them. So please don’t dismiss my viewpoint as mere outrage informed by the Internet. Of course the world is a complicated place - even back home not all our problems can be blamed on slavery and colonialism (we have had terrible leaders, our government is rife with corruption etc). That doesn’t mean racism’s effects don’t play a huge part in our current state, or continue to lead to young black men especially having their lives treated as more expendable than their white counterparts.
You can probably draw a very clear line between 'perception of fairness in the criminal justice system's and 'likelyhood to commit crime'.
I'll take what you might think of as a third track.
It's not so much that it's biased, but that it's arbitrary. Especially at the Federal level, the disparity in sentencing is remarkable..and it isn't just the difference in lawyer quality depending on wealth.
*I do think there's plenty of racism, institutional and otherwise, embedded in the "justice" system itself. Sentencing disparities are a travesty. But it's more complex than you implied.
See the cycle?
And then there's the argument for why gangs exist in the first place, or other small, localized militias providing protection and a place of belonging.
"Just don't commit crimes, 4head" misses... a lot.
The way we treat people with a mug shot is horrendous. But mug shots per se serve a vital purpose: they are a public record of persons the state is holding. That makes “disappearing” them later on harder.
Any sane government would find a way to both protect the identity of the accused while also ensuring the the appropriate family members can get access to this information if necessary.
While we're at it, the way normal people get arrested is fucking horrible too. It's not like in the movies where they lightly cuff your hands together. The police have specifically designed their handcuff procedures to be as painful as possible and to make it look like you're resisting, when in fact, you're just responding to pain and trying to maintain balance.
If I were an oppressive state, I'd make sure to publish mugshots of most people, to create a "public trail" of "we don't disappear people" but only actually disappear those few that I really wanted to disappear.
Where would you prefer they be posted? Would you be prohibited from photographing them?
The core problem is how we treat people accused--not even convicted--of crimes. Socially. But also legally. That's a better place to address the issue than trying to gerrymander the Eighth Amendment.
For example I am pretty sure if you create a bill that says prison inmates are required to give a fellatio to other inmates it will not muster a single vote in Congress. Yet, it is reality of prisons. Now, is penitentiary supposed to punish people like this ? No. Do most Americans find pleasure in the fact that inmates in prison are treated like this ? I think Yes.
The point is once you are in prison for whatever reason, your life is essentially done even if the punishment was for few years. You wont get a job, no one will rent a place to you, you wont get a loan and so on. Unless you have a pretty big community safety net you wont survive.
Jails any ways are not supposed to punish people.
1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fiRDJLjL94
2 - https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/14/texas-prison-air-con...
I think that the time period where this is true is the post-WW2 prosperity. There was a large premium on order and social stability here, along with creating institutions that kept (white, suburban, middle-class, male) Americans safe and gave them a stable upwards trajectory. Much of the support for law & order comes out of the demographic that grew up in this time period, with subsequent generations being much more skeptical of law enforcement and sympathetic to criminals. You don't see 20-somethings flying thin-blue-line flags, but you do see them calling to defund the police.
I think your real life examples are great, though!
Thomas Watson Sr. still managed to found IBM after being sentenced to a year in jail for anti-trust violations as an NCR salesperson. Chesa Boudin got elected as San Francisco DA even though his parents were sentenced to prison for the felony murders of two police officers. Hell, he's a good example of someone who takes the side of criminals accused of petty theft or small-scale drug crimes.
I think there's some small subset of Americans who are Law & Order at all costs, but most people tend to have their own moral judgments about which are just and unjust laws, and they don't judge people harshly (or at all) for being accused of breaking unjust laws. Most people wouldn't take the side of a murderer or child predator. But a drug user or illegal immigrant? Lots of people take their side, even if they aren't one themselves.
Having lived in many countries and born in India, I have actually come to respect these outlaws. Now, that does not mean you gotta love all criminals but without the healthy disrespect for authorities and skepticism of government agencies no society can actually improve. Nearly all women's rights and civil rights movements had government agencies as their greatest opponents.
I think the government has learned the lesson post MLK, Rosa Parks incident. The cost of pull of a Rosa Parks like stunt is very very high today. Not only you go to jail pretty quickly in a violent manner, your mugshots appears everywhere on internet, you might lose your job, rental property and low credit score. more importantly your neighbor and friends will hate you for being a criminal without even bothering what crime you did.
A classic case is of people who left water for illegal border crossers. It was illegal and yet a great gesture, the right thing to do. But if you have felony against your name, you life is permanently ruined. As a job interviewer you might actually hold such action in high regard but the resume is not going to reach your desk.
In other words, it's significantly higher than the numbers the FBI claims.
Some places actually create budgets, based on forfeiture. There's a town in Texas, that basically set themselves up as "highwaymen" (Would have been ironic, if the town was named "Turpin").
Gives a whole new meaning to "Quota Night."
I remember reading about a person around these parts, that was unable to get their property back, after they were cleared, because the police department had already sold it.
I understand why it was implemented, but it has been abused so widely and for so long that it must stop. It has stopped being a tool for law enforcement to being a tool to coerce defendants and the innocent alike.
The counter-argument is that if that money was used to generate more funds legally, is that other money not tainted?
Say you make $10 million selling drugs, and use that to invest in housing in an area, and the money doubled over a few years. If you sell all those houses and now have $20 million in the bank, how much of that is funds available because of illicit behavior? $0, $10 million, or $20 million?
I agree the current system is stupid, and often abusive, but I don't think it's necessarily a simple problem.
So, say you have $10 million after laundering it through a business, and that's used to invest in housing, and that doubles, and later the government identifies all of that original $10 million as illicit because they've identified your laundering method. They are going to attempt to take everything gained, the whole $20 million, under the theory that it was all proceeds of your illicit behavior.
The problem is, what if you already had $1 million dollars free and clear from a settlement or something, and you used that as well, so $11 million was invested and $22 million resulted? Is the government going to take $20 million and leave you $2 million? Doubtful. Should they? That's an interesting question, and depending on how people view the laws involved, 4th amendment rights, and the purpose of the seizing of money, they might come down on different sides of that question.
They were basically offering money laundering as a service as recently as ten years ago. And given how long those court arguments likely take that's recent enough.
They would also work to prosecute less people every year, no more than needed.
The best part is no part.
They could have sued directly in civil court without waiting for the criminal cases to play out. If the Feds have enough evidence to justify foregoing, you know, actual trials and immediately redistribute the assets to the victims then any court cases should be trivial formalities and quickly resolved. On the other hand, if it actually does take years to determine guilt then maybe the Feds shouldn't be so quick to apply the sentence before the trial.
I noted a clear distinction for the case you listed. A traditional joint civil suit against Madoff would have done the exact same thing with a similar amount of process. It's true that access to our legal system is way too expensive in general, but creating a backdoor for the government and hoping they will use it to help private citizens is not the way to fix that.
Not "this looked fishy and is probably illegal so let's seize this person's assets".
No: that deprives the person of their property, and their right to due process. (Not to mention the violations of the 4th covered in the article.) One should not need to prove one's own innocence to get their own stuff back.
I'll allow, under probable cause or a warrant, temporary seizures, but even that must have due process. The seizures in the article did not generally have either.
(I do sort of agree that, in the case the seizure was of an innocent person's belongings, that it be returned with interest. But that does not forgive/condone the human rights violations in TFA.)
What?? In an ideal world a proof should be produced before anything is seized!
Here’s what they said:
> In an ideal world a proof should be produced before anything is seized!
In cases of drivers with cash, this problem is solved by the police arresting the individual and holding the cash.
Indeed, from the article it sounds like they seized what they found then tried to justify it a posteriori and for this guy it seems that was only "god sniffed narcotics on bills".
To me this really reads as: "You have a safe deposit box, and we found cash in it, so you're a criminal and we have seized that cash.". That's ridiculous.
"The right of the people to be secure in their ... effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause ... [and] particularly describing the ... things to be seized."
Let's not create more cases where little guys get bullied around by the legal system because they can't afford to defend themselves. It's already the case that they can (and do) coerce people into pleading guilty for a BS indictment because they can't afford lawyers.
People think they have rights, until the system decides you're an outsider and tramples all over you to the applause of the society (the in group).
LEO use this as a tactic to deprive defendant's ability to fund their own defense.
And punitive damages, maybe then they'll have at least couple of brain cells dedicated to checking if they actually have any case against someone's money.
I see this cop-baiting practice getting criminalized long before civil forfeiture.
Theirs is the money the government takes. Taxpayers (as such) are fellow victims. Voters may have supported the government's actions or opposed them—would you punish the opposition, who are on the victim's side, merely for not having sufficient numbers to prevent it?
The government claims to act on behalf of taxpayers / voters / citizens, but (once elected, if applicable) they make their own decisions about the form of that action; there is no agent/principal relationship here where the principals (citizens) would have specific knowledge of and control over the actions of their agent (the government). If people in the government choose to do something bad then those specific people need to compensate the victims; the fact that they claim, unilaterally, to be acting for someone else does not in any way deflect their personal liability for the consequences of their own choices.
Those who are most directly responsibly for the illegitimate seizures should bear the majority of the cost. That would be the individual officers who carried out the seizure, their superiors at the police department and in the state and federal government, and any judges who sign off on warrants which are later ruled invalid.