"Common People Do Not Carry This Much Currency" – How Police Justify Stealing American Citizens' Money

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Police confiscating Americans’ hard earned cash, as well as a wide variety of other valuables, without an arrest or conviction is a disturbing and growing practice throughput these United States. Since cops get to keep the seized funds and use the money on pretty much anything they want, the practice is becoming endemic in certain parts of the nation. The theft is often referred to simply as civil forfeiture, or civil asset forfeiture. Incredibly, under civil forfeiture laws your property is incredibly “guilty until you prove it innocent.”

The extent of the problem came to my attention last summer after reading an excellent article by Sarah Stillman in the New Yorker. The article struck such a chord with me, I penned a post highlighting it and addressing the issue, titled: Why You Should Never, Ever Drive Through Tenaha, Texas. That article ended up being one of my most popular posts of 2013.

Fast forward a year, and many mainstream publications have also jumped on the topic. Most notably, the Washington Post published an excellent article last month titled, Stop and Seize, which I strongly suggest reading if you haven’t already.

Fortunately for us all, the issue has also caught the eye of the always hilarious, John Oliver of Last Week Tonight. The following clip from his show is brilliant. Not only is it hilarious, but it will hopefully educate a wider audience about this insidious practice so that it can be stopped once and for all.

As one officer admitted in an affidavit justifying his confiscation of an innocent driver’s cash:

“Common people do not carry this much U.S. currency.”



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Tue, 10/07/2014 - 12:47 | 5299300 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

There's a reason those 3D printers sold out yesterday.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 12:48 | 5299304 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Wouldn't phase me if one of those cops got a cap in their asses.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 12:57 | 5299362 Zhuge Liang
Zhuge Liang's picture

guilty until proven innocent, bitchez

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:09 | 5299407 TheAnalOG
TheAnalOG's picture

Stuffing physical currency in brief cases... for people stuck in the 20th Century.

For everything else there's Bitcoin.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:13 | 5299417 SoberOne
SoberOne's picture

Common people do not carry this much gold.


Molon Labe bitchez!

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:25 | 5299488 So What
So What's picture

Awesome show.
Another case of rot in the Jewmerica, rot from the head down. With leaders like bushy boy and obunga, cock holder boy, what do you you expect? All started from 911. These cops know that there is no longer any laws in this USSA, they fill their pockets first.
Aren't you glad now that Ebola will take them out too?
Let the shit rolls. This Godless, Lawless world should end.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:29 | 5299523 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

you first

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:35 | 5299563 Liberal
Liberal's picture

Why carry cash when you can just carry an EBT card?

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:39 | 5299595 Arthor Bearing
Arthor Bearing's picture
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:49 | 5299669 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture


Tue, 10/07/2014 - 14:14 | 5299799 gatorboat
gatorboat's picture

So cops are pirates now.

Welcome to communism.

How's that revolution shaping up?


Tue, 10/07/2014 - 14:19 | 5299838 CH1
CH1's picture

Police departments are criminal organizations that cultivate their junior thugs.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 14:42 | 5299964 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Mercenary soldiers in the Middle Ages were very proficient at living off the locals.

Pillaging has been around for a very long time.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 15:05 | 5300069 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

When pulled over, just quote Tyler...

“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

Tyler Durden in: Fight Club (1999)

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 15:41 | 5300223 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Us "criminal lawyers" (no pun intended) have bee dealing with "civil" forfeiture for a long time. It started with the Feds (as most bad practices do) and spread.

There are a number of really bad Due Process problems with the "local" forfeitures which are now the lion's share of the procedures. The Officers have a huge incentive to slant the evidence or, more important, the "procedure" they went through to find the eivdence, in their favor so that they keep the money. I know it's a surprise to people on this site but economic incentives can skew a decision.

The worst aspect of these so called hearings is that the first level of challenge, in which you get to argue constitutional (often 4th Amendment) issue is often set in front of a Police Captain who (1) has the economic incentive, (2) no goddamn legal training and (3) is the actual party on the other side of the case.

Ah the modern definition of Due Process 

As I've written before, whether the smallest league of seizure, Camera Tickets all the way to the "War on Terror, the new trick (or the old trick depending on your hisotrical perspective) is to redefine the citizens action out of the normal "due process," then shorten and limit their rules and tools...so they always loose.

 just another sign that this empire is broke, corrupt, and collapsing  

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:01 | 5300345 macholatte
macholatte's picture



The Officers have a huge incentive to slant the evidence or, more important, the "procedure" they went through to find the eivdence, in their favor so that they keep the money.


It's worse than that...... the cops KNOW they are hurting innocent by-standers.

Remember: Off the Pigs

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:33 | 5300489 COSMOS
COSMOS's picture


Barry Cooper is a former DEA agent and he can teach you about traffic stops.  Great guy.

By the way LasVegasDave why does the Jewish community stand up for the crooks on wall st or the jewish oligarchs plundering eastern europe? Is it because they make donations to jewish charities?  Only guy they turned on was Madoff and that was because he stole from them.  Also is it because the Torah says its ok to lie and steal from the gents.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 20:46 | 5301376 MeMadMax
MeMadMax's picture

Man, I sure would hate to be a cop when the economic downfall actually starts to impact "main street"...


In all truthfulness, the glue holding the social fabric together in these united states is food stamps and cash welfare... 


Once that goes, watch out...

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 22:05 | 5301666 markmotive
Wed, 10/08/2014 - 01:54 | 5302090 Cadavre
Cadavre's picture

How do plea? 

Not guilty .....

I knew you would say that ...

In the above example, the cinematic cop above, doesn't pilfer assets, he destroys `em. 


Wed, 10/08/2014 - 06:18 | 5302271 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture





We're cops and you're not!


Fin...the end.

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 09:12 | 5302589 messymerry
messymerry's picture

In the immortal words of the police chief in Blade Runner:  "If you're not cop, you're little people."

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 04:57 | 5302219 hot sauce technician
hot sauce technician's picture

Check your premises Cosmos - there is no such thing as the "Jewish community ". There is no central Jewish governing body as you'd like to believe. The ADL, AIPAC, federations and so on are independent bodies that perceive themselves as representing the "Jewish people ". Yet they no more represent Jews than corporate boards represent shareholders and not even that. Any bailing out is done on an ad hoc basis, usually via private initiatives at the grassroots level independent of any political entity.

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 08:51 | 5302521 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Yeah, and Zionism is fake too, right fucker?

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 09:08 | 5302574 hot sauce technician
hot sauce technician's picture

If you'd actually understood what I was saying you'd realize that I wasn't denying the existence of the tribe or it's various governing apparatuses, but rather redefining their nature and /or "modes of operation" vis a vis the gents. There is no uniform mandated-by-central-authority policy towards the gents. The generalization is too gross. There are literally hundreds of groups within the tribe ranging from neomarxist agnostics to anarchist pantheists. But you wouldn't have a clue. Keep on believing what you want to believe. See where that takes you. Have a nice day.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:26 | 5300494 Keyser
Keyser's picture

This crap is the reason to know your rights and to not answer their questions, even if they get shitty with you... A dash cam helps too... 

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:47 | 5300624 The9thDoctor
The9thDoctor's picture

"Common people don't carry this much credit card debt"

I took advice from my Rich Dad. Debt is good because it can't be confiscated, lol.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 18:03 | 5300914 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Along those lines, if they ask is this your car always answer: "No, it belongs to the bank." ;-)

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 17:32 | 5300787 Hard1
Hard1's picture

John Oliver, the only good reporter alive to comment the felonies of the United States of Chimerica and its law enforcement "seizures", crony governement, nuclear arsenal mismanagement, etc. We laugh because we know it's true, but all this is really terrible. Great piece btw

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 03:02 | 5302152 McCormick No. 9
McCormick No. 9's picture

Tape the following sticky note to your license:


Notice to Police




1: I exercise my 4th Amendment rights and DO NOT CONSENT to any warrantless searches

2. I exercise my 5th Amendment right to remain silent.

3. I will obey all lawful orders. I will not obey requests. You must specify that a directive is an order.

4. I will not sign any documents.


When you give the pig this card, make sure you keep your hands on the steering wheel and KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. As in, you are a mute, or a Trappist monk who has taken a vow of silence. Don't say a fucking thing.

Keep your door locked and your window rolled down only enough to pass through documents. If the cop orders you to roll the window down, step out of the car etc, obey him, otherwise keep your hands on the steering wheel and don't say anything.

You'll get a ticket and some verbal abuse, but you will remain alive and you will probably win your case.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 17:03 | 5300675 gatorboat
gatorboat's picture

Anyone arguing their case to a police captain is an idiot.  Police captain isn't a judge and police station isn't a court.

Just like arguing your case to a cop, no way would I do that. 

If they confiscate my property next step is lawsuit in federal court for constitutional violation. Bypass city court county court state court, go straight to federal court, only place with knowledgeable judges IMO.

One little podunk PD gave my stuff back and dropped charges when city was served with federal lawsuit.  They were falling over themselves being nice to me, cop personally apologized.

We settled out of court.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 17:11 | 5300751 Pie rre
Pie rre's picture

That takes a lot of money with no guarentees.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 17:53 | 5300889 gatorboat
gatorboat's picture

ok whatever

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 19:12 | 5301138 Reaper
Reaper's picture

If you had more experience in federal court with federal judges you'd know that you were very lucky to have found a lawyer connected to the judge and an obliging State Attorney General. It's a delusion that the federal courts are more honest than local courts. Also, why didn't the State's Attorney General defend the State's law and the jurisdiction of State courts in the federal court action? What percentage did your attorney take?

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 23:32 | 5301879 gatorboat
gatorboat's picture

What is this BS you're spewing?

Federal court has original jurisdiction on constitutional rights violation.

Or didn't you know that?

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 21:11 | 5305881 Reaper
Reaper's picture

The BS is from you. Which law gives federal courts original jurisdiction for civil rights claims? Here's one of precedents used by federal courts to dismiss civil rights actions based upon claims which could be raised in State Courts: This is called the Younger abstention; Younger vs Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43-44 (1971) There many other precedents for federal court abstention in civil rights actions. Which State's Attorney General did not oppose your action?

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 19:37 | 5301205 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

Meh...the law firm of Smith & Wesson will be getting more and more new clients.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 18:50 | 5301077 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Glad you popped back in Davey.

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 08:58 | 5302544 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

@ Davey

There are a number of really bad Due Process problems with the "local" forfeitures which are now the lion's share of the procedures. The Officers have a huge incentive to slant the evidence or, more important, the "procedure" they went through to find the eivdence, in their favor so that they keep the money. I know it's a surprise to people on this site but economic incentives can skew a decision.

The worst aspect of these so called hearings is that the first level of challenge, in which you get to argue constitutional (often 4th Amendment) issue is often set in front of a Police Captain who (1) has the economic incentive, (2) no goddamn legal training and (3) is the actual party on the other side of the case.

Ah the modern definition of Due Process.

I think civil forfeiture is complete bullshit, but is due process really violated if a court (not of record) decides your case on a preliminary basis and you have a right to appeal, de novo, to a court of record?  Isn't this just a branch of the larger criminal court system, where the first level of most criminal cases is heard in a kangaroo court?  Isn't this just a function of efficiency due to large dockets?

The problem I would see is that if J6P is going to represent himself at the initial hearing and he has to get in all of his evidence and build a record for appeal...  then, you've got a problem.  This is what happens in every prison case of alleged violation of civil rights...  first the prison sets up an impossible standard to follow (even for an attorney) and expects what is most likely a lower functioning person to follow it [not that attorneys aren't lower functioning, we are, it's just that we're louder and more annoying, so it gets overlooked].  The District Court looks at it and boots it out for failure to exhaust (it's a huge issue atm).  Past that, the guards get to be the gatekeeper for all the information the inmate has to use against them...  shakedown, what are these documents?  contraband!  Pretty wild actually.  [it doesn't help that most cases are just inmates trying to get a few vacation days away from the prison].     

To the extent it's a money issue, if you meet the requirements for a pauper, then you can proceed accordingly and attempt to have filing fees waived...

What you and I likely define due process as is something completely different than its legal definition...  DHS/Child enforcement cases are another ball of wax...


Tue, 10/07/2014 - 15:45 | 5300122 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Observation, threat review, evaluation and selection in progress.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:09 | 5300388 messymerry
messymerry's picture

Hey Gatorboat,

They used to be called Highway Patrolmen, now they are just called Highwaymen.

We spent the last 70+ years hunting down and prosecuting Hitler's goons, we will spend the next 70+ years hunting down and prosecuting Obama's...


Tue, 10/07/2014 - 17:51 | 5300887 Spumoni
Spumoni's picture

Nope. They USED to be called highwaymen. Didn't you ever read about Robbin Hooood? The only difference between Robin Hood and the Feds is that the Feds don't give back - unless there's a noose involved.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 18:51 | 5301078 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

Of note, the punishment for highway robbery has always been death.


Tue, 10/07/2014 - 21:07 | 5301456 nc551
nc551's picture

I'm pretty sure the original stories of Robin Hood were him not stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, but stealing from the recipients of the tax money they forced everyone to pay and returned it to those people.

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 08:11 | 5302412 messymerry
messymerry's picture

BINGO!   +10  You hit the nail on the head.  Note the "special" punishment for "assault against a public servant".  I seem to recall some dead King saying, "A assault against a servant of the King is an assault against the King himself."  I wouldn't want to be a public servant when TSTF...

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 08:41 | 5302496 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture
How Police Justify Stealing American Citizens' Money "the judge made me do it." the new normal  Law  now means Crime. a judge can overrule the vote of people in multiple states by saying ..NO.  until violence is used  ala Pa Sniper the legal mob will do anything and say: it's the law.
Tue, 10/07/2014 - 18:09 | 5300936 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Some people are only alive because it is illegal to kill them, i.e., many cops, and ALL Feds.

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 21:15 | 5301479 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

I used to be pro-cop many years ago. I am neutral overall and negative on the trend. Have you met the people they hire, now?

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 22:48 | 5301798 The Fourth
The Fourth's picture

Not dead yet... ;-)

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 14:32 | 5299902 Spanky
Spanky's picture

Not to put to fine a point on it, but a few of us tried to warn ya'll about this, as it was being put into place, back in the 1980s. Another charming example of Reagan/Bush legacy.


Welcome to the asylum, it rarely changes.

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