Civil Asset Forfeiture Has Enabled Police To Become The New "Highwaymen"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via,

The Highwayman has a romantic image as a bold, 18th-century scallywag who would ride up to a coachload of aristocrats on his horse, shouting, “Stand and deliver!” Having relieved the aristocrats of their purses, he would gallop off.

Today, the Highwayman is being revived in a big way in the US. But, far from being a scofflaw, he is, in fact, the law. He wears a badge and the law protects him in his roadside robberies.

The revival is the result, in part, of both the defunding of police departments (creating a demand for law enforcement departments to seek money from other sources) and the encouragement of the federal government for an overall expansion of the police state.

The legal justification for such highway robbery is the police practice of civil forfeiture, which has been on the books for decades. Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property (including cash, cars, and even homes) without having to prove the owners are guilty of a crime.

In many cases, drivers are not charged with any crime at all, not even a traffic citation. In fact, one Florida sheriff has noted that the best targets are those who are obeying the speed law. He knows whereof he speaks, having seized over $6.5 million on the highways of Florida. (Quite an advance on the size of the purses seized by the 18th-century highwayman.)

Typically, police stop a car and make the usual request to see license and registration. If the driver asks why he was stopped, a vague explanation may be offered by the officer, or he may simply ignore the question, then demand a search of the car or the driver’s person. The officer then seizes cash and other valuables as potential “evidence” of a crime (suspected drug dealing is a common accusation).

In some cases, police threaten drivers that, if they are not cooperative, their children may be taken by Child Protective Services.

The burden of proof is on the driver. In order to regain his possessions, he must prove his innocence in a court. However, in most cases, no charges are made, so there is no court case to try. Whether charges are made or not, law enforcement agencies are entitled to keep 100% of the forfeiture proceeds. Although they are required to keep records on forfeiture, in many cases, police departments avoid or even refuse to provide such information when requested.

Although police may prey on people anywhere, including in small towns, the most prevalent location is on highways, the further from civilisation the better. In this way, the driver knows that he’s in the middle of nowhere facing a man with both a badge and a gun. He might consider himself lucky to be left with just his car, so that he can drive away from the robbery and not be left on the pavement with no car and no money. For many, this is enough incentive to allow police to take what they want…and not file any complaint.

Of course, these stops and seizures violate the Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and at least one state judge in California has described the practice as “an institutional corruption.” Conceptually, a driver can refuse to have his car or his person inspected and can attempt to prosecute the officer, but again, the burden of proof is on the driver. As a result, prosecutions are rare and successful prosecutions rarer still.

So, the Highwayman has returned, but he now wears a badge. What does this mean for the future? As social and economic conditions deteriorate in the US, will the country’s highways come to resemble a Mad Max scenario, but one in which many of the raiders are people in authority?

As with so many trends in the US, EU, and similar jurisdictions, this is one of many symptoms of overall social/moral/economic/governmental deterioration, a bellwether of continued decay. Whenever a country is so far along in its decline that its “peacekeepers” make a regular habit of robbing the people they’re paid to protect, and get away with it, we may conclude that further decline is to come and it may be time to exit this particular highway.

Unfortunately, when such crime exists from coast to coast, as it does with today’s institutionalised highwaymen, the solution is to seek out a better way of life in another country entirely. Fortunately, there are many countries where conditions are considerably better.

*  *  *

Editor’s Note: Because of the risk of civil forfeiture, we’ve published a groundbreaking, step-by-step manual on the three ESSENTIAL steps all Americans should take right now to protect themselves and their family.

These steps are easy and straightforward to implement. New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team describe how you can do it all from home, with very little effort. Normally, this book retails for $99. But we believe this book is so important, especially right now, that I’ve arranged a way for US residents to get a free copy. Click here to secure your copy.

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nmewn's picture

Been saying this for years, Highway Men, with badges.

38BWD22's picture



When out on America's highways, maybe keep only $50 or so in your wallet.

Keep the other $500 well hidden.

weburke's picture

well hidden? aluminum foil. 

AlaricBalth's picture

He steals from the poor and gives to the rich. Stupid bitch...
Monty Python.

Mr Poopra's picture

What is going on today makes the list of grievences on the Declaration of Independence look like the complaints against a condominium association.

nmewn's picture

It does doesn't it?

The elevator is too damned slow & I need the government to give larger Hove-r-Round so I can wedge my fat ass into it in order to even ride the damned elevator! I've got a pressing ObamaCare doctors appointment and lotto to play! This entire infrastructure around place needs an upgrade, it's falling apart! 

It's like I'm living in a fucking third world country here for crying out loud!!! ;-)

Victor E. Overbanks's picture
Victor E. Overbanks (not verified) nmewn Sep 13, 2015 9:55 PM

If you carry cash to avoid the banks, they will take it physically via the police.

If you keep your cash in the banks they will take it to bail themselves out.


Fuck you you're a slave. Any questions?

BurningFuld's picture

Thats why you need one of these "Live video upload apps" for your phone. Just in case. Not that you would ever need something like this in the USA. What?

delacroix's picture

a $400 traffic ticket is robbery too.

lincolnsteffens's picture


Demand a warrant be presented describing the place to be searched and what they are searching for   before you let them in your private space inside your automobile. Demand YOUR lawyer of choice be present to observe the search. Lock your doors and close your windows.

Keep your mouth shut except to invoke your Constitutional rights. You have the right to remain silent which means you have no obligation to help them with their investigation.

You are the only one that can enforce the Constitution. The police and the courts wont except in rare cases.

claytonmoore50's picture

Used to go to Mexico, years ago.
If you were driving you always needed to plan for the inevitable stop by the Federalies.

We have become as corrupt as the 3rd world crap holes...

mtl4's picture

At least the Federales could be bribed with a few porno mags or some M&Ms, today's police state wants to take it all.

Big_Hitman's picture
Big_Hitman (not verified) nmewn Sep 13, 2015 11:19 PM

Great freelance work opportunity for anyone... Work for three to eight h a day and profit in the range of $5000-$12000 each month... Weekly payments... Here is what i do...

tarabel's picture



Yeah, but you got to write a lot of tickets to get promoted up to that level.

Tinky's picture

Only down five-fold from its high? That's encouraging.

Skateboarder's picture

You have to remember that one of the original arguments for bitcoin was that volatility is not to be questioned because it apparently doesn't matter.

Yeah, my silver has been fucked with too, but I at least get to hold it.

Let me know if you BTCers want a 3D-printed representation of your 32- or 64-bit bitcoin wallets. That's the closest you'll get to holding your "wealth."

p.s. when I go skate in a half hour, I will look fondly upon my wealth: a skateboard, and a nervous system able to manipulate it through space and time to do cool shit.

logicalman's picture

I do the same, but on my mountain bike or out with one of my bows.






tmosley's picture

Hard to steal that which is without form. Sun Tzu commented on the subject. No plans can be made against it, nor can the deepest spy discern it.

robertocarlos's picture

A silver skateboard is a bad idea. A skateboard needs to flex.

hannah's picture

the first alva was a solid wood board. boards dont have to flex.....

fallout11's picture

Wood flexes plenty, and actually has a higher modulus of elasticity than many thermoplastics.
I still have my old Nash Tenderfoot from 1968. 

nmewn's picture

And that's in Benny Bucks, its actual intrinsic value is zero.

(Musical interlude) ;-)

Jumbotron's picture

Keep up with the Fascist Police State here.....


Skateboarder's picture

To the knowledgeable people who give a fuck about life - it is very important for those aware of these practices to use the word "PLUNDER," open and wide for all to hear,. I recently had the chance to speak with a friend (boomer) about this issue and my usage of the word plunder was welcomed, and my insistence that every man use this word to describe this current age. If good, honest people see plunder and don't call it out, everyone is fucked. That's how relentless totalitarian fuckery becomes "normal life", when people ignore the very plunder before their eyes.

No better arrangement of words can be prepared than Bastiat's "The Law" in describing such things.

logicalman's picture

Whenever I try 'calling it out' I usually get a funny look from those living a 'normal life'.

Still do it though.


Billy the Poet's picture

Sitting around the campfire with friends the other night, pointing out just a few obvious things and felt the need to keep repeating, "I'm not crazy," which I later realized wasn't helping my case.

nmewn's picture

It's much better to just go along with the flow, there's a real possiblity we are insane. Remember, if you're rich you're just eccentric, if you're poor you're fucking nuts...and no one ever calls their leaders crazy.

It's just the way it's set up ;-)

StychoKiller's picture

Better to ask questions that force the Ignorati to research the answers for themselves...

tarabel's picture



All you can do is plant the seed. It will either sprout in its own good time or lie fallow until it is too late.

max2205's picture

Can't this go to SCOTUS? 

Complete BS 

Big Corked Boots's picture

Why would you expect SCOTUS to do anything other than rubber stamp it?

AMPALANCE's picture

SCOTUS went to the same Neo Bolshevik re-education institutions as your Congressmen, Senators, Law enforcement ect... You'll get no relief from SCOTUS.

q99x2's picture

Don't look rich and transport your gold with an economy rent-a-car.

RabbitChow's picture

Or ship it usps insured, thats how i get my shipments, thats how i can ship them. Plumbing parts is what they are.

Ajax_USB_Port_Repair_Service_'s picture

Carry around half of one month's pay in 20 dollar bills and on a traffic stop, they'll confiscate it as 'drug money'.

Midas's picture

I wonder if they ever confiscate bottles of tide detergent.

SameAsItEverWas's picture

Not in New Mexico.  Not any more.

Insanity Wolf's picture

I ass-raped Holder on his way out of office - is that what you're thinking about?

He still is.

Hubbs's picture

These highwaymen better watch out. One day some  driver is really going to get pissed, and you think we got problems with cops being targeted for random shootings now, just wait.

Kprime's picture

the day is coming when random pig hunters are going to start clearing the roads of these traffic hazard pigs.  Just a nice scope on the pigs favorite hunting spots and bang. Pig thinning, no license needed it's going to be open season.

as for me, being old and decrepit, I'm just gonna sit on the porch and raise a toast for every pig scraped off the pavement.

EBT excepted's picture

arreddy be open bruthah...but why d'black man gotstah start all dis...honkys is chicken $hits...