Policing For Profit: Jeff Sessions' Thinly Veiled Plot To Rob Us Blind

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner.” - H.L. Mencken

Let’s not mince words.

Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, would not recognize the Constitution if he ran right smack into it.

Whether the head of the Trump Administration’s Justice Department enjoys being the architect of a police state or is just painfully, criminally clueless, Sessions has done a great job thus far of sidestepping the Constitution at every turn.

Most recently, under the guise of “fighting crime,” Sessions gave police the green light to rob, pilfer, steal, thieve, swipe, purloin, filch and liberate American taxpayers of even more of their hard-earned valuables (especially if it happens to be significant amounts of cash) using any means, fair or foul.

In this case, the foul method favored by Sessions & Co. is civil asset forfeiture, which allows police and prosecutors to “seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime.”

Under a federal equitable sharing program, police turn asset forfeiture cases over to federal agents who process seizures and then return 80% of the proceeds to the police. (In Michigan, police actually get to keep up to 100% of forfeited property.)

This incentive-driven excuse for stealing from the citizenry is more accurately referred to as “policing for profit” or “theft by cop.”

Despite the fact that 80 percent of these asset forfeiture cases result in no charge against the property owner, challenging these “takings” in court can cost the owner more than the value of the confiscated property itself. As a result, most property owners either give up the fight or chalk the confiscation up to government corruption, leaving the police and other government officials to reap the benefits.

And boy, do they reap the benefits.

Police agencies have used their ill-gotten gains “to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear,” reports The Washington Post. “They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.”

Incredibly, these asset forfeiture scams have become so profitable for the government that, according to The Washington Post, “in 2014, law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did.”

In 2015, the federal government seized nearly $2.6 billion worth of airplanes, houses, cash, jewelry, cars and other items under the guise of civil asset forfeiture.

According to USA Today, “Anecdotal evidence suggests that allowing departments to keep forfeiture proceeds may tempt them to use the funds unwisely. For example, consider a 2015 scandal in Romulus, Michigan, where police officers used funds forfeited from illicit drug and prostitution stings to pay for ...  illicit drugs and prostitutes.”

Memo to the rest of my fellow indentured servants who are living through this dark era of government corruption, incompetence and general ineptitude: this is not how justice in America is supposed to work.

We are now ruled by a government so consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population that they are completely unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process.

Our freedoms aren’t just being trampled, however. They’re being eviscerated.

At every turn, “We the People” are getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.

Americans no longer have to be guilty to be stripped of their property, rights and liberties. All you have to be is in possession of something the government wants. And if you happen to have something the government wants badly enough, trust me, their agents will go to any lengths to get it.

If the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights.

Here’s how the whole ugly business works in a nutshell.

First, government agents (usually the police) use a broad array of tactics to profile, identify, target and arrange to encounter (in a traffic stop, on a train, in an airport, in public, or on private property) those  individuals who might be traveling with a significant amount of cash or possess property of value. Second, these government agents—empowered by the courts and the legislatures—seize private property (cash, jewelry, cars, homes and other valuables) they “suspect” may be connected to criminal activity.

Then—and here’s the kicker—whether or not any crime is actually proven to have taken place, without any charges being levied against the property owner, or any real due process afforded the unlucky victim, the property is seized by the government, which often divvies it up with the local police who helped with the initial seizure.

In a Kafkaesque turn of the screw, the burden of proof falls on the unfortunate citizenry who must mount a long, complicated, expensive legal campaign to prove their innocence in order to persuade the government that it should return the funds they stole. Not surprisingly, very few funds ever get returned.

It’s a new, twisted form of guilt by association, only it’s not the citizenry being accused of wrongdoing, just their money.

Unsurprisingly, these asset forfeiture scams have become so profitable for the government that they have expanded their reach beyond the nation’s highways.

Any American unwise enough to travel with cash is now fair game for government pickpockets who are out to rob you of your cold, hard cash.

This is not freedom.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if the government can just take from you what they want, when they want, and then use it however they want, you can’t claim to be anything more than a serf in a land they think of as theirs.

It’s up to “We the People” to demand reform.

These injustices will continue as long as we remain silent.

In other words, make them hear you.

And if they won’t listen, then I suggest it’s time for what Martin Luther King Jr. called for when government doesn’t listen: “militant nonviolent resistance.”

Comments

Okienomics stocktivity Mon, 07/24/2017 - 21:52 Permalink

Is it just me, or did the article say "Sessions supports it" without a solitary reference to anything Sessions has said or done... followed by a long explanation of horrible CAF.  Thanks, I'm familiar with CAF, I read the article to see how A.G. Sessions applies or supports it because, well, that's the headline said was happening.  I know we all want to say how horrible this is and all, but I'm seeing fake news here.

In reply to by stocktivity

Green2Delta order66 Mon, 07/24/2017 - 20:11 Permalink

It isn't paranoia when you read about the towns in Texas and Illinois that were caught by the FBI planting drugs in order confiscate nice cars under Civil Asset Forfeiture laws. They would then sell these cars at auction and buy themselves new Chargers for patrol cars. If my memory serves me correctly the police chief in Illinois kept one of the seized cars for his own personal use. 

In reply to by order66

Demon Slayer Green2Delta Mon, 07/24/2017 - 22:17 Permalink

Even worse, the police working with the FBI have access to emails, texts, phone calls etc. They get a heads up when a good target is found to have set up meeting to buy or sell a car for cash etc. And, if you have been found to expose government or police corruption, they can target you to steal your home or anything else you have, by planting evidence....the populace has to recourse, other than....

    We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men…. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. … Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Declaration of Independence (1776).

In reply to by Green2Delta

Demon Slayer besnook Mon, 07/24/2017 - 22:24 Permalink

I agree whole heartedly, and the one thing that is totally absurd to me, is that so many people who are accused of wrong doing, agree to talk to the police most often without an attorney...as if the police are doing anything but collecting more evidence to put you away, or to add more bs to their list of criminal charges ..Then the police, and prosecutors will, after adding 5 more charges, coerce innocent people to accept plea bargains...that's more money for the Prison Industrial Complex..Most states have contracts with private prisons to keep them at 90% occupancy or higher. Nice monster of a conflict of interest..it's tyranny.

In reply to by besnook

Green2Delta Mon, 07/24/2017 - 20:08 Permalink

I was playing poker in Cincinnati two weeks ago. The table was full with 9 people. I hit a high hand that stood and was given $400.  I got on the topic of Civil Asset Forfeiture because of the cash I carry to play poker. Not a single person at that table had any idea what I was talking about. At first they thought it was some obscure Ohio law. I then had to inform them it was federal and that every state takes part in it. Of course I got the typical "well that ain't right" comments in return. I have no doubt everyone forgot about it before leaving the table. 

NoWayJose Mon, 07/24/2017 - 20:26 Permalink

This is called "Whack-a-Mole". Only moles that stick their heads up get whacked. Don't use social media, minimize cell phone use, only keep a minimum amount of money in banks, pay your taxes to the IRS, use an iPad to access the Internet instead of a PC or smartphone, don't use any user sign on or cloud stuff - or basically - avoid getting caught in the 'profile net'!

AGuy NoWayJose Mon, 07/24/2017 - 21:00 Permalink

"Don't use social media, minimize cell phone use, only keep a minimum amount of money in banks, pay your taxes to the IRS, use an iPad to access the Internet instead of a PC or smartphone"

LOL! I am sure eyePads are under gov't observation too. Odds are that the gov't has the most tools and surveillance hooks for Apple devices.

The crux is the problem is that Big Brother keeps on getting bigger. The Gov't takes away more and more liberties every year, like a frog on a pot of water set to boil. Sooner or later find some way to screw you big time. You are either in the inner circle or destine to become chopped meat to be served to the gov't.

In reply to by NoWayJose

Hammer of Light NoWayJose Mon, 07/24/2017 - 22:20 Permalink

Bro... not to be the nudge here... but get for frickin real man... ALL APPLE PRODUCTS ARE BACK-DOORED as well as ALL PC STUFF! Old Navy knows this for a material fact. If it's electronic and sold in the US or ANYWHERE... it's compromised by US.GOV - PERIOD!Get comfortable with X marks the spot and get your ass OUT of the US.

In reply to by NoWayJose

ronaldwilsonreagan (not verified) Mon, 07/24/2017 - 20:29 Permalink

unpossible he is a Trump appointee. Trump was sent here to drain the sewer and save us WTF

Seasmoke Mon, 07/24/2017 - 20:37 Permalink

This is why I hate anyone from government. Either side. Politician. Police. Public unions. And local tax collectors. Don't know when the majority finally wakes up. Guess that's why Trump is in there. To keep them expecting hope and change white folks style.

Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Mon, 07/24/2017 - 20:57 Permalink

Civil asset forfeiture without conviction of a crime related to the acquisition of the assets seized, and without probable cause, is without question, in total violation of the 4th amendment. We have the right to be secure, in our persons, papers, houses, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, 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. 

besnook Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Mon, 07/24/2017 - 22:37 Permalink

through the magic of legal legerdermain no person is prosecuted or persecuted in the asset forfieture trick. the seized goods are the subject of a civil dispute with the state. even though it may be your stuff you are not actually involved therefore the 4th amendment does not apply since things have no rights or protection from .gov. the cases are actually titled like, state of illinois vs, 2015 toyota truck. shakepeare was right.

In reply to by Rebelrebel7 (not verified)