24 November 2015

This is a Version of Cops and Robbers I was Previously Unaware Of

It turns out that it is more likely that cops will take your stuff than robbers:
Last year, all of America’s burglars extracted a total of just $3.9 billion worth of property from their cumulative marks. Pansies, the nation’s cops spit in the general direction of that paltry figure. That’s all you got?

That’s because over the same period, U.S. law enforcement officials netted $4.5 billion in goods from Americans through a process known as civil asset forfeiture, an astounding figure that economist Martin Armstrong noted on his blog last week in response to an Institute for Justice report.

Consider that for a moment: in 2014, cops took more property from Americans than burglars did.

The short rap on asset forfeiture goes like this: if you are suspected of a crime, especially a drug-related crime, police can confiscate your money or property if they believe it is related to your supposed criminal activity—often without convicting or even formally charging you. In most states, police departments are entitled to keep some or all of the seized property, giving them an obvious incentive to continue the practice. Civil forfeiture laws allow cops to take your house because your kid has a heroin problem, or take your truck just because it’s a cool-ass truck.
Am I the only one here who finds this completely whack?


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