And then he says that departments need the money.
Yes, police departments acting like crooks with the backing of the courts is such a good thing.
F%$# the PBA:
Chuck Canterbury, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, has been given an editorial megaphone over at the Daily Caller. Canterbury's using this platform to defend the pretty much indefensible: civil asset forfeiture.See what happened here? He just said, "We're not extorting money from people, but we really need to take their money.
Colloquially known as "cops going shopping for things they want," asset forfeiture supposedly is used to take funds and property away from criminal organizations. In reality, it's become an easy way for law enforcement to take the property of others without having to put much effort into justifying the seizures. In most states, convictions are not required, meaning supposed criminal suspects are free to go… but their property isn't.
Canterbury, who previously aired his grievances nationally over director Quentin Tarantino's participation in an anti-police brutality rally, opens up this piece by trying to equate factual reporting with current hot button topic "fake news."
Amidst the current national furor against “fake news” is another, more pervasive issue of creating “fake issues” like the myth of policing for profit. There’s been widespread discussion about the need to end the Federal equitable sharing program because a journalist or columnist writes a sympathetic piece describing a case in which the system may not have functioned as intended.Canterbury admits the "system" doesn't always "function as intended" (although many could argue these cases illustrate the system working exactly as intended), but argues that every report about a questionable seizure is the equivalent of fake news. Innocent people being deprived of their property by profit-focused law enforcement agencies is a "fake issue" -- something that apparently wouldn't be covered by a more responsible press.
The biggest lie in Canterbury's editorial is also the most expected: that asset forfeiture is actually having an effect on criminal activity.
For over 30 years, the asset forfeiture program has allowed law enforcement to deprive criminals of both the proceeds and tools of crime. The resources provided by the equitable sharing program have allowed agencies to participate in joint task forces to thwart and deter serious criminal activity and terrorism, purchase equipment, provide training upgrade technology, engage their communities, and better protect their officers. It has been remarkably successful.
Sure, that was the theory. In actuality, billions of dollars have flowed into law enforcement agencies with barely any diminishment in the amount of drugs flowing into the country. It may seem like the use of forfeited funds to purchase law enforcement equipment lightens the load on taxpayers but that's only if you don't consider any person whose property has been seized without evidence to not be part of the pool of taxpayers.Normally, I am firmly pro union, but their activities in law enforcement, particulary police and correction guards, seem to be thoroughly pernicious in nature.