Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Growing Police State: Policing for Profit Edition

h/t: Brad Schnure @schnure on Twitter

If this doesn't make smoke come out of your ears, nothing I say will.

Some choice quotes:

"But you had no proof that money was being used for drug trafficking, correct? No proof?"

"And he couldn't prove it was legitimate," Bates insisted.


police are required to get a judge to sign off on a seizure within five days, state law says that hearing "shall be ex parte" -- meaning only the officer's side can be heard.

One More:

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Bates if Reby had told him that he was trying to buy a car?

"He did," the officer acknowledged.

"But you did not include that in your report," we noted.

"If it's not in there, I didn't put it in there."

For those who don't want to click through (you really should, it would be the nice thing to do), a man was driving through Tennessee with about $22,000 in cash in his car.  He was stopped for speeding, and the officer asked if he was carrying any large amounts of cash.  Now, I can only imagine he did so because Mr. Reby (the driver) fit some profile or other that the cop was told to look for, a practice of which I don't disapprove, by the way.  Mr. Reby said yes, and told the officer approximately how much.  Now, to me, the correct answer was, "Why is how much your business?" but I can understand why he wouldn't want to do that.  Then Mr. Reby made another mistake: when the officer asked to search his car, he said 'yes.'

Never, never, never agree to let the cops search your car.  Make them get the warrant.  It will be better for you in the long run.

When the cop found the cash- cash he had been told was there- he confiscated it.  No due process, no reasonable cause, nothing, just confiscation because it might possibly be used to buy drugs and Mr. Reby couldn't prove that he wasn't going to do that.  Literally, he was deprived of his private property without due process because he was assumed to be guilty.

And the police continue to insist they did nothing wrong, and the State backs them up, tacitly, with their "ex parte" hearing for seizures.  When Mr. Reby appealed, and a local news organization began to shine some sunlight on the process, the State relented and offered to give him back his money- if he'd waive his right to sue the State.  Mr. Reby made a third mistake- he agreed.

This will not stop until we make it stop.


  1. They've been doing this for years.

    1. That somehow makes it better?

      If they really have, it needs to stop, forthwith. The 4th Amendment is pretty clear about that.

  2. Last time I went across country to buy a jeep, I carried a cashier's check for 90% of the asking price, and the rest in cash for haggling room, as I had been warned about this practice. You are correct, it is wrong, but good luck getting it changed. Many rights have been foregone in order to fight the war on drugs, and it seems that is ok with the majority - I'm torn on the issue myself.

    1. Note to self: Don't carry large quantities of cash during expatriation.

  3. Yes, always ALWAYS refuse consent for a car search. That is good advice, above.

    Can't tell you how many clients I get who thought they were just being good citizens to let the cops tear their car apart, to find a roach or some seeds. Just politely say "no." And when asked why, just say because you prefer not to, and want to get back on the road.

    Just say "no."

    1. It was a sad, but probably good (in the long run) day for me when I realized the police are not actually there to "serve" me.

      Rules I now live by (when dealing with police): Be polite. Never say a word you do not have to. Never give permission.