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Author Topic: License To Shill: Highway Robbery  (Read 13275 times)
patric
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These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For


« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2015, 11:38:48 am »


It looks like the Sheriff's office had the money spent before it was even confiscated.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2015, 02:40:48 pm »

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Stilley asked to search the vehicle and said Yang agreed.

Ding ding ding!  We have a loser!

Police will almost never ask you questions or ask to search your home/vehicle/office/whatever in order to do you a favor or in an attempt to get evidence NOT to arrest you. While police don't want to waste their time, their job is to find crimes and arrest people. Respectfully decline to answer intrusive questions and always decline a search. Obviously, if the officer is investigating a break-in nearby, a vandal, or a significant crime you are aware of - it is in your interest to cooperate and send the criminal to jail. We want police to catch bad people! But you should be suspicious of government, and police are government.

Remember, the government is allowed to lie to you and it is considered good policing: "we just need to clear some things up," "everyone else cooperated and went home, you're the holdout," "just need this for my report," "if you don't answer the questions, I might have to arrest you."  Whatever they can say to get you to answer questions. But lying to the government is a crime.  And even if your answers are innocent and make sense to you - they may appear to incriminate you to the officer (civil vs. traditional weddings, large amounts of cash as savings instead of in a bank, the fact that driving to California takes ~24 hours and some people will take 3 days to drive that much). In many instances you are required to give identifying information (and that would include while driving, must show ID), everything else is voluntary.

Quote
Stilley reported the cash smelled slightly of marijuana, and a K-9 dog reacted to the money. However, a subsequent analysis by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation crime lab yielded no drug residue.

Same ole' story, same ole' song and dance. I smell drugs! Search... finds a gun... "I knew it!" Smelling marijuana is the panacea for searching, many officers I know would be fine with marijuana being legal as long as they could still use it as a pretext to search. It used to be the same with "smelling a meth lab," just magic words to negate the 4th Amendment.

And drug dogs can be utterly worthless from an investigation standpoint too. The Supreme Court says the effectiveness of drug dogs is beyond challenge. Even if it can be PROVEN that the particular dog in question is wrong more than right, it is still a free pass on the 4th Amendment. So, if you have a choice between A) a drug dog that is 98% correct and the 2% failure is when they *should* have detected drugs and didnt, or B) a dog that is wrong 75% of the time, but always errs on the side of allowing a search... which drug dog would the police choose to accomplish their goal of searching and catching as many people as possible?

That no trace of drugs was found on the currency is actually kind of surprising, considering nearly all money is "used" and some of it is likely to be in contact with some drugs at some point. But if 9/10 people couldn't detected the same smell of marijuana as the dog, I wouldn't be surprised.

However, given the confusion, divergent stories, and finding $25k wrapped up with two unemployed people in a rental car - I understand the officers suspicion. I may have seized the money too, under current laws. But then the system should have taken over to get a better result. What are the odds that these two people, bringing drug money with them fro a drug purchase, lost $25k in drug money and then hired an attorney to fight for four years to get it back?  Seems doubtful. It is clear the government couldn't prove the money was related to a crime, or they'd be charged. When in doubt, the citizen should win and the government shouldn't be able to take their property.

My proposal (not sure if I have posted this before):

1) Reasonable suspicion standard stays the same, seize suspicious cash.
2) Money is then assumed to be drug money, as it is now, and the DA can move to deem the money forfeit to the State (same as now).
3) Citizen can file an affidavit swearing the money is theirs and they obtained it legally (NEW step).
4) Burden then shifts and the DA must prove that the funds are for or proceeds of illegal activity, can request a hearing but the burden is on the state
5) Judge can set a hearing or release the money - if a hearing is set, the DA has the burden of proof. Hearings must be timely, say ~90 days from the date of seizure.
6) If the burden of proof is not met, the State pays the court costs of the citizen whose assets they seized and time they wasted.

Seems unlikely a cartel would file an affidavit and go through that process. Also seems less likely that a citizen would lose money simply because they couldn't afford to continue fighting the man.

Who are we kidding anyway... the cartels aren't short on cash. Clearly the program isn't that effective at starving the cartels. But it does provide an incentive for departments to up their funding...





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patric
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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2016, 11:28:30 pm »


Who are we kidding anyway... the cartels aren't short on cash. Clearly the program isn't that effective at starving the cartels. But it does provide an incentive for departments to up their funding...


The Tulsa Whirled weighs in:



Asset Forfeiture: Much energy and time has been spent since the end of the last legislative session, lobbying the public for restricting how law enforcement agencies can seize assets suspected of being part of drug crimes.

We have no doubt that millions are being transported across the state by drug gangs, and have no sympathy for pushers who lose their profits. But we also recognize that there is room for abuse as the laws are currently written.

We say the state needs uniformity in how assets are seized and how those seizures are reported to the state.

We can support a higher level of proof for relatively small seizures, but are comfortable that current rules are justified for very large amounts of cash. We will add that if the Legislature is going to be aggressive in cutting police and prosecutors off from this stream of funding, it is responsible for making up the lost revenue.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/editorials/tulsa-world-editorial-tulsa-world-legislative-agenda-for/article_22dcd1ed-1048-53d5-9e1d-7a1693f4ad68.html

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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2016, 08:05:50 am »

The Tulsa Whirled weighs in:


We can support a higher level of proof for relatively small seizures, but are comfortable that current rules are justified for very large amounts of cash...


That's very childish logic:

Quote
Yes, we feel the government is abusing its authority and stealing money from citizens. If they want to steal a little bit, they need more proof. But if they are stealing a lot, they probably have a good reason for stealing that much.

That is illogical from a constitutional, fairness, or legal perspective. But it sure feels good, because it seems like you are punishing the rich and mighty drug cartels and protecting Joe Littleguy. The fact is, if they seize $200k - they are more likely to be able to prove either drug involvement, or tax evasion.

The government either has proof that the funds are ill-gotten gains and should be seized, or they don't. Not sure why that's complicated by anything except greed.
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Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2016, 10:49:37 pm »


And drug dogs can be utterly worthless from an investigation standpoint too. The Supreme Court says the effectiveness of drug dogs is beyond challenge. Even if it can be PROVEN that the particular dog in question is wrong more than right, it is still a free pass on the 4th Amendment. So, if you have a choice between A) a drug dog that is 98% correct and the 2% failure is when they *should* have detected drugs and didnt, or B) a dog that is wrong 75% of the time, but always errs on the side of allowing a search... which drug dog would the police choose to accomplish their goal of searching and catching as many people as possible?




Drug dogs are cash cows.

Most can find drugs (or drug residue thats on all paper currency) and make "alert" gestures that indicate a "hit" that give police probable cause to take over the search.  If the dog fails to find anything, the trainer can still prompt the dog with hand or voice gestures to perform that very same "alert," effectively creating their own probable cause with the dog just acting as a theatrical prop.

Chances are if you are stoped by police who want you to wait for a drug dog, they have already made the decision to rob you.



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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2016, 02:38:36 pm »

The Tulsa Whirled weighs in:

We say the state needs uniformity in how assets are seized and how those seizures are reported to the state.

We can support a higher level of proof for relatively small seizures, but are comfortable that current rules are justified for very large amounts of cash. We will add that if the Legislature is going to be aggressive in cutting police and prosecutors off from this stream of funding, it is responsible for making up the lost revenue.



Tulsa World has been idiotic for decades - now they use their own words to prove it...


Wonder what they consider to be large amounts of cash, since most of the thefts I hear about are under $10,000.  Way under what it would take to buy a car....

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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2016, 06:34:26 pm »

I found this, saying that civil forfeitures greater than $10,000 comprise less than 5% of the cases, and the average is much lower. I recall reading that in Baltimore, the average is more like $300. That's not law enforcement. It's a shakedown.

"According to the Institute for Justice, law enforcement in Minnesota seized more than $6.6 million worth of goods in 2012, 90 percent of which was used to supplement law enforcement budgets. The nonprofit law firm also noted that the police officers were not exactly seizing Ferraris and mansions from drug kingpins, as less than 4 percent of property seized in the state between 2003 and 2010 was worth more than $5,000.

In fact, the average value of property seized by law enforcement was only worth around $1,250, and it costs an average of $2,500 to challenge civil asset forfeiture in court."

http://www.mintpressnews.com/report-show-police-using-asset-seizure-to-bolster-budgets/192748/
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patric
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« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2016, 09:59:56 pm »


Tulsa World has been idiotic for decades - now they use their own words to prove it...

Wonder what they consider to be large amounts of cash, since most of the thefts I hear about are under $10,000.  Way under what it would take to buy a car....



Rhetoric heats up on proposed civil assett forfeiture changes
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/capitol_report/rhetoric-heats-up-on-proposed-civil-assett-forfeiture-changes/article_98403a2e-82fa-5a7e-a544-a19fa4fec662.html


The leading voice for change is Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City. He has filed Senate Bill 838, which would make dramatic changes to a law that allows law enforcement to seize property and cash suspected of being used in a crime. The current process does not require a conviction.

Prosecutors statewide strongly oppose the measure.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association sent lawmakers a letter voicing its concerns with the bill.

“Enactment of Senate Bill 838 will dramatically hinder law enforcement efforts aimed at stopping the drug trade in Oklahoma,” said the letter, signed by association President Mike Boring and Mike Fields, the group’s president-elect.

“It is estimated that $5 (million) to $10 million per year of the drug enforcement efforts in Oklahoma are funded by the forfeited proceeds of drug dealers, traffickers, criminal street gangs, and drug cartels. Limiting the use of this valuable tool will place the burden of funding this effort on the taxpayers — hard working innocent Oklahomans.”

On Wednesday, a coalition supporting the changes fired back with a letter of its own.

“The United States has had unjust laws — slavery, poll taxes, and citizens being denied the right to vote,” the letter said. “Now is the time to add civil asset forfeiture to that list of outdated, unjust laws. We believe the pendulum has swung too far from due process and the principle of innocent until proven guilty.”

The coalition includes the ACLU of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Oklahoma Policy Institute, the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association and the NAACP, Oklahoma City branch.

Loveless said the letter from prosecutors was not unexpected.
His plan would require a conviction before property could be forfeited to the government, with some exceptions.

He would institute a timeline for charges to be brought against property owners to ensure the timely return of property if the government doesn’t have enough evidence to prove a crime was committed.

The plan would remove the direct profit from forfeiture by creating a panel to determine how the seized funds and property would be allocated to drug treatment, drug courts and drug interdiction.

The bill also would raise the burden of proof that would allow law enforcement to keep the property.

The District Attorneys Council recently appeared before a legislative committee to discuss its budget. Lawmakers are expected to have at least $900.8 million less with which to craft the upcoming fiscal year budget.

Lawmakers were told that less than half of a district attorney’s budget comes from legislative appropriations. The rest comes from federal grants, supervision fees, bogus checks, child support activities and drug asset forfeitures.

“The notion that Oklahoma prosecutors and law enforcement officers are routinely violating Oklahomans’ rights so they can buy things used to combat the drug trade is very offensive to Oklahoma prosecutors and law enforcement,” Fields said.



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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2016, 04:09:15 pm »


Oklahoma District Attorneys Association sent lawmakers a letter voicing its concerns with the bill...
"Limiting the use of this valuable tool will place the burden of funding this effort on the taxpayers — hard working innocent Oklahomans"



...instead of on the backs of the poor who cant afford attorneys or trust banks, like it is now.

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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2016, 07:38:22 pm »

Old Charlie stole the handle and
The train it won't stop going
No way to slow down.


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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2016, 07:30:13 pm »

Quote

“The notion that Oklahoma prosecutors and law enforcement officers are routinely violating Oklahomans’ rights so they can buy things used to combat the drug trade is very offensive to Oklahoma prosecutors and law enforcement,” Fields said.[/font]


Poor babies.  Ill bet the people who are watching armed robbers stuff their life savings into their uniform pants got a little more than just their feelings hurt.
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Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2016, 08:26:59 pm »


America's Dirtiest Cops:  http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/americas-dirtiest-cops-cash-cocaine-texas-hidalgo-county-20150105

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Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2016, 08:21:36 pm »

"Were not shaking grandma and granddad off the road...and taking them out of their motor home and seizing all of their hard-earned assets"  
http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/rogers-county-traffic-stop-turns-credit-fraud-bust/nqCkT/






OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma legislator who wants to restrict when police can seize cash and other assets from people they suspect of drug-trade involvement - even without a conviction - fears his colleagues won’t have a chance to take up his idea this session.

The bill by Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Loveless says efforts to reach chairman Sen. Anthony Sykes have gone unanswered. He’s turned to his constituents to help plead his case, asking them to call the Senate leadership to request that his bill be heard.
 
Sykes did not return requests for comment Thursday or Friday.

Loveless claims government agencies have taken money and other assets from law-abiding citizens, using civil forfeiture laws to fund local agencies. District Attorney Mike Fields, whose district runs from the western Oklahoma City suburbs to the Kansas border, is critical of Loveless’ bill, saying the implication that police would benefit improperly was “frankly offensive” and he’s asking the legislator to provide concrete evidence of systemic problems.

The legislator turns the request around.

“I think it’s ironic that the DAs are asking for me to provide evidence, which is more than what they’re required (to provide) to take someone’s property,” Loveless said. “I’m not going to do their homework for them. They’re the ones that took the money from the people, or property from the people, so they have that information.”

The bill, if it became law, would require the state to convict most suspects of a crime before their assets are subject to forfeiture. The proposal does allow for exceptions: If the property is valued at more than $50,000, for instance, the state could seize and retain it without a conviction. Still, under the proposal, the state would have to meet a higher burden of proof than is currently required to do so.

The state must meet a preponderance of the evidence test to subject seized assets to forfeiture. This proposal would increase that burden of proof to require “clear and convincing” evidence.

Under the proposed law, funds raised through seized property would be designated for grants to law enforcement agencies and drug treatment facilities. Currently, money goes directly to the agency that seizes it. The money would also be allocated by an independent board.

“My intent of rerouting the money to a neutral, independent party is to reduce the appearance of impropriety of agencies and law enforcement growing their budgets by how much they seize,” Loveless said.

The bill also aims to require local agencies to report asset forfeitures to the state auditor, and to make these reports available to the public.



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« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2016, 06:33:57 pm »

The feds have resumed a controversial program that lets cops take stuff and keep it
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/28/the-feds-have-resumed-a-controversial-program-that-lets-cops-take-stuff-and-keep-it/


The Justice Department has announced that it is resuming a controversial practice that allows local police departments to funnel a large portion of assets seized from citizens into their own coffers under federal law.

The "Equitable Sharing Program" gives police the option of prosecuting some asset forfeiture cases under federal instead of state law, particularly in instances where local law enforcement officers have a relationship with federal authorities as part of a joint task force. Federal forfeiture policies are more permissive than many state policies, allowing police to keep up to 80 percent of assets they seize.

Asset forfeiture is a contentious practice that lets police seize and keep cash and property from people who are never convicted of wrongdoing — and in many cases, never charged. Studies have found that use of the practice has exploded in recent years, prompting concern that, in some cases, police are motivated more by profit and less by justice.

A wide-ranging Washington Post investigation in 2014 found that police had seized $2.5 billion in cash alone without warrants or indictments since 2001.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/collection/stop-and-seize-2/?tid=a_inl


POLICE NOW STEAL MORE THAN BURGLARS

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Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2016, 09:38:25 pm »

Deputy Allegedly Used Stolen Items To Bribe Witnesses
http://sfist.com/2016/03/29/mission_district_beating_deputy_all.php

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