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Author Topic: License To Shill: Highway Robbery  (Read 13399 times)
Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2015, 06:45:53 pm »

Been going on a long time.  Similar to the falsely labeled "Patriot Act".


Funds and property seized by Oklahoma law enforcement agencies have gone missing or have been used for personal or other improper purposes, state audit records reveal.

Among the violations were using seized money to pay on a prosecutor’s student loans and allowing a prosecutor to live rent-free in a confiscated house for years, records show.
The cases were cited in a state commission hearing Tuesday in which police unions objected to new legislation aimed at curbing abuses of civil asset forfeiture by state and local law enforcement agencies. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, has spurred heated opposition from district attorneys and sheriffs.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/oklahoma-watch-law-enforcement-seizures-misspent-missing/article_a1620c4e-55d1-586d-88d4-1b6ea74232c0.html


"When asked about it, law enforcement said, 'Well, he's a DA and he prosecutes bad guys, so therefore it's law enforcement,' " he says. "Wait a minute. I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that that passes the smell test."
http://publicradiotulsa.org/post/oklahoma-takes-hard-look-what-police-seize-and-how-its-spent


Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/09/06/stop-and-seize/?hpid=z3

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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2015, 08:17:31 am »


Funds and property seized by Oklahoma law enforcement agencies have gone missing or have been used for personal or other improper purposes, state audit records reveal.

Among the violations were using seized money to pay on a prosecutor’s student loans and allowing a prosecutor to live rent-free in a confiscated house for years, records show.
The cases were cited in a state commission hearing Tuesday in which police unions objected to new legislation aimed at curbing abuses of civil asset forfeiture by state and local law enforcement agencies. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, has spurred heated opposition from district attorneys and sheriffs.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/oklahoma-watch-law-enforcement-seizures-misspent-missing/article_a1620c4e-55d1-586d-88d4-1b6ea74232c0.html


"When asked about it, law enforcement said, 'Well, he's a DA and he prosecutes bad guys, so therefore it's law enforcement,' " he says. "Wait a minute. I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that that passes the smell test."
http://publicradiotulsa.org/post/oklahoma-takes-hard-look-what-police-seize-and-how-its-spent


Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/09/06/stop-and-seize/?hpid=z3





Noooooo....!!!  Say it ain't so...!!  How could this be??

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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 #17 on: August 16, 2015, 05:41:16 pm »

Court Declares Air Fresheners, Pro-Police Stickers as Reasonable Suspicion for Cops to Pull You Over
The ruling upholds the idea that police officers can profile and detain people who aren’t actually committing any crimes.
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/court-declares-air-fresheners-pro-police-stickers-reasonable-suspicion-cops-pull

Kingsville, TX — Last Thursday, the Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled that it is suspicious for a vehicle to have air fresheners, rosaries, or pro-police bumper stickers.

The ruling stems from a 2011 Texas court case in which a couple was pulled over for having rosaries hanging from the rearview mirror, as well as air fresheners, and a DARE sticker on the back of the vehicle.

Nohemi Pena-Gonzalez was pulled over by Police Officer Mike Tamez when she was driving just 2 MPH over the speed limit. The officer did not pull her over because she was speeding, but because he suspected that she was trafficking drugs, and found the contents of her vehicle and the sticker to be suspicious.

Eventually, the officer questioned her husband, Ruben Pena-Gonzalez, who agreed to allow the officer search to their vehicle. The officer did not find any drugs, but did find a large sum of cash that he confiscated, and then sent Ruben Pena-Gonzalez to jail.
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TeeDub
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2015, 12:31:37 pm »


http://mccarvillereport.com/archives/32755

Senator Anthony Sykes has yet to respond to a question about his relocation of an interim study hearing on civil asset forfeiture from the Capitol to a remote Tulsa Police Department facility. Sykes is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Twenty-four hours ago, The McCarville Report asked Sykes’ office to answer this question: “Why was the civil asset forfeiture interim study assigned to a Tulsa PD facility rather than the normal place, the Capitol?”

The controversial issue has drawn reform support from conservative and liberal think tanks and constitutionalists and opposition from some in law enforcement.

The interim study hearing is on September 1st.

Senator Kyle Loveless, sponsor of the bill, has invited out-of-state experts on the issue to testify. Several are due in the state, paying their own way to get to Oklahoma City. Now, they are being forced to hastily change flight plans or make arrangements for ground transportation from Oklahoma City to Tulsa to get to the non-neutral site.

Loveless thus far has declined comment on the development, viewed by some as a move by Skyes as a way to limit news coverage of the hearing, by others as a way of making the hearing as difficult as possible for supporters of the reform measure. Sykes, who aspires to be elected attorney general, is viewed as a “friend” of law enforcement.
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patric
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2015, 11:23:27 pm »

A proposed Oklahoma law would take the profit out of police and DAs confiscating money from people without due process.  Here's what our DA has to say about that:
http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/debate-over-confiscated-money/npKDd/

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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
cannon_fodder
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2015, 01:39:48 pm »

Well of course he's not happy, it directly takes money away from his budget.

That property can be seized without due process just seems crazy. "This now belongs to the Tulsa County Sheriff and a kickback to the DA. If you don't like that, show up in court and try to stop us." Seriously, that's how it works.

I understand the point, and I support the general idea. But you still have to err on the side of the citizen. The whole 4th Amendment thing is important.

My plan:

- Police can still confiscate assets with "probable cause," as it stands.
- If no charges are filed, the citizen gets their property back just by filing an affidavit saying it is legit.
- The burden is then shifted, and if the DA wants to keep the property they have to convince a judge by a civil "more probable than not" standard that the asset is ill-gotten. If the DA fails to prove that standard, the State pays the attorney fee to the citizen.

He idea being that the burden should pass to the State if no charges are filed. Also - if the funds were from a drug cartel or otherwise dubious, most people would not bother coming back to pick them up. Happy to just lose the cash and walk away.

Decent compromise IMHO.
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patric
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2015, 02:49:09 pm »


That property can be seized without due process just seems crazy. "This now belongs to the Tulsa County Sheriff and a kickback to the DA. If you don't like that, show up in court and try to stop us." Seriously, that's how it works.

I understand the point, and I support the general idea. But you still have to err on the side of the citizen. The whole 4th Amendment thing is important.

My plan:

- Police can still confiscate assets with "probable cause," as it stands.
- If no charges are filed, the citizen gets their property back just by filing an affidavit saying it is legit.
- The burden is then shifted, and if the DA wants to keep the property they have to convince a judge by a civil "more probable than not" standard that the asset is ill-gotten. If the DA fails to prove that standard, the State pays the attorney fee to the citizen.

He idea being that the burden should pass to the State if no charges are filed. Also - if the funds were from a drug cartel or otherwise dubious, most people would not bother coming back to pick them up. Happy to just lose the cash and walk away.


The DA is attacking the reform under the false pretense it favors drug cartels, which could be true if we were talking millions (and not the $100 here -- a thousand there -- that occurs on a daily basis) but we have to wait for the feds to wash their hands before they start cleaning up the states.

An American Civil Liberties Union report earlier this year found that the median amount seized in forfeiture actions in Philadelphia amounted to $192.
In most states the typical forfeiture amount is very small. The median forfeiture case in Illinois is worth $530, according to the report. In Tennessee, it's $502. In Minnesota, $451. Those are hardly kingpin-level hauls.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/10/report-in-lean-times-police-start-taking-a-lot-more-stuff-from-people/
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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 #22 on: November 20, 2015, 07:14:57 pm »

“The nature of this idea that you have to a crime in connection with seized property is dangerous to Oklahoma. I call it the Drug Cartel Protection Act,” said Kunzweiller.

So basically anyone with cash in their possession is fair game.  That pretty much tells us all we need to know about DA Kuntzweiller.

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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2015, 03:03:32 pm »

A proposed Oklahoma law would take the profit out of police and DAs confiscating money from people without due process.  Here's what our DA has to say about that:
http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/debate-over-confiscated-money/npKDd/




Same as Tim Harris.... Didn't really expect anything different did ya...?
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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 #24 on: December 15, 2015, 07:24:36 pm »


Same as Tim Harris.... Didn't really expect anything different did ya...?



When Norman, OK. Councilman Stephen Holman Questioned the police chief's request to buy a $280,000 armored vehicle using money seized from citizens by local police, the council decided to look at both the vehicle purchase proposal and the city's use of seizure funds more closely.

Angered by the idea a city councilor would interfere with the affairs of the department, police raided the smoke shop owned by Holman, where officers seized the bank deposit from his briefcase and cash from the register totaling about $2,000.

Police also took varous pipes from the smoke shop, as well as rolling papers, and the sign on his door that stated that the former were to be used with tobacco
only.


http://www.reddirtreport.com/red-dirt-news/courteous-raid-norman%E2%80%99s-friendly-market-causes-backlash
http://newsok.com/article/5465987
http://kfor.com/2015/12/09/they-took-all-the-money-in-the-store-city-councilman-angry-after-police-raid-norman-pipe-shop/
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2015, 10:07:14 pm »


When Norman, OK. Councilman Stephen Holman Questioned the police chief's request to buy a $280,000 armored vehicle using money seized from citizens by local police, the council decided to look at both the vehicle purchase proposal and the city's use of seizure funds more closely.

Angered by the idea a city councilor would interfere with the affairs of the department, police raided the smoke shop owned by Holman, where officers seized the bank deposit from his briefcase and cash from the register totaling about $2,000.

Police also took varous pipes from the smoke shop, as well as rolling papers, and the sign on his door that stated that the former were to be used with tobacco
only.


http://www.reddirtreport.com/red-dirt-news/courteous-raid-norman%E2%80%99s-friendly-market-causes-backlash
http://newsok.com/article/5465987
http://kfor.com/2015/12/09/they-took-all-the-money-in-the-store-city-councilman-angry-after-police-raid-norman-pipe-shop/



And we are said to be a land of free citizens...!

Wonder why I try to stay so anonymous....?
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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 #26 on: December 15, 2015, 10:33:35 pm »


And we are said to be a land of free citizens...!

Wonder why I try to stay so anonymous....?





Dear Scott Rowland,

I had $10K, little more, in the car when I heard you on All Things Considered. You were defending civil asset forfeiture. This is a practice cops engage in and which you endorse.

A driver with funds in his Hyundai pays real attention when law enforcement professionals explain on national radio why cops should continue taking away property from people during routine traffic stops where those people aren't charged with a crime. Your defense, I had to notice, backfired. You didn't defend forfeiture at all. I realize you thought you did, you wanted to. But your comments provided a rich illustration of why forfeiture must be abolished.

Counselor, this is forfeiture in brief: Cop finds money. Cop takes money.

The end.

Cop has only to say, "I think this money is crime-related." He proves nothing. Brings no charges. Gets no warrant. Unlike criminal forfeiture ?-- ?which takes place when someone's convicted of actual crime? -- ?the charges in civil forfeiture are formally brought against the property itself, not against its (former) owner. Because property has no rights, it has no presumption of innocence. Violated owners can recover their possessions only after proving that the items are not crime-related. In this version of justice, exoneration means proving a negative. So the burden is on the accused.

This detail alone makes forfeiture a perversion in a free land. I refer you to the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments. But the thing gets kinkier.

Thanks to John Oliver, the Washington Post, and the Institute for Justice, many of us know by now where the proceeds of forfeiture go: directly into the discretionary budgets of the police agencies that seize the assets and of their buddies, the district attorneys. The process is: find it and keep it. Cops are incentivized to steal.

In the story I listened to, Counselor, reporter Kate Greer noted that an Oklahoma D.A. had used forfeiture proceeds to pay off his own student loans. I heard this on the radio and scoffed. What a joke. And then you came on.

You said that anyone in your business "knows" (knows, you said) that large amounts of money are "a key indicator of illegal activity." My scoffing grew hoarse at this point. I thought of the locked car safe bolted to the floor below my seat.

This was two days ago -- Sunday. I was driving to meet my kid and her mama for dinner with friends at their house. Cops should seize money when they find it (you said) because the alternative is to "send it on back to the cartel. Or send it on back to al Qaeda or ISIS."

You were speaking specifically of the Sooner State? -- ?where you're First Assistant D.A. in the state's most populous county? -- ?so you were claiming, in effect, that the Islamic State is among the likeliest sources of funds in a random driver's car in Oklahoma.

This is not an argument for civil asset forfeiture. You made an argument for due process, without knowing it.

Government officials as recklessly ignorant as yourself, as devoid of any aptitude for probabilistic reasoning? -- ?officials capable of arguing that large cash holdings, in a state with 124 casinos (Oklahoma has the second largest tribal gambling market in the country), can correctly be inferred to come from ISIS? -- ?are the reason due process is needed. You're not a cop but you work with cops and you the share the cop mentality. The mentality of certainty, of knowing. If cop certainty could be relied upon, the courts would be superfluous.

They're not.

At dinner, the kids played? -- ?meaning my daughter bit at our friends' son's head and was pulled away shrieking. These were white-looking kids in a posh-looking house. When her tears had gone and the toddlers were together again on the couch, leaping and throwing pillows, there was an interval of peace and reflection, a reflexive instant where I observed myself and my family in that environment and noticed my awareness of the loveliness there. This vanished, Counselor, as I thought of you -- and I suddenly recalled that I'd lied to my daughter a few days before.

We'd been driving. Passed a police vehicle. She likes anything with flashers or a siren attached. And I'd told her that the police help people? -- ?that this was their job? -- ?and if she ever got lost she should flag down a cop. But I realized in the brightness of our friends' living room that if my child were a dark-looking boy instead of a white-looking girl, such a speech would be impossible. And irresponsible. Cops, I would tell him, help some people; they steal from others; you they might kill.

We live in an era out of all patience with deferring to the certainties of cops. Your assertion of the likely connection between cash in Oklahoma and such groups as the Islamic State is just another reason we, the people, must remain skeptical of you and your kind.

As to what I was doing with a couple-few straps in my car, that's a private matter, Counselor. I'll only add that anyone in my business knows that large amounts of money are a key indicator of diligence, competence, hard work, good fortune, success.

Yours? -- ?as sincerely as it gets.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-axelrad/an-open-letter-concerning_b_7896754.html





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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2015, 11:05:05 pm »

What can ya say.... It's Oklahoma...!!   And the entire rest of the country!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc11mJGre10


Truth is truth, whether 1960's or 2015's....

Not much has changed for the better since that little episode.... And a lot of things have been getting worse in the last 35 years...!





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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.
patric
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« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2015, 10:42:02 am »

More good work by Ziva Branstetter and The Frontier:

https://www.readfrontier.com/investigation/sheriffs-office-seizes-citizens-cash-guns-through-unclaimed-property-law/

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office has been allowed to seize cash and guns from nearly 1,000 citizens during searches and arrests under a law designed for dealing with unclaimed property rather than using the state’s forfeiture process, an investigation by The Frontier has found.

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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 #29 on: December 27, 2015, 07:45:27 pm »


Same as Tim Harris.... Didn't really expect anything different did ya...?



http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/crimewatch/search-seize-and-settle-anatomy-of-a-forfeiture-case/article_40f11d53-7833-52af-ab8b-9675cee160a5.html


(Canadian County) Deputy Mike Stilley, working drug interdiction, clocked the car at 76 mph in a 70 mph zone on Interstate 40. He gave chase as he called in the vehicle’s out-of-state plate, pulled the car over and, after approaching on foot, began questioning the Yangs.

"Rolling No" Consent

Eventually, Stilley wrote Moua Yang a warning for speeding and told him the traffic stop was complete. However, as Yang started to get out of the cruiser, Stilley told him his job was to investigate criminal activity through traffic enforcement. He asked whether Yang and his father were transporting any illegal drugs, weapons or large amounts of currency, court records say. Yang replied they were not. Stilley asked to search the vehicle and said Yang agreed.

 He looked in the back seat and found a duffel bag with several articles of clothing and a towel that smelled strongly of laundry detergent. Wrapped in the towel was $25,690 in cash, most of it in bundled $1,000 stacks. Moua Yang said he and his family had been saving the money for a long time.

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.

The case went on until 2013, when the parties reached a settlement and $12,845 was returned to the Yangs.
“It doesn’t make sense, It’s either drug money or it’s not. If it’s not, then give them the money back. Why would someone want to do a 50-50 split?

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