Canadian News Outlet Warns Canadians That US Law Enforcement Officers Will Pull Them Over And Seize Their Cash

from the US-outed-as-serial-abuser dept

The exploitation of asset seizure/forfeiture laws by law enforcement isn't anything new, but it is receiving a lot more attention thanks to an extensive exploration of the subject by the Washington Post. The findings are astonishing/sickening. Over the last 13 years, nearly 62,000 cash seizures have been made by law enforcement officers, resulting in a $2.5 billion haul. And that's just the cash. Depending on local laws, people who have had their cash seized may also lose their vehicles, houses and access to any bank accounts.

Only one-sixth of those whose cash has been seized have engaged in the expensive process necessary to retrieve their money. Nearly half of those who make this attempt have their funds returned, which indicates that many of the cash seizures are predicated on tenuous legal ground (to put it very nicely). But even more bad news awaits should a citizen fight an uphill battle against an infinitely-funded opponent: in many cases, the responding governments only offer back half of what was seized and force citizens to sign a release agreement promising not to sue before they'll hand over the check.

The abusive farce that is asset forfeiture has now reached critical mass: CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has issued a warning to Canadian travelers. Senior Washington Correspondent Neil MacDonald posted this bluntly-titled article late last week. (via Boing Boing, which also gives us this great phrase: "robbery at badgepoint")

American shakedown: Police won't charge you, but they'll grab your money
In it, he cautions Canadians that visiting the US with a bunch of cash on hand is a good way to end up short on funds. He points out that the Canadian government has no law limiting the amount of cash Canadians can take into or out of the country, but that has no bearing on what any local police force inside the US would consider to be the "legal" amount of cash a person -- especially a foreign citizen -- can carry. After all, half the seizures were for less than $8,800 and that number includes a college graduate (with no criminal record) who was relieved of $2,500 given to him by his parents to make a trip to California for a job interview.
MacDonald boils down his travel advice to a few bullet points that may help Canadians avoid becoming victims of government-approved theft.

Avoid long chats if you're pulled over. Answer questions politely and concisely, then persistently ask if you are free to go.

Don't leave litter on the vehicle floor, especially energy drink cans.

Don't use air or breath fresheners; they could be interpreted as an attempt to mask the smell of drugs.

Don't be too talkative. Don't be too quiet. Try not to wear expensive designer clothes. Don't have tinted windows.

And for heaven's sake, don't consent to a search if you are carrying a big roll of legitimate cash.
This is what it takes to avoid the sort of police scrutiny that might result in you losing any cash you have on hand. Good luck with that, especially the "not being too talkative or too quiet" part. Being "not from around here" makes visiting Canadians (and other foreign visitors) the best kind of victim: the one who won't fight because it's prohibitively expensive to do so -- or even impossible, depending on visa limitations.

It's the most perverted of incentives. Those seizing the money and assets directly benefit from them -- about as perverse as you can get without spending several hours at 4chan's /b/ [link deliberately not included].
One prosecutor used seized cash to defend herself against a lawsuit brought by people whose cash she seized.
Nice work, drug and terror warriors. America is swiftly becoming the First World's Mos Eisely. Everything remotely connected with drug enforcement or counterterrorism carries with it the stench of corruption and abuse. Canadians will now drive through the US like suburbanites who have found themselves on the "wrong" side of town: windows up, doors locked, eyes fixed dead ahead and at a speed just fast enough to deter interaction but not fast enough to draw undue attention.


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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 16 Sep 2014 @ 2:38pm

    USA! The new Mexico!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 2:44pm

      Re:

      Aren't you giving a lot of credit that isn't due to the US?

      Corruption at it's finest.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 6:16pm

      Re:

      One of the comments on the CBC story was a variation of that:

      "The USA: Canada's Mexico."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 16 Sep 2014 @ 6:26pm

      Oh puleeeze

      More like the new Germany...

      The travel guides warn you not to speed in Germany and to be prepared to pay hefty cash fines if you do lest you get your car seized.

      ...and that is supposed to be considered normal and acceptable there. It's not a controversy like it would be here with.

      Then there are French speed cameras. It turns out that they are diligent and efficient when it comes to those.

      The Canadians need to get out more.

      Perhaps their utopia has left them with less of a travel budget.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 7:34pm

        Re: Oh puleeeze

        how dare we expect a country that pretends its a just society act like one. We should be thankful there are not roadside executions by the politburo and gestapo right? since that's normal and accepted in fascist and tyrannical regimes.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 9:17pm

        Re: Oh puleeeze

        The travel guides warn you not to speed in Germany and to be prepared to pay hefty cash fines if you do lest you get your car seized.

        Whereas in the US, be prepared to pay hefty cash fines for having a lot of cash in your car.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        G Thompson (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:36am

        Re: Oh puleeeze

        If you do not understand the difference in Fines that are imposed and paid AFTER the fact (with burdon of proof on govt to show the fine has been committed), and asset/cash forfeiture that is done instantly (with burdon of proof on the person who's assets were seized) then you are a fool.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 17 Sep 2014 @ 3:31am

        Re: Oh puleeeze

        The travel guides warn you not to speed in Germany and to be prepared to pay hefty cash fines if you do lest you get your car seized.

        Try getting a guide written by someone who can tell the difference between being in Germany and being in Switzerland.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Niall (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:26am

          Re: Re: Oh puleeeze

          The difference is, if you are being shot at for speeding, you are in Switzerland.

          And no, I'm not kidding. Gun nuts' dream location...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rick Caird, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:43am

        Re: Oh puleeeze

        You seem to be confused about the difference between committing a crime and asset seizure with no crime. I suggest you actually do a little research before displaying ignorance of an issue.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:49am

          Re: Re: Oh puleeeze

          You seem to be confused about the difference between committing a crime and asset seizure with no crime.

          I doubt speeding is a criminal offense even in Germany.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Socrates, 18 Sep 2014 @ 3:33am

            Autobahn

            Most of the motorways (autobahn) in Germany does not even have a speed limit. So speeds up to about 300 km/h is not uncommon. About 15% drives faster than 170 km/h in the summer in advisory speed limit areas, faster on dry tarmac and slower in rain, bad weather and dense traffic.

            Some of the autobahn have rain speed limits and most have special electronic variable message signs, as well as equipment to detect and automatically warn of fog, rain, and ice.

            The left lanes usually have a minimum speed of 110 km/h.

            There is few accidents and fatalities, 1.98 deaths at the autobahn and 3.62 deaths at motorways in USA, for each billion km traveled according to IRTAD.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PRMan (profile), 19 Jan 2016 @ 10:24am

              Re: Autobahn

              Well, considering you only give licenses to the top 25% of drivers and we give them to EVERYONE, I'd say the 3.62 with everyone driving is the preferred outcome.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Me, 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:34am

        Re: Oh puleeeze

        Turns out, in France and Switzerland you can get your car seized for speeding, too. Probably in more European countries.

        And in Australia...
        https://www.facebook.com/nswpoliceforce/posts/10151122661836185?_fb_noscript=1

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jason Arsenault, 17 Sep 2014 @ 9:02am

        Re: Oh puleeeze

        Terrible analogy.
        In the German and French cases you're breaking the law, however minor; in the American case you're simply being robbed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Michel, 29 Nov 2014 @ 5:57am

        Re: Oh puleeeze

        What? As a German citizen, I call BS. They don't sieze your car for nothing. The only way I know of is if you park in a no parking area. But you can easily get it back then. And for Traffic fees: they are very high if you tailgate or go 60 km/h over the limit but it's not like we have some kind of Auto-Gestapo.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:05am

      Re:

      Dear Baron von Robber,

      We take issue with you referring to the US as the new Mexico. Granted, you have that whole section that is actually called "New Mexico", but the US stormtrooper tactics and clear disregard for the rights of their citizens is most certainly not what Mexico is all about.

      Sure, in Mexico you stand a pretty good chance of being kidnapped and killed by members of a drug cartel, if you are imprisoned for breaking a minor law you could find yourself stuck in a small cell for the remainder of your life, and many of our tourist spots are full of pick-pockets and petty thieves.

      However, our law enforcement officers will ALWAYS arrest or kill you when taking your cash. For us, it is not just a monetary pursuit, our officers will always make an effort to make any cash seizures at least have a hint of legitimacy by charging you with violation of some law you have never heard of and then make you sign a confession in a foreign language to get some clean water (well, sort-of clean).

      Please do not let our good name be tarnished.

      - Mexico

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      jomama, 19 Sep 2014 @ 3:25am

      Re:

      Lived the last 17 years in Mexico...full time.

      I've never seen or experienced anything remotely resembling anything like Americans and Canadians are going thru in the uS.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 2:44pm

    Travelers Checks

    The cops can't cash them. Not without your signature.

    But don't try to cash them yourselves at either B of A or Wells Fargo, at least not in California. They both tried to charge me an extra 1% for the privilege of doing business with them for something already paid for. I did not have any problems with them on the rest of my trip from the east coast to the left.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Phoenix84 (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 2:54pm

      Re: Travelers Checks

      BofA is horrible.
      My wife went to cash a check given to her, and they wanted to charge us a fee to cash it because we aren't members of their retched institution even though the check was drawn from them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Phoenix84 (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 2:56pm

        Re: Re: Travelers Checks

        wretched

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 3:49pm

        Re: Re: Travelers Checks

        I recently had this exact issue with BofA as well. I will never set foot in one again.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          JEDIDIAH, 16 Sep 2014 @ 6:27pm

          Re: Travelers Checks

          This is supposed to be illegal but the banks have managed to find a loophole around it and most legal regulations that apply to banks.

          That's what the "NA" business means.

          Those idiots will crash the entire system if they aren't careful. Rampant corruption is ultimately bad for business.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 7:16pm

            Re: Re: Travelers Checks

            As long as the ones at the top make it out unscathed(like they did the last time they crashed the economy), they really don't seem to care.

            'If it doesn't affect me personally, why should I care?' is the mindset of a sociopath, and unfortunately, seems to be required for anyone in charge of a large enough company, with few exceptions.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:18am

            Re: Re: Travelers Checks

            So "NA" must mean "not applicable?"

            The really hilarious thing is that when I went to the BofA brnach (the exact one where the check was drawn on), they explained that the fee will be waived if I open an account. Apparently, they think this is a good way to expand the number of people who have accounts there.

            Instead, they've given me strong incentive to refuse checks drawn from BofA accounts.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Brown (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 8:54pm

      Re: Travelers Checks

      No one should be carrying around a bunch of cash. Just leave your money in your bank. If you must have cash, your ATM card will work in any ATM. The ATM fee of $3 or so is small, plus your Canadian bank will use a standardized exchange rate--not one that's been set higher than average by the local bank to rip off tourists.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Adam, 17 Sep 2014 @ 2:59am

        Re: Re: Travelers Checks

        "No one should be carrying around a bunch of cash."

        First they made it illegal for us to own gold. They insisted that we had to swap it for paper money. Now you're saying that it's illegal for us to carry the paper money too? Why shouldn't I be carrying around a bunch of cash? Why is that a problem? Oh, I know, because it's not traceable.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Travelers Checks

          Why shouldn't I be carrying around a bunch of cash? Why is that a problem?

          For the police, or for you? Because the police love it when you carry around a bunch of cash.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:43am

        Re: Re: Travelers Checks

        That's right. Plus, we haven't seen any US law enforcement officers forcing people to withdraw money from the ATM yet.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 8:11am

        Re: Re: Travelers Checks

        "No one should be carrying around a bunch of cash."

        Why not? Did they make this illegal now?

        "If you must have cash, your ATM card will work in any ATM. The ATM fee of $3 or so is small"

        There are lots of reasons one would want to reduce or eliminate the use of ATMs. BTW, an ATM fee of $3 is not small. It's large.

        People should deal with money in whatever way is most comfortable for them. If that's a big wad of cash, more power to them. There is nothing illegal or even suspicious about it, and there should be no risk of being robbed by law enforcement of all people.

        The fault here is the cops, not their victims.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 8:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Travelers Checks

          Why not?

          Well just off the top of my head, because of civil forfeiture abuse. I don't think he's saying it's wrong to carry a lot of cash, but that it's risky.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Travelers Checks

            Maybe that's what he meant, but it's not what he said...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Travelers Checks

              Maybe that's what he meant, but it's not what he said...

              It's ambiguous. "Shouldn't" could mean it's wrong, it could mean it's illegal, and it could mean it's just a bad idea. We don't know unless he clarifies his intention. Based on context, I think he means it's a bad idea.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 2:44pm

    I dont want to talk about conspiracies
    but that out-of-schedule article on cracked, combined with the massive censorship thats currently happening on 4chan does makes that little comment suspicious.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 2:47pm

    "America is swiftly becoming the First World's Mos Eisely."

    Really now. Swiftly becoming¿Heh!
    The United States were always a wretched hive, even before they became a "First World" country, and there is no way to change it.
    The U.S is the Empire, and needs some serious revolution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    That Canadian guy, 16 Sep 2014 @ 2:48pm

    One more reason not to vacation in 'Murica

    When I was a kid my family used to vacation in the US every year, but then you guys got scary, sad to say it's been nearly a decade since I took a vacation in the US and unless thing change a lot I can't see my self vacationing there in the future. It's a shame really, you guys used to have a really nice country, but at some point between Getmo and Ferguson you became one of those scary countries south of the border.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Steevo, 16 Sep 2014 @ 8:31pm

      Re: One more reason not to vacation in 'Murica

      Once I read "you guys" the flag went up. The Canadian, stereotyping. It's Gitmo, and along with Ferguson mean nothing when understanding, us guys. The overwhelming percentage of Americans have nothing to do with this perverse abusive incentive. You want another opportunity for self-esteem, look in the mirror and grow up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 9:22pm

        Re: Re: One more reason not to vacation in 'Murica

        The overwhelming percentage of Americans have nothing to do with this perverse abusive incentive.

        And yet visitors still have to deal with American police, TSA, etc. if they want to come here. Small comfort that most Americans are perfectly nice after the police rob you of your money.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:46am

          Re: Re: Re: One more reason not to vacation in 'Murica

          This could simply be the administration plan for slowing immigration into the US - just make it so bad here that people don't want to come anymore.

          Works better than a huge fence ever would.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:41am

        Re: Re: One more reason not to vacation in 'Murica

        I looked in the mirror and ‘Yep’ all grown up and full of self-esteem.
        I have no problem with the fact that most Americans are good people; the same can be said about a lot of places. Where I have a problem is that you have state sanctioned highway robbery.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Marvin, 19 Sep 2014 @ 7:46am

      Re: One more reason not to vacation in 'Murica

      Which state contains Getmo? Perhaps you meant Gitmo which is short for Guantanamo Cuba, not the good ole US of A. Maybe you'd be willing to house those terrorists? And Ferguson is a mathematical anomaly. Check the odds on those events. Enjoy summer in Canada, what a week!!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 19 Sep 2014 @ 8:58am

        Re: Re: One more reason not to vacation in 'Murica

        And Ferguson is a mathematical anomaly. Check the odds on those events.

        Yeah, let's ignore problems with policing until most of the US has erupted in protest. I'm sure that will go well. After all, it's just an anomaly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Art Dibbs, 16 Sep 2014 @ 2:49pm

    Is it a joke?

    Isn't it just a plain robbery?
    One would expect such police behavior only in 3rd world countries...
    Unbelievable!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      G Thompson (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:39am

      Re: Is it a joke?

      actually you get better behaviour in 3rd world countries since their police actually state up front that the 'fine' is actually a bribe.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:09am

        Re: Re: Is it a joke?

        Actually you get better service in 3rd world countries because they actually state that you have "committed" a crime or a misdemeanor or whatever. Asset forfeiture has no such thing attached to it. All a pig needs to do to steal your shit is to say there's something suspicious about you.

        Their word.

        That's all it takes.

        Not even the police of the 1980's and 1990's Russia were this bad.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 3:00pm

    Great way to encourage tourism , take cash from travelers to your country,
    one law for the rich,
    ie poor people may not be able to afford a court case to get
    em back.
    People in the usa ,have had there house seized cos they owed 100 dollars in state taxes,
    or their children were caught using drugs .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    connermac725 (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 3:02pm

    Robbery at Badgepoint

    I have always said the smartest crooks become law enforcement and these kind of things prove that theory right

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 3:08pm

      Re: Robbery at Badgepoint

      *second* smartest crooks.

      The smartest ones hold public office.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:11am

        Re: Re: Robbery at Badgepoint

        I thought the really smartest ones owned banks?

        Wait. Scratch that.

        Ran banks, if they owned them, they'd have something to lose when the dumps go under. If they're just the CEO's they have nothing to lose. And everything to gain by looting the banks.

        And stock options can always be gamed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BentFranklin (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 3:11pm

    Looking for the states that have banned the practice I found this:

    http://freedominthe50states.org/asset-forfeiture

    Anyone have any better info?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anonymous canadian, 16 Sep 2014 @ 5:17pm

      Re: Looking for the states that have banned the practice I found this: http://freedominthe50states.org/asset-forfeiture

      I, too, tried to find which of the states reportedly do not participate. Didn't find anything like you did. Thanks for posting. Am I reading the map correctly: the orange coloured states like California and Oregon have the highest rates of seizure?

      It just gets better and better, doesn't it? In the olden days, I used to fly to the US a couple of times a year. Have done so only once since the TSA was instituted and won't again if I can possible avoid it. So far, so good.

      And now *driving* has become govt creepy? This old lady weeps.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        BentFranklin (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 6:58pm

        Re: Re: Looking for the states that have banned the practice I found this: http://freedominthe50states.org/asset-forfeiture

        No, I think the five orange ones are the ones that banned it.

        I think I need to write my state legislators and ask them to add my state.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 9:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Looking for the states that have banned the practice I found this: http://freedominthe50states.org/asset-forfeiture

          No, I think the five orange ones are the ones that banned it.

          "This category reflects the extent to which a state’s asset forfeiture rules encourage revenue-sharing with the Dept of Justice." The orange ones encourage such revenue sharing the most. It's apparently only an analysis of the rules, not data about how much it happens per capita or anything like that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            anonymous canadian, 17 Sep 2014 @ 9:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Looking for the states that have banned the practice I found this: http://freedominthe50states.org/asset-forfeiture

            Thanks for the confirmation.

            *Does* anyone know which states do not participate? One of the articles mentioned that there are a few but it didn't name them or offer a link.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PRMan (profile), 19 Jan 2016 @ 10:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Looking for the states that have banned the practice I found this: http://freedominthe50states.org/asset-forfeiture

            Orange is always BEST OUTCOME on this site.

            I know for a fact that New Mexico and California are two of the best and that Tennessee is one of the worst.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 8:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Looking for the states that have banned the practice I found this: http://freedominthe50states.org/asset-forfeiture

          All the cops in those states have to do is call the Feds who will launder the cash for a 20% cut.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 16 Sep 2014 @ 3:48pm

    Immigration Policy 2015R.3

    The United States new immigration policy is working like a champ. Make it that nobody would want to live here let alone travel here. Much easier than a fence. Great job Mr President.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 4:30pm

      Re: Immigration Policy 2015R.3

      That's only one half... the other half is to still convince all the working people that it's the heartland of Freedom and the best place on earth to live.

      I'm starting to view Freedom Fries in a whole new light.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Harry Buttle, 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:33am

      Re: Immigration Policy 2015R.3

      Unfortunately you are wrong, these sort of things discourage people from the first world, but people from 3rd world countries feel right at home with endemic corruption.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    1st Dread Pirate Roberts (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 4:52pm

    Sweet!

    Sweet!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NovaScotian, 16 Sep 2014 @ 5:00pm

    Traveling in the USA with cash.

    For 15 years now, my wife and I have avoided cross-border credit card fees and the exchange rate agio by using the income from two small US retirement funds from 15 years I taught at university there long ago. Instead of converting it, I saved it for fall and spring two-week long trips to the the US during which we'd pay for everything in cash; motels, meals, all purchases. Nothing went on a credit card. Traveler's Checks are a PITA.

    This fall instead of Christmas shopping for a bunch of grandkids, eating, leaf watching, etc. in New England, we're going to Montreal. I certainly don't want to risk losing the amount we usually spent but the US economy certainly has from now on. We're off to Montreal instead this fall.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Binko Barnes (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 5:34pm

    The really amazing thing about Asset Forfeiture is that it is not instantly struck down by the courts. It shows how monolithic the power structure is when it comes to protecting it's power and privilege, even when blatantly unconstitutional.

    And what about all the cops that take part in what is essentially theft under cover of authority? Once again demonstrates how pliable police morality becomes when something benefits them and their gang.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 7:12pm

      Re:

      My dear fellow, all humans are pliable and easily manipulated, and many would sell their morality for a loaf of bread.

      They don't call them "cultures of corruption" for nothing. Peer pressure is the most powerful force in the universe.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 6:58pm

    this country is closing up shop. won't be here 50 years from now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 7:32pm

    In other news Seattle police abandon crowdfunding project and start doing highway robbery via cash seizure to make up the funds they need

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 7:36pm

    Or better yet don't visit the USA its becoming a third world country in more than just name.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 7:59pm

    Thou shalt not steal...the government does not like the competition. Seems it applies to the other nine commandments as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jetty, 16 Sep 2014 @ 8:26pm

    Confiscation of personal property? Liberals cheer!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobby b, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:20am

    Great.

    In four hours I leave MN in my MN-licensed car to drive to SanFran via Colorado.

    I get to run the forfeiture gauntlet all across the country, plus I get to leave Colorado in a non-Colorado car, meaning the next state will be pulling me over to search for pot.

    X-country roadtrips weren't this threatening back when me and my college buds really WERE bringing in the goodies, as they say.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:47am

      Re:

      I get to run the forfeiture gauntlet all across the country, plus I get to leave Colorado in a non-Colorado car, meaning the next state will be pulling me over to search for pot.

      You could go through Wyoming instead. Though that is a much less interesting drive.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Devonavar (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:26am

    Yes, I do worry about this stuff

    As a frequent traveller to the US, I *have* started worrying about these things when I cross the border. Maybe not cash specifically (I don't have that much), but your country is far less friendly than it used to be, and your relationship with your police is ... one of fear.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    textibule (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 2:53am

    But at least...

    My guidebook warns about roadside banditry in the US of A, but points out that the bandits are required by law to wear uniforms. I find this incredibly civilized.

    I see no mention anywhere however about whether the uniformed highwaymen are interested in euro banknotes, which might be a gamesaver on my next trip.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    tomczerniawski, 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:23am

    The only way I'd visit the evil-ass US is in a blackbag and zip-ties, without my consent. Sadly this is a realistic possibility.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    rsrh, 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:54am

    NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Policing For Profit (2013)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Cressman, 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:20am

    Every now and then...

    Every now and then you hear about someone going nuts and opening firing on government employees... then, every now and then you hear stories like this and say "Oh, that's why!"

    I hate to say it, but at some point, this type of illegal, immoral and unjust seizure will be met with... in the words of Sarah Palin... "a 2nd amendment solution".

    People can only be pushed so far and at some point, some of them are going to snap.

    At that point, I have very little sympathy for criminals masquerading as "civil servants". This is the type of thing you read about happening in a 2nd or 3rd world country rife with corruption... it's not something you should be reading about a 1st world country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:41am

    the 2 most important lines to remember
    1. I do not consent to any searches
    2. Am I free to go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 9:34am

      Re:

      1. I do not consent to any searches

      From https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131105/05401425129/cops-subject-man-to-rectal-searches-enemas-co lonoscopy-futile-effort-to-find-drugs-they-swear-he-was-hiding.shtml

      1. Eckert's abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.
      2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
      3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
      4. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
      5. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
      6. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
      7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.
      8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert's anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.
      At no time did Eckert give his consent to these searches.


      At no time did Eckert give his consent to these searches.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re:

        At no time did Eckert give his consent to these searches.

        Not consenting provides no guarantees, but consenting to a search guarantees that any evidence found will be admissible, and you will not be able to get any relief for an unlawful search.

        Just remember that the police are not going to say "You have the right to refuse permission to search your vehicle. May I have permission?" They'll say something more like "I'm going to search your vehicle now, OK?" At which time you say "I do not consent to any search." Then they ask "Why not?" and you say "Am I free to go?"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re:

        Not consenting to a search doesn't mean you won't get searched (or treated badly). However, it does remove one way that otherwise illegal searches are legitimized (claiming that you consented to it) and increases the odds of a successful defense in court, or even maybe a successful lawsuit.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 7:46am

    How the hell has this sort of thing not been struck down? Talk about deprivation of property without due process.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    David Govett (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 8:10am

    Anecdotal tendentiousness

    Adult Americans: 242,000,000
    Cash seizures: 62,000
    Period: 13 years
    = approx. 50,744 adult Americans per seizure per year
    That's anecdotal, even in Canada.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    nasch (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 8:45am

    That's anecdotal, even in Canada.

    I'm wondering if you know what anecdotal means, because this statement doesn't make sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Guest, 17 Sep 2014 @ 9:59am

    Everyone should know not to travel with a lot of cash. It's suspicious, and in many states it's illegal.

    If you are trafficking cash in a state where that is illegal, then it makes sense that the cops would take it, so you have to prove it belongs to you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 10:11am

      Re:

      Traveling with cash is illegal? Where? What's that bit on the note about it being legal tender then?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 10:39am

      Re:

      If you are trafficking cash in a state where that is illegal, then it makes sense that the cops would take it, so you have to prove it belongs to you.

      There's nowhere it's illegal to travel with cash. The problem is the police can seize the perfectly legally carried cash for basically no reason.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 10:56am

      Re:

      There is no amount of cash, in any state, that is illegal to carry.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sehlat (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:42am

    Not "robbery at badgepoint"

    Felony armed robbery. Period.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobby b, 17 Sep 2014 @ 8:50pm

    A). Nasch, I HAVE TO go through Colorado. Since I'm out this way, I simply must make my first-ever legal pot purchase. It's like . . . a quest.

    B). The asset forfeiture laws were originally written to take care of the (rare) situation where the known drug bigwig gets tossed and has no drugs, nothing incriminating, just megawads of cash (which obviously came from his drug business.)

    The cops would be just about frothing at the mouth - they KNEW the guy was dirty, they KNEW the cash was drug sales proceeds, but all they could do was hand it back to him and listen to him laugh. At them. Cops HATE that.

    So they designed this abortion of a law, and immediately misused it and became suddenly, happily, rich.

    What they choose to ignore is that this law was one of the last straws that caused many of us - most? - to consider the cops to be just another thieving gang preying upon the lawful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    بلادى عاجل, 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:56am

    "America is swiftly becoming the First World's Mos Eisley."

    Especially promptly. Swiftly becoming¿Heh!
    The United States were always a wretched hive, even before they became a "First World" country, and there is no way to change it.
    USA is the Empire, and needs some serious revolution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bill, 24 Jan 2015 @ 7:27am

    What's next

    I suspect asset forfeiture creep. Watches, rings, golf clubs, maybe even your children. There is no set limit here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tx_cop, 14 Jul 2015 @ 8:54am

    Let's think logically here... 2.5billion sized from 62,000 people... That's an average of just over $40k each... Asset forfeiture cases aren't just taking money from people as it's apparently thought. Those cases involve cash earned from drugs or other illegal activities. As a cop here in Texas, sure, having a lot of cash may make an individual look suspicious, but I'm certainly not going to try to sieze it just because they have it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tx_cop, 14 Jul 2015 @ 9:00am

    My point is that no cop I know of, or any law is going after people that just happen to have cash on them. And taking cash from people but not charging them with a criminal offense? That's just flat out theft. No if ands or buts about it. Any cop who takes money from anyone in that manner should be fired and charged as a criminal because they trying to play on the wrong side of the thin blue line that good, honorable, trustworthy officers work so hard to keep intact

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 14 Jul 2015 @ 9:05am

      Re:

      they trying to play on the wrong side of the thin blue line that good, honorable, trustworthy officers work so hard to keep intact

      As long as that hard work includes turning in dirty cops. Cops as a group are notoriously unwilling to report on the misdeeds of their fellow officers, even if they disagree with them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    A, 13 Jan 2016 @ 7:56am

    This story got much, much worse for me. I was driving with my family down into the Boston area for my son's hockey tournament. We where pulled over by a New England state trooper (with no infractions,) The trooper, about 28, and waaay to intense for it to be natural, WINK, called in for backup saying only that he had "pulled over Canadian plates." Soon 2 more cars arrived, female detectives, and they took me to the side of the road. Now, I do finesse myself a lady's man, but it was clear that these ladies where looking to "seize" my "assets." Before I knew it where where locked in a fiery embrace, losing ourselves to the moment while thethird officer, the stufly, intense boy "shook down" my wife and released his pepper spray all over my wife's billy club. Yes, my wife is a transexual. In short, if you "do the crime" on Uncle Sam's turf, you better be ready "do the time, or at least, 2 willing lasses in blue!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Harold Hecuba, 25 Jan 2016 @ 12:45am

    I'm sure this problem EXISTS, but I have travelled extensively in the U.S., with an occasional stop by police and they've never done anything of the sort to me. Canadian cops are not exactly the pinnacle of virtue or competence if we're going to be entirely fair and objective here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2016 @ 7:14pm

    Usual question about cops and civil forfiture

    If they act like highway robbers how long until they start getting treated accordingly?

    Of course if that happens they'll whine incessantly about it like they do about anything to give the teeniest bit of criticism or extra accountability. They're even worse than farmers which is quite an accomplishment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2017 @ 7:24pm

    We had some guys from where I worked doing a foreign aid job in Ghana. They said that this kind of thing happened often there. It looks like the United States of America is now in the same league as Ghana and other tin pot african dictatorships.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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