NYPD Tells Judge Its $25 Million Forfeiture Database Has No Backup

from the overpriced-by-at-least-$25-million dept

The NYPD is actively opposed to transparency. It does all it can to thwart outsiders from accessing any info about the department's inner workings. This has led to numerous lawsuits from public records requesters. It has also led to a long-running lawsuit featuring the Bronx Defenders, which has been trying to gain access to civil forfeiture documents for years.

The NYPD has repeatedly claimed it simply cannot provide the records the Bronx Defenders (as well as other records requesters) have requested. Not because it doesn't want to, even though it surely doesn't. But because it can't.

The department has spent $25 million on a forfeiture tracking system that can't even do the one thing it's supposed to do: track forfeitures. The Property and Evidence Tracking System (PETS) is apparently so complex and so badly constructed, the NYPD can't compile the records being sought.

Oddly enough, the Bronx Defenders has pieced together enough data from the NYPD's broken PETS (along with other public records) to at least point out the glaring discrepancy between what the department publicly claims it has in its forfeiture accounts and what the database says it does.

At the hearing, the NYPD claimed that it only legally forfeited $11,653 in currency last year — that is, gone to court and actually made a case as to why the NYPD should be taking this money.

[...]

In the accounting summaries which the Bronx Defenders submitted as part of its testimony, the NYPD reports that as of December 2013, its property clerk had almost $69 million in seized cash on hand. This amount had been carried over from previous years, showing an annual accumulation of seized cash that has reached an enormous amount. The documents also show that each month, the five property clerk’s offices across the city took in tens of thousands of dollars in cash, ultimately generating over $6 million in revenue for the department.

When pressed in court, NYPD experts claim the NYPD lacks the expertise to extract the sought data from its forfeiture database. These assertions are at odds with the NYPD's self-perception: that it is fastest and smartest law enforcement agency in the US (better than the FBI, in fact) and foreign governments should be grateful its officers and analysts are showing up uninvited at scenes of overseas terrorist attacks.

Somehow, these highly-trained officers are unable to extract data from a $25 million database. Maybe it's not the lack of talent. Maybe it's the lack of desire. Maybe the NYPD has zero interest in tracking this data because it doesn't want the public to see how much it has hoovered up or make it any easier for citizens to challenge forfeitures.

The lawsuit continues, with the NYPD continuing to top itself with each round of expert testimony. As Adam Klasfield reports for Courthouse News, the NYPD's $25 million database is worth even less than previously assumed.

New York City is one power surge away from losing all of the data police have on millions of dollars in unclaimed forfeitures, a city attorney admitted to a flabbergasted judge on Tuesday.

“That’s insane,” Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arlene Bluth said repeatedly from the bench.

It is insane. There's no way around it. The assumption would be that a $25 million database has built-in redundancy. But of course it wouldn't. Not with the NYPD running it and not with its active disinterest in providing records to records requesters or having any accountability present in its forfeiture system.

And why should the NYPD fix it? From its perspective, this is fine. Data goes in and never comes out. If it all disappears because someone trips over the power cord, the NYPD suffers no negative consequences. Everything it has taken over the years defaults to the NYPD until proven otherwise by claimants. And that's going to be a lot tougher to do when the NYPD has no records related to the forfeiture.

The court is in no position to do anything about this. It can't order the NYPD to fix its system. All it can do is demand it comply with records requests and pay the legal fees of prevailing parties. But the NYPD can continue to run a useless system for the rest of whatever. The burden of proof in forfeiture cases is already shifted to claimants. A broken system places even more of a burden on those seeking return of their property, thanks to PETS being unable to confirm or deny existence of responsive records. It's GlomarDb and it makes a mockery of public records laws and due process simultaneously.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 7:18pm

    How to fix the problem in five minutes:

    'Any seized property and/or money without proper, verifiable documentation tracking who it was taken from, when it was seized, and the legal justification for the seizure shall be considered to have been acquired illegally.

    The property/funds shall be immediately transferred to a neutral third party, which shall hold on to it for a period of six months, during which members of the public may present evidence to demonstrate that they were the previous owners of a given pieces of property. Any property left unclaimed after this period has expired shall be liquidated, and the resulting funds shall be transferred in their entirety to the public defender's office, to be used to pay the legal fees of those that would otherwise be unable to do so.'

    Wouldn't be perfect(those that couldn't provide proper documentation would still be screwed, but I'm really not sure how to get around that offhand), but it would remove the NYPD's main motivation for stealing anything they can get their hands on, and provide a good motivation not to do so at the same time.

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 8:04pm

      Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

      This. If any publicly traded corporation was discovered to have even a tenth of the problems the NYPD has in this case, the SEC, IRS and FBI would be all over them for everything from embezzlement to racketeering investigations.

      Even a private organization would be in deep trouble if their response to a subpoena remotely resembled the NYPD's.

      But when a police force shows more signs of being (at best) criminally negligent than any corporation in history, nothing will be done. Because they're police heroes.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 8:16pm

        Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

        "This."

        Congrats one idiot following another! Piss on the Constitution, lets just make more rules they WON'T follow!

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 8:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

          Your casual cruelty towards people with whom you disagree will not win any arguments—nor will it endear your posts to anyone other than those who would share in your cruelty.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 9:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

            You are right, my apologies. I am sorry for being rude to people that are spreading ignorance and insanity.

            I realize now it is more important for me to sound nice and good rather than provide accurate and meaningful information.

            Do you know who else likes to shoot the messengers? Next time be sure to stick to your guns, if you are ever on the deck of the titanic as it sinks and someone tells you to get your stupid ass to the life raft, stop what you are doing, let them know you did not appreciate them telling you to stop dawdling, and demand an apology.

            Another cherry on this icing is that the original comment was raised as insightful. Not a very positive reflection of the TD community's intellectual capacity, though not a surprise in the least. No wonder you guys are losing your liberty and whining about it here daily. You are grossly ignorant of the basics themselves.

            I say, well met, what pity should I feel for those that invite their doom in by the front door? Even more so for those that demand respect in the instances of their follies and ignorances?

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 10:19pm

              A reminder

              Honesty is necessary; cruelty is not.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 10:43pm

                Re: A reminder

                It is not intended as a cruelty, but you are free to interpret these things as you see fit.

                You are also free to waste effort on worrying about people's hurt feelings while people have their possessions stolen and even their lives as we sit by pontificating & hand-wringing over which rules to put in next as we sit and watch them ignore the current rules.

                If you are willing to remain nice under these circumstances then so be it. But I don't have a problem with those getting angry at the apathy, ignorance, and stupidity of others over the corruption of law enforcement and ignorance of rights. People are literally having their possessions stolen at badge point and in some cases, murdered by those same thugs! The police regularly walk around enforcing imaginary laws and getting a complete pass in most cases. The only time the police see any punishment is when their actions go viral over media with a massive backlash, and even then justice if often withheld!

                Honesty only works on the minority of humans capable of critical thought, sadly piss vinegar, passion, just about anything that causes emotion DOES!

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 11:05pm

                  Re: Re: A reminder

                  It is not intended as a cruelty

                  You belittle and insult people for the mere fact that they disagree with you. I would consider that “cruel” no matter how you word such insults. Honesty does not require cruelty.

                  You are also free to waste effort on worrying about people's hurt feelings while people have their possessions stolen and even their lives as we sit by pontificating & hand-wringing over which rules to put in next as we sit and watch them ignore the current rules.

                  And you are free to tell us, in detail, how you would go about affecting change. If you have actual suggestions for action beyond “protest harder”, now seems like the time to share them.

                  (Before you go after me on that point: I would offer such suggestions if I had any.)

                  If you are willing to remain nice under these circumstances then so be it.

                  Civility marked with honesty is my preferred option—but do not fool yourself into the belief that I will remain nice under any and all circumstances. You would insult your own intelligence by doing so.

                  I don't have a problem with those getting angry at the apathy, ignorance, and stupidity of others over the corruption of law enforcement and ignorance of rights.

                  Instead of getting angry at those people, get angry at law enforcement—and use that anger as fuel to protest, to inform, to affect change. Complaining about “the idiot masses” will accomplish the same thing as praying to change the course of a hurricane: nothing.

                  The only time the police see any punishment is when their actions go viral over media with a massive backlash, and even then justice if often withheld!

                  Tell your lawmakers to do something about it. Organize a protest group and march for your cause. Donate money to organizations that fight against police overreach and obscene miscarriages of justice. If you want to see shit get done, get it done yourself. Emotion without action is mental masturbation—so do you want to affect change in your community, or do you want to fuck yourself?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 12:49am

                    Re: Re: Re: A reminder

                    "You belittle and insult people for the mere fact that they disagree with you."

                    The 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments are NOT opinions. They are Facts, it appears that you lack the ability to understand the difference. The OP proposed that we create a new rule that these already address. If the police are already ignoring the biggest rules of all, what intelligent person will be ignorant or stupid enough to believe a new rule of lesser authority will be followed any better?

                    I do not think you are willing to or capable of bringing forth, the intellectual capacity to understand what I am saying. This is not an opinion piece, it is well settled constitutional law from more than a couple centuries ago. But considering the average functional intellect here, it is no surprise that persons of your ignorance abound!

                    Feel free to insult me as much as you like. Unlike you, it does not phase me in the least.

                    My opinion about insults is this.

                    Those insulted by something not intended to insult them are fools. Those insulted by something intended to insult them are even greater fools. If you allow people to insult you so easily then you can be controlled!

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:04am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: A reminder

                      If the police are already ignoring the biggest rules of all, what intelligent person will be ignorant or stupid enough to believe a new rule of lesser authority will be followed any better?

                      And yet, you offer no suggestions on how to enforce the existing laws. All you have done is complain about the intelligence of others. If you thought this approach would make me “wake up” or “see the light”, you were mistaken.

                      This is not an opinion piece, it is well settled constitutional law from more than a couple centuries ago.

                      If the police seem to be ignoring the law, what do you think must be done to make them follow it again?

                      Those insulted by something not intended to insult them are fools. Those insulted by something intended to insult them are even greater fools. If you allow people to insult you so easily then you can be controlled!

                      And those flinging the insults, what would you call them?

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:44am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A reminder

                        "And yet, you offer no suggestions on how to enforce the existing laws."

                        There is more than one way. #1. Hold your elected officials responsible for not cleaning up police corruption. Not easy sure, but is required.

                        Gather people and continue to protest police abuse. BLM does a terrible job of this, but at least they are doing something other than sitting on their butts.

                        Do your most important civic duty, serve as a fully informed juror. I said these things in another post earlier, but you say I have not offered any solutions. What goes does it do to lie? I though you valued Honesty?

                        "And those flinging the insults, what would you call them?"

                        Assholes, yes, I know I am one. This does not bother me. But do you know who else is an asshole? The person that cancelled your vote because they believe differently from you. Does it matter who is, and is not an asshole when the truth and how to properly run a nation is as stake? Yea, I would like a nice guy, but I will take the asshole that knows what is going on, even if they call me a dumbass along the way.

                        I even call myself a dumbass sometimes when i realize that I did something stupid. It happens, and getting bent over it reveals a weak mind suffering from illusory superiority.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 2:12am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A reminder

                          I even call myself a dumbass sometimes when i realize that I did something stupid

                          You believe that needling someone over and over without recognizing context or circumstance will effect change, because you have friends willing to put up with you being an asshole - and you think people are going to believe that you belittle yourself?

                          Uh huh, sure you do sparky. Whatever makes your jimmies unrustled. I don't disagree about the inherent self-perpetuating nature of organizations, but fuck me you are boring as shit. You'll insult anyone and everyone no matter what social stratus or country they come from.

                          Yeah, I'd rather an asshole that knows what he's doing take command. Guess what, you're not that asshole, no matter how much you think you are. There, truth.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 11:44pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A reminder

                          ... do you know who else is an asshole? The person that cancelled your vote because they believe differently from you.

                          Er... are you talking about election rigging?

                          'cause votes don't cancel each other out. You don't lose your franchise because someone else votes a different way. Your cause may not win (that's democracy in action!), but that doesn't make the other guy (or you) an asshole for voting the way you did.

                          If all you are doing for your cause is your one vote, then you're showing pretty feeble support for it. And before you get all hairy-eyeballed at me, I'm talking about campaigning for your cause, not casting multiple ballots.

                          serve as a fully informed juror.

                          (Did you mean "voter"? Voting happens more often for most people, and seems more relevant to what you are discussing.)

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                    • identicon
                      JEDIDIAH, 21 Oct 2017 @ 2:40pm

                      Re: A reminder

                      The NYPD is already violating industry standard IT practices to point of triggering civil liability if they were a private corporation. The kind of "lesser standards" that one might subject to them already exist in a somewhat informal fashion.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

              "I realize now it is more important for me to sound nice and good rather than provide accurate and meaningful information."

              yet you continue to do neither!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 7:54am

        Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

        "If any publicly traded corporation was discovered to have even a tenth of the problems the NYPD has in this case, the SEC, IRS and FBI would be all over them for everything from embezzlement to racketeering investigations."


        I doubt that.

        How many bankers are in jail as a result of their recent destruction of the world economy and subsequent harvesting of ill gotten gains?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 9:59pm

        Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

        "If any publicly traded corporation was discovered to have even a tenth of the problems the NYPD has in this case, the SEC, IRS and FBI would be all over them"

        Would that this were true...

        Even more tightly regulated banks gave out billions in bonuses to managements that destroyed records, allowed customers identities to be stolen, gambled with depositors' money, and worse.

        Too big to jail, apparently.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 8:15pm

      Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

      "'Any seized property and/or money without proper, verifiable documentation tracking who it was taken from, when it was seized, and the legal justification for the seizure shall be considered to have been acquired illegally. "

      There ALREADY ARE MOTHERFUCKING RULES they are called the 4th, 5th, and 6th. If they ain't following those why in the fuck do you think a "new" rule will be followed?

      There is an endless supply of idiots in this world!
      The "worthless citizen's disease" lets have more rules when the old rules are not working! Insanity is to keep doing the same fucking thing over and over again but expecting different results!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 8:29pm

        Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

        Still keeping up the paint chip diet? You're nothing if not dedicated.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 8:33pm

        Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

        How do you think the issue could be fixed under current law when the legal system is either unwilling or unable to hold the NYPD accountable for its actions under current law?

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 9:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

          yes, how indeed...

          Considering the level of intelligence and what passes for insightful around here I doubt you could understand it all.

          You would sooner vote against yourselves before helping yourselves.

          You could protest... shocker I know, but if you could get enough people to care... o wait, you can't the most you can muster are the people that care enough to fight against the people telling you how to fix it.

          Stop being ignorant party patsies, is another, fat chance there.

          Start serving as Fully Informed Jurors and victims to government oppression might trust in the inJustice system again.

          Stop sucking political dicks while saying you have done no such thing while wiping the corners of your mouths.

          O wait... I just spent the last several lines victim blaming. Tell you what... just keep whining and doing nothing. It will all work itself out in the end. I hope someone is really nice to you as they shove it up your bum. Cause that is what really counts now, right?

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 10:34pm

            Oi.

            Letting loose all your insults and vulgarities might make you feel good—as will expressing all your “I must be seen suggesting something” ideas—but that feeling will only last for a moment. Once it passes, you have nothing on which to fall back. Your argument amounts to the broader-society version of “nerd harder”: Vague orders with no detailed plans, no thought for any potential consequences, and a side order of condescension and cruelty.

            If you want to have your argument taken seriously, have some substance to back it up. Cuss all you want, too—though you should try to make it fuckin’ entertaining. But please spare us your shallow ranting and meaningless insults if you only ever plan to inflict that upon these comments sections. We would all go to 4chan if we wanted that kind of abuse.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 10:51pm

              Re: Oi.

              "If you want to have your argument taken seriously, have some substance to back it up."

              So you call the Constitution something without substance and wonder why people are calling you stupid and ignorant? Well, don't let me stop you... apparently you could not care less.

              By all means, keep the stupid up! You are part of the group of citizens that deserve the misery visited upon them by a corrupt government. You will either learn what your rights are and demand them, or you will be trampled under foot by those you trusted to keep you safe!

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 11:10pm

                Re: Re: Oi.

                you call the Constitution something without substance and wonder why people are calling you stupid and ignorant?

                Invoking the Constitution as a catch-all argument shows the shallowness of your agurment. As you noted earlier, police are already ignoring at least three of the Constitution’s amendments. When I asked if you had suggestions about fixing that issue, all you gave me was “protest harder” and a bunch of insults. If you want me to take you seriously, give me some honest and detail-oriented suggestions that ordinary people could take to help change this situation.

                You are part of the group of citizens that deserve the misery visited upon them by a corrupt government. You will either learn what your rights are and demand them, or you will be trampled under foot by those you trusted to keep you safe!

                You know nothing about me, John Snow.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:11am

                  Re: Re: Re: Oi.

                  "Invoking the Constitution as a catch-all argument shows the shallowness of your agurment."

                  No, it just reveals your ignorance.

                  "You know nothing about me, John Snow."

                  I believe you have revealed more than enough for me to figure you out to some extent. You are the type of person that suffers from illusory superiority. You like to passively aggressively insult others while complaining about those that skip the passive aggressive words and to straight for those that just lay it out there.

                  You are intellectually and emotionally feeble, prone to allowing negativity to overshadow or distract you from the facts and truth about situations instead of shrugging off off the meaningless verbal abuse. If you are surely intelligent then nothing I say will change it.

                  We are past the stages of trying to gently warn people of their ignorance and apathy. It does not work, and the reason for the outcry against my words is because they a the basic truth. The American people have long been fat on the prosperity of the nation. They know not, true hardship! We call people with running water, roof, cell phone, TV, and entertainment poor, when they live better than kings did 100 years ago. Even the homeless receive better care and feeding than people in 3rd world countries that have no running water, live in disease and pestilence, and have to worry about roving brigands/thugs/gangs taking what little they do have.

                  Americans have SQUANDERED and PISSED away their liberties and have traded them all in for false security and empty promises. People like you are in the majority and the nation continues to fall. I am in the minority, and all I hear is a bunch of people crying that their failed ignorance is making life hard for them and they really hate it when people like me run by and tell them that it is their fault for selling out to those empty promises.

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

                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:47am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Oi.

                    We are past the stages of trying to gently warn people of their ignorance and apathy.

                    The verbal equivalent of punching them in the face like a schoolyard bully will accomplish about as much as asking people to maybe think about a thing if they possibly have the time, perhaps. You can skip the cruelty and the insults, but you can also avoid sugarcoating the truth.

                    Lay things out as bluntly and straightforward as you can. Use metaphors and euphemisms only when they make communication easier. Remember that entertaining people is fine so long as they understand your point. Do your absolute best to inform and educate so that you can inspire emotion without insulting the very people you wish to inspire. If you think you must be an insult comic to make people care, you might want to rethink your opinion.

                    The American people have long been fat on the prosperity of the nation.

                    The residents of Flint, Michigan might have something to say in rebuttal.

                    We call people with running water, roof, cell phone, TV, and entertainment poor

                    Times change. Standards change with them. This country has people who live paycheck-to-paycheck, whose entire lives could be upended forever because their car breaks down or they break a limb or they lose a family member.

                    Rather than express empathy for these people, you say they “live on the fat of prosperity”. Rather than acknowledge that a cellphone could be something that a poor person needs to get a job, you imply that cellphones are a luxury and anyone who owns one—no matter what—cannot be considered “poor”.

                    What makes you think any poor person would ever align themselves with your argument when you insult them in such a cruel and callous manner?

                    Americans have SQUANDERED and PISSED away their liberties and have traded them all in for false security and empty promises.

                    So what are you going to do about it—keep calling them idiots?

                    I am in the minority, and all I hear is a bunch of people crying that their failed ignorance is making life hard for them and they really hate it when people like me run by and tell them that it is their fault for selling out to those empty promises.

                    No, what people hate about you is the condescension that drips from every word you say and write. All you have done is go on and on about how you are so superior to everyone else, so much more intelligent than everyone else. You have offered no concrete suggestions for action. You have shown nothing but scorn for your fellow man.

                    If you want people to think you are anything but an asshole, try making your point with a little humility. You can be honest without acting like a daft cunt.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 2:00am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oi.

                      "The verbal equivalent of punching them in the face like a schoolyard bully will accomplish about as much as asking people to maybe think about a thing if they possibly have the time, perhaps. You can skip the cruelty and the insults, but you can also avoid sugarcoating the truth."

                      Sir, you are greatly mistaken. Not sugar coating the truth is often taken as an insult. You see, I have no control over what people take as an insult. Some people are "accidentally" insulted and the person doing the insult may not even realize that an insult was given.

                      "No, what people hate about you is the condescension that drips from every word you say and write."

                      I care not, confidence and certainty and unwillingness to budge are often mistaken for condescension. Mine is just simple anger at the stupidity on display. Plain and simple. No offense is directly intended just as no care is given for those that choose to be offended by my words.

                      "You can be honest without acting like a daft cunt."

                      Good Job! I get called names every day, maybe I am just desensitized to the point where I think it is more childish to worry about it than to just ignore the hyperbole and just discuss the actual issue.

                      "All you have done is go on and on about how you are so superior to everyone else, so much more intelligent than everyone else."

                      This is a grave mistake on your part. No one is ever better than another. Additionally, it is not that I am so much more or less intelligent than you folks, it's just that I am at least intelligent enough to know that many of you are just not using your intelligence. Basically, lazy and apathetic. And no, if I thought I was superior to you, I would not be brow beating you folks, I would sit back and pity you instead for your, deficiencies.

                      "You have offered no concrete suggestions for action."

                      Again with the lies. What is that honesty you value?

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

                      • icon
                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 2:36am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oi.

                        I have no control over what people take as an insult.

                        Neither do I. That does not mean I need to insult people out of spite or anger. Sometimes I want to, though. And I feel like shit later on when I do. A conscience is a terrible thing to ignore.

                        confidence and certainty and unwillingness to budge are often mistaken for condescension

                        You have repeatedly called people “brainwashed idiots”. Confidence is not “I am better than these empty-headed sheeple”—it is “I know I am good at what I do”.

                        No offense is directly intended

                        Calling me “intellectually and emotionally feeble” was directly intended to offend me. You would insult both your intelligence and mine by denying that.

                        I get called names every day, maybe I am just desensitized to the point where I think it is more childish to worry about it than to just ignore the hyperbole and just discuss the actual issue.

                        And if you were discussing the actual issue instead of arguing with someone with way too much time on his hands about whether calling someone an idiot is a proper approach to making friends and influencing people, you might have a point. But looking back at the comments you and I have made, I see a distinct lack of discussing possible reforms to police practices in re: the Fourth through Sixth Amendments. (Well, other than me asking you what reforms you think could work and how people could help bring about those reforms.)

                        No one is ever better than another.

                        Reminder that you wrote this:

                        I am in the minority, and all I hear is a bunch of people crying that their failed ignorance is making life hard for them and they really hate it when people like me run by and tell them that it is their fault for selling out to those empty promises.

                        Seems like you have a damn high opinion of yourself—almost as if you think you are better than “a bunch of people crying that their failed ignorance is making life hard for them”.

                        if I thought I was superior to you, I would not be brow beating you folks, I would sit back and pity you instead for your, deficiencies

                        That you view me as having “deficiencies” that you could pity implies you view me as lesser than you. If you were truly superior to me, you would not need to even imply it.

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

            • icon
              orbitalinsertion (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 12:01pm

              Re: Oi.

              "Vague orders with no detailed plans, no thought for any potential consequences, and a side order of condescension and cruelty."

              And that is NYPD's problem in the first place, isn't it?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 10:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

            Well since you failed remedial colouring in lessons I’m not sure I’d ask you the colour of the sky much less tough policy questions. Tell you what though. Since I just blamed you for being a stupid piece of shit, lets now let you tell us of your singular insight and how everyone is wrong but you. I mean you’re going to whine like a bitch anyway, but as long as you get to have your paint and eat it too, who cares.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 12:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

            If you want to get things changed, work out how to attract people to your cause, rather than driving them away by insulting them.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 12:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

              No thank you, eternal vigilance requires people that have intelligence and strength. Tyranny and Corruption cannot be staved off by the likes those who required sweet words whispered in their ears to believe in these merits. Those folks are endlessly fooled by the silver tongued politicians making repeated empty promises. I will never be able to appeal to these dullards looking for savior to rescue them from themselves.

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

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:11am

                Tyranny and Corruption cannot be staved off by the likes those who required sweet words whispered in their ears to believe in these merits.

                All the same, you will not get “the masses” on your side if you keep calling them “ignorant” and refer to them as “idiots” and “dullards”. Honesty is necessary; cruelty is not.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:28am

                  Re:

                  Honesty is not desired.
                  Lies are sweet and wished for upon the ears.

                  Honesty on it's own is abrasive, this is why it is not desired. If you are ignorant, you are ignorant. Stupidity is expecting the Police to obey lower class laws when they are already ignoring higher class laws already designed to prevent what the lower class law will be targeting.

                  If you run your head right into a wall after I told you that its not good for you... I am going to call you an idiot!

                  Are you sure a little abusive language is not needed? It has been my experience that no one gives a shit about any nice guys... they always finish last! None of the Founding father took any of this shit laying down, they were very eloquent with their insults... and people definitely died for them. I am sure it would have been a joy for them to have someone like you around saying... now now... say it nicely folks!

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

                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 2:07am

                    Re: Re:

                    Honesty is not desired.

                    Honesty is required. Nobody ever said it would be an easy pill to swallow.

                    If you are ignorant, you are ignorant.

                    And rather than attempting to educate the ignorant, you instead choose to insult them. What does that say about you?

                    Stupidity is expecting the Police to obey lower class laws when they are already ignoring higher class laws already designed to prevent what the lower class law will be targeting.

                    And yet I still see no suggestions from you on how anyone, let alone the general public, could possibly change this state of affairs.

                    If you run your head right into a wall after I told you that its not good for you... I am going to call you an idiot!

                    If you keep insulting people after I have told you that your abrasive behavior will only distance people from whatever cause you might want them to support, I will stop trying to educate you. Natural selection will handle the rest.

                    Are you sure a little abusive language is not needed?

                    You can fuckin’ cuss if you fuckin’ want to, but it ain’t a fuckin’ requirement. And if it ain’t fuckin’ entertaining, it ain’t gonna fuckin’ help you make your fuckin’ point. Oh, and fuckin’ calling people a bunch of fuckin’ idiots ain‘t gonna fuckin’ make them fuckin’ like you all that fuckin’ much. Do you fuckin’ get my fuckin’ drift?

                    It has been my experience that no one gives a shit about any nice guys... they always finish last!

                    Sure thing, Rick Sanchez.

                    None of the Founding father took any of this shit laying down, they were very eloquent with their insults... and people definitely died for them.

                    The difference between you and the Founding Fathers is simple: They saved their insults for the deserving and the powerful, whereas you fling insults around without caring who they target.

                    Like comedy, you have a potential audience. Who you want as part of your audience—who you want to include and exclude—will influence what you say and how you say it. Insulting people like Mark Zuckerberg or actual literal vampire Peter Thiel attracts a different audience than insulting “the poors” and “stupid brainwashed masses”. Before you go saying something else, think about who you want to include and exclude—then think about why.

                    Or not. I ain’t your fuckin’ daddy.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:25am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

                There was a bloke called Gandhi who did alright without attacking and insulting all and sundry, I believe.

                If you want people to take you seriously, convince them. Don't insult them.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:47am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

                  yes, Gandhi figured out that most folks are shallow and can't handle criticism.

                  I like to think that you folks can be emotionally secure grown ups and handle a little foul language. Okay okay, you got me there, I am definitely wrong on that point. There are a lot of easy to upset folks round here.

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

                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 2:10am

                    Foul language? Oh you sweet summer child.

                    Foul language? Not a whammy.

                    Insulting people for no reason other than to mentally masturbate yourself? That is a big fuckin’ whammy.

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

                    • icon
                      orbitalinsertion (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 12:59pm

                      Re: Foul language? Oh you sweet summer child.

                      People who make their point of argument to be "offense" or something similar generally don't get it.

                      Sure there are people in the world who just cannot bear "foul language" or "being offended", but the funny thing is that i rarely ever see them in the places where someone decides to make the argument that "you just can't handle teh free speechz, grow up".

                      Same for "both sides trying to score points" idea. Lol, it's called a conversation. (And in fact, a little meta is needed here now and then.)

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 12:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

                I see, you are one of those people who would use their low opinion of other people as an excuse to impose their own flavor of tyranny if given a chance.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2017 @ 8:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

                  Responding to the pompous ass does no good, I imagine those that said poster holds so low in opinion are not swayed by the bullshit spewed.

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

          • icon
            Matthew Cline (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 5:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

            Your suggestions rather get lost among all your haranguing:

            • Become a Fully Informed Juror.
            • Protest.
            • Hold politicians accountable.

            And the last one I had rea a different comment to translate from your "stop sucking political dicks".

            So my suggestion to you: communicate more effectively. Or, if you're uninterested in communicating effectively with those here, and you just enjoy ranting and venting, then carry on.

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

            • icon
              Matthew Cline (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 5:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

              Also, if you're the one who keeps talking about common law: when you refer to common law, please name which part of common law you're talking about. That way it would be possible to actually have a discussion about the piece of common law you have in mind.

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

      • icon
        blademan9999 (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 7:47am

        Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

        What exactly the constitution does and doesn't allow is up to interpretation.
        And there haven't been court rulings on whether Civil asset forfeiture violates those amendments.
        Currently civil asset forfeiture is legal.
        You haven't give proper evidence of why all the cops would flat out ignore any new rules.

        And you haven't given any alternate suggestions yourself. All you've done is throw around unprovoked insults.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Cowherd, 21 Oct 2017 @ 3:21am

      Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

      A faster route might be to get an NSA contractor to secure it? It'll just walk out.

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

    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 22 Oct 2017 @ 4:47pm

      Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

      Why complicate everything so much? Just give it all to the public defender's office. Since the point of forfeiture is to punish crime, everyone should be good with that: the cops get to punish evildoers and the truly innocent are defended.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 23 Oct 2017 @ 4:15am

        Re: Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

        The 'fix' was primarily aimed at getting rid of their current stash of stolen goods, for future cases I'd go with suggestions I and others have made in the past, a conviction requirement of the owner, with any seized goods/funds taken in that way being funneled to the public defender's office to boost their budget.

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

    • icon
      Woadan (profile), 23 Oct 2017 @ 6:50pm

      Re: How to fix the problem in five minutes:

      How about we just do away with civil asset forfeitures?

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 20 Oct 2017 @ 8:28pm

    "The NYPD has repeatedly claimed it simply cannot provide the records the Bronx Defenders (as well as other records requesters) have requested."

    It's a feature, not a bug.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 10:44pm

    So..

    The Cops take all your stuff.
    And you never goto jail or are found NOT GUILTY..

    I would be at THEIR DOOR, with my list of Every product Iv wanted since I was 8 years old..
    AND DEMAND all of it, unless they can show me a list of Everything that They THINK they took.. ANd I will STILL Complain they dont have a FULL LIST OF EVERYTHING..

    And If my Lawyer likes this idea, WE can take the STATE to court and ASK why this system ISNT WORKING, Everything TAKEN MUST be TAGGED AND BAGGED AND PROTECTED IN LIKE CONDITION..

    IF they did not WRITE and Catalog this.. THEY have no proof of the process, or WHAT is WHERE..

    IF the state DID this to a home owner, and demanded PROOF of something, WE would be required to SHOW IT.. WHY NOT THEM??

    Easy answer..
    They are ALL corrupt..
    TIME TO FIRE THEM ALL..and Find NEW people that DO AS the Humans ASK of their representatives.. No more Demo/reps..

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

  • identicon
    David, 20 Oct 2017 @ 11:38pm

    Judge doesn't get it.

    New York City is one power surge away from losing all of the data police have on millions of dollars in unclaimed forfeitures, a city attorney admitted to a flabbergasted judge on Tuesday.

    “That’s insane,” Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arlene Bluth said repeatedly from the bench.

    It's not insane. It's a design suited to the purpose of the database. When there is too much pressure to hand out forfeiture data, there will be the most unfortunate incidence to report.

    But apparently the "we can't access the data" ruse works even without that safety net, given enough chutzpah.

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

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 8:53am

      Re: Judge doesn't get it.

      "One of our interns accidentally pulled the power plug to clean behind the server. But don't worry! We wrote him a sternly worded letter!"

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

  • icon
    Tobias Harms (profile), 20 Oct 2017 @ 11:43pm

    25 million...?

    I could have done it for 10. Just save all the data to /dev/null
    Infinite amount of space and all the features that the NYPD crave.

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

  • identicon
    Justme, 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:58am

    Please. .

    Somebody please throw the first Stone, Stephen T. if you will. . .

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

  • icon
    Ishtiaq (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 4:30am

    Grow Up

    Will you two grow up and stop acting all pseudo intellectual?

    Stop trying to score points off each other. And next time you get the urge to post please ask an adult to read your post before posting.

    Cheers… Ishtiaq

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 7:17am

    Re: NYPD experts claim the NYPD lacks the expertise to extract the sought data from its forfeiture database

    You mean this expertise:

    SELECT * FROM shit_we_boosted ;

    If you have the skills to build the database, you have the skills to extract the data from it. These are not separable concepts.

    What is at issue, is that the request may conflict with disclosure laws. Which means that they will have to have a database guy do the work, and not some lacky clerk.

    While I expect that it is possible and even probable that they have spent $25M on a database that doesn't work, (seen it happen) this is not a function of the database administrators doing their job.

    Usually this problem is created by peopled writing the specs not understanding product life cycle, and weak I.T. management failing to tell the V.P. of under desk gratification services to fuck off, and wait until the next version is complete before making new demands. Which is itself typically the result of the previous I.T. manager who had a clue having been fired for doing exactly that.

    Ahhhh. Corporate politics.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 7:47am

    lawful criminals?

    Is that what I should learn from stories like this one?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 8:06am

    Pretty convenient for them...

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

  • identicon
    Christenson, 21 Oct 2017 @ 8:57am

    Unintended consequences

    You know, it might get mighty difficult for the cops to convict much of *anyone* in new york....

    The defense just starts parading this obvious official perjury in front of the judge and jury, and they lose all credibility.

    As to the other proposals: At this point, the wrongdoers in the NYPD *need* to have their feelings hurt, since jail time for them or personal liability is extremely unlikely.

    Now, the next move for the bronx defender's office: Tell the courts this is not due process, get the law struck down as unconstitutional. The NYPD has just made quite a good case for them!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2017 @ 11:10am

    so, in conclusion, they paid 25 MILLION USD for a write-only data storage device. ROFL, quite expensive for a bit bucket.

    https://github.com/spacerace/write-only-memory/blob/master/datasheet-signetics-wom-25120.pdf

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

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 11:53am

    no.. they misrepresented what they bought, They basically bought a 25mil. USD digital paper shredder. I still think there are laws for proper disposal of official documents though. And those fines should be steep, like in the millions of dollars a day steep.

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

  • identicon
    peter, 21 Oct 2017 @ 12:56pm

    Er.....

    Am I right in thinking that the NYPD needs to keep all of these forfeitures in order to pay for the forfeiture database?

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 1:23pm

    NYPD Castle Construction

    NYPD should build castles. Because this is the biggest, tallest, deepest, and strongest stonewall I've ever seen.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 2:11pm

    Isn't the truly sad thing that they probably pay a bunch of money to someone to manage their IT, who seems to use the security via obscurity for backing up?

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

  • icon
    Kal Zekdor (profile), 21 Oct 2017 @ 4:20pm

    Twilight Zone

    NYPD: "What's that? We're in a parallel universe where somehow asset forfeiture reform was magically passed? Huh. Well, let's boot up the database so we can return all our plunder... er... evidence."

    *sound of grinding gears and electric sparks*

    *smoke billows from the next room*

    NYPD: "Hm, seems like the database has mysteriously crashed. Guess we'll have to hang onto all that loot... er... booty... umm... uh... shit we stole."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2017 @ 8:25am

    Of course the data is available. That the PD doesn't have the expertise, well, that I believe, seen that first hand, but it's nothing that money or time can't fix.

    Worst case, which is beyond stupid, but start taking screen shots. Wait, it's a protected proprietary system that doesn't allow screen shots? Bring on the iPhone and a couple of forensic accountants.

    It's what the police would do if they needed evidence from a criminal's computer and there was no other means of extraction.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 22 Oct 2017 @ 3:53pm

      Re:

      Of course the data is available. That the PD doesn't have the expertise, well, that I believe, seen that first hand, but it's nothing that money or time can't fix.

      I'm curious as to the source of the surety that you make this statement with. Given who we are talking about, what exactly would be out of character for them to have spent $25 million on a system intentionally built such that it cannot track the numbers they don't want public in any case?

      The biggest stumbling block I can see would be finding one or more people clueless enough to build such a system and not realize the glaring flaw(though I suppose they could get around that by 'saving costs' and deliberately ordering a system incapable of handling the amount of data fed to it), or corrupt enough that they would be willing to knowingly do it, and with $25 million to spend I can't imagine the second option would be that hard.

      I'm not saying you're wrong mind, it's quite possible and even likely that the system can do what they claim it cannot, just saying that it would be entirely within character for them to have intentionally build a system which stonewalls for them, with a side-dish of 'accidental' destruction of evidence one power-outage away.

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


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