Cops Can Steal Your Money At The Airport Even If You’ve got Finished Nothing Fallacious

We’re not precisely strangers to the idea of civil asset forfeiture, however that doesn’t imply it stops being irritating to examine folks having their issues stolen for no motive. Take, for instance, the automobile dealer highlighted in a latest Atlanta Information First article. He was flying from Washington, D.C. to Sacramento, California and had a connection by Atlanta. As he was boarding his flight to Sacramento, officers with the drug job drive pulled him apart and proceeded to take $23,850 in money from one among his luggage.

Did he have any medication in his possession? Nope. Had he truly achieved something unlawful? Nope. A TSA agent simply noticed he had money in his bag and narc-ed on him. The cops mentioned his luggage smelled like weed, so they only took his cash. He was by no means arrested or charged with a criminal offense, and leisure marijuana is authorized in D.C. By flying “from Atlanta, a recognized drug hub metropolis, to Sacramento, California, a recognized drug supply metropolis,” the prosecutor claimed that was sufficient of a motive to warrant taking his money.

“There was nothing unlawful or suspicious within the scent of marijuana on the Claimant’s belongings,” the person’s legal professional wrote when requesting his a refund. “If the Claimant had smoked marijuana, he had legally achieved so in one other jurisdiction … no foundation for a seizure in Georgia.”

The dealer was capable of present receipts that proved he had earned his cash legally, and finally, the courtroom agreed to return his cash. Simply not all of it. He obtained $17,887.50 again, however the county nonetheless saved $5,962.50. Why? That’s not clear, however we’re going to imagine they only wished it.

To be clear, having greater than $10,000 in your possession just isn’t unlawful. There are many completely reliable causes you would possibly carry that a lot money, equivalent to while you’re touring to purchase a automobile from a non-public vendor. Nonetheless, on account of civil asset forfeiture legal guidelines, cops can simply take your cash at any time when they really feel prefer it. As Dan Alban, an legal professional with the Institute for Justice, informed Atlanta Information First:

There is no such thing as a technique of transporting money or storing money that police won’t say triggers possible trigger. This individual was sporting his footwear on his toes, and that’s one thing that’s a standard attribute of drug traffickers. After all he was, as a result of that’s how everybody wears footwear. This man had cash in an envelope, and that’s a attribute of drug traffickers. It’s additionally a attribute of what number of different folks transport money.

There’s a robust incentive for legislation enforcement to attempt to get as a lot cash as it could actually into what I might name a slush fund. They’ll spend the cash on no matter they need. And that encourages them to spend the cash pursuing extra forfeiture {dollars}. Basically, it’s a self-perpetuating, revenue-generating machine.

In order that’s enjoyable. We’d like to consider that the Supreme Court docket goes to step in and cease this nonsense quickly, however one thing tells us that’s not going to occur. Not whereas cops stay so highly effective and politically influential.

In Aircraft Sight, half two: Police can take your cash with out an arrest