Civil Forfeiture: Is It Just Stealing?

Notice the headline from the Washington Post:

Policing-for-ProfitAsset seizures fuel police spending

Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize. The Washington Post obtained 43,000 of the reports dating from 2008 through a Freedom of Information Act request. …

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Hey Dude, Is Our Town That Bad?

SvengoolieJohn Oliver may be strident thumping his desk-top and maintains an assuredly British viewpoint but he is spot on in his analysis and conclusions about the problems in this country (not to mention being extremely funny). Last Week Tonight is absolutely my favorite program on the television and since I tend to only watch three shows each week, that places Oliver in the spotlight. But he shouldn’t get too cocky since one of the other two is Svengoolie.

One thing that Oliver is successful doing is to reach his audience and get some form of action. In past weeks he has ignited email campaigns, gotten government officials to acknowledge his criticism, and now even has gotten the local officials in Saginaw, Michigan, to decommission their obscene and clearly unnecessary military vehicle. The local news said that it was because an HBO comedy show made fun of them … ya think?

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