Recent years have not been very good for cops. The men and women in blue have virtually lost all of the nation’s trust by way of police brutality and to add insult to injury we have learned that last year cops took more from the American people than burglars.
Burglars in America extracted a total of $3.9 billion worth of property from their victims, according to FBI reports while the Treasury and Justice departments claimed more than $4.5 billion in goods through “civil asset forfeiture,” The Washington Post reports.
The way asset forfeiture works is if you are suspected of a crime, particularly related to drugs, police can confiscate your money or property if they believe it was obtained as a result of your criminal activity. This can even be done without a formal conviction and in many states the police departments can keep some or all of the seized property.
The $4.5 billion figure is what was left in federal asset forfeiture funds in 2014 after payouts were made to victims — including those of Bernie Madoff, whose funds accounted for $1.7 billion of the year’s seized assets, according to The Washington Post.
To put things into perspective, the amount seized by law enforcement doesn’t include funds from state and local departments because it’s more difficult to track and the amount calculated from burglaries doesn’t include larceny and other forms of theft that are also tougher to keep track of.
Even considering the aforementioned caveats, this practice by law enforcement seems less than ethical.
It boils down to the notion that “civil asset forfeiture” is a more profitable scam than burglary and it's carried out by people whose paychecks are already coming out of citizens' pockets ... Food for thought.
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