Police can steal your money and property even though you haven’t committed a crime

On this week’s Off the Grid, Jesse Ventura sounds off about civil asset forfeiture. Federal laws allow law enforcement agencies to seize our houses, cars, cash or property without even charging us with a crime. Shouldn’t the Fifth Amendment be good enough to protect American citizens from this type of thing? Let us know what you think. Sound off at ora.tv/offthegrid/askjesse.  

Former prosecutor: Police planting weapons on innocent suspects used to be “standard operating procedure”

Fox legal analyst Arhtur Aidala told the Fox & Friends troika Wednesday morning that planting a weapon on a victim, as Officer Michael Slager is apparently seen to do to Walter Scott in a video released last night, used to be par for the course. “When I was in the DA’s office in the 80s and 90s, that was standard operating procedures,” Aidala said. “Police officers — I hate to say this — would keep a second gun that nobody knew about on their ankle, so if they ever killed someone they shouldn’t have they would take that gun out –” “That was before the iPhone and that would not be allowed,” co-host Brian Kilmeade quickly interjected. (Several state legislatures are trying to make it illegal to film police officers, but hey.) Slager shot Scott fatally during an altercation following a traffic stop Saturday morning. Slager initially said that […] Read More

America’s hidden secret: State and city budgets rely on ticket & court revenue

When elected officials say, ‘We need more money,’ they can’t look to the department of public works to raise revenues, so where do they find it? Police departments James Tignanelli, president of the Police Officers Association of Michigan union said. Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan, says the role of law enforcement has changed over the years. “When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues,” he says. “That’s just the reality nowadays.” “On the one hand, there is an understandable desire to have productivity from your officers,” says Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. “But telling them that you want to arrest x number of people, you have to cite x number of people, it just encourages bad performance […] Read More

Revealed: Gov’t Surveillance Is Much More Developed Than You Thought

New documents show government tracked drivers with license plate readers on mass scale. Federal agencies tried to use vehicle license-plate readers to track the travel patterns of Americans on a much wider scale than previously thought, with new documents showing the technology was proposed for use to monitor public meetings. The American Civil Liberties Union released more documents this week revealing for the first time the potential scale of a massive database containing the data of millions of drivers, logged from automatic license plate readers around the US. As President Obama’s nominee for attorney general prepared for a second day of confirmation hearings in Washington, senior lawmakers also called on the US Justice Department to show “greater transparency and oversight”. Further documents released by the ACLU on Wednesday show that Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials in Phoenix planned on “working closely” with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) […] Read More

The Unjust Law Enforcement Money Machine that Is Civil Asset Forfeiture

Cops can seize money and belongings by asserting that the officers involved believe it is connected to some illegal activity. Every year in the United States, federal and state law enforcement agencies seize millions of dollars in cash and prizes (sorry, I couldn’t resist) from civilians during traffic stops and drug raids. The act of seizing said money and belongings can be employed legally simply by asserting that the agents/officers involved believe the money or merchandise is connected to some illegal activity, and in some cases these actions take place without anyone ever being criminally charged. Under federal law and the laws that are currently on the books in a good number of states, law enforcement agencies are at liberty to keep most (and sometimes all) of the money and property they seize. Ka-ching! The morning briefing at the local cop shop: “Let’s hit those streets and bust some […] Read More

Thousands of Rapists Are Not Behind Bars Because Cops Focus on Marijuana Users

Every dollar and police hour spent on nonviolent drug offenders takes away from real crime. A piece in the Washington Post highlights the growing backlog of untested rape test kits that are sitting in police storage units while rapists run free and victims suffer.  Missing from the story, however, is one of the biggest contributors to this backlog, the enormous amount of police and tax resources spent targeting drug crimes, particularly marijuana possession. The backlog is a disgrace. The total number of rape test kits that have never been sent to laboratories for testing exceeds 100,000. In some cases, the kits have been sitting in storage for decades. From the Washington Post: “In 2009, authorities found more than 11,000 unprocessed kits at the Detroit crime lab after it was closed for improperly handling weapons evidence. After testing the first 2,000 kits, authorities identified 127 serial rapists and made 473 matches overall to known convicts […] Read More

1993: Your House Is Under Arrest

The Introduction to Your House Is Under Arrest How Police Can Seize Your Home, Car and Business Without a Trial – And How to Protect Yourself by Brenda Grantland Attorney,  Mill Valley, California, U.S.A. There is a very good reason not to invest in real estate in the United States today: Asset Forfeiture! “Asset forfeiture” is a polite euphemism for the government confiscation of private property. You probably know about the doctrine of eminent domain, which lets the government decide to put a freeway through your land if it wants to. using the power of eminent domain, they can condemn your land and take it, and there is very little you can do to stop them. Of course, they have to pay you for it, because of the Fifth Amendment’s “just compensation” clause, which states: “… nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Forfeiture is very similar to eminent domain, […] Read More