The Reason the State Loves Civil Forfeiture Laws

One of the favorite tactics used by police in the war on drugs is civil forfeiture laws. For those who don’t know civil forfeiture laws are the laws that allow the state to steal any private property if the owner can’t prove said property isn’t tied to a crime. It’s a classic case of guilty until proven innocent and the state absolutely loves it because it gives them the legal authority to take whatever they want, including bail money:

When the Brown County, Wis., Drug Task Force arrested her son Joel last February, Beverly Greer started piecing together his bail.

She used part of her disability payment and her tax return. Joel Greer’s wife also chipped in, as did his brother and two sisters. On Feb. 29, a judge set Greer’s bail at $7,500, and his mother called the Brown County jail to see where and how she could get him out. “The police specifically told us to bring cash,” Greer says. “Not a cashier’s check or a credit card. They said cash.”

So Greer and her family visited a series of ATMs, and on March 1, she brought the money to the jail, thinking she’d be taking Joel Greer home. But she left without her money, or her son.

Instead jail officials called in the same Drug Task Force that arrested Greer. A drug-sniffing dog inspected the Greers’ cash, and about a half-hour later, Beverly Greer said, a police officer told her the dog had alerted to the presence of narcotics on the bills — and that the police department would be confiscating the bail money.

Drug-sniffing dogs are also favorite tools of the state because nobody can interrogate a dog. K9 officers will often claim a dog “alerted” whenever they desire to check or confiscate property without a warrant or probably cause. They claim the dog “alerting” gives probably cause but a study demonstrated that the dogs aren’t “alerting” to a scent but to their controller:

The performance of drug- and explosives-sniffing dog/handler teams is affected by human handlers’ beliefs, possibly in response to subtle, unintentional handler cues, a study by researchers at UC Davis has found.

The study, published in the January issue of the journal Animal Cognition, found that detection-dog/handler teams erroneously “alerted,” or identified a scent, when there was no scent present more than 200 times — particularly when the handler believed that there was scent present.

I’m sure the police are well aware of this fact but continue putting forth propaganda stating drug and bomb-sniffing dogs are effective so they don’t have to worry about pesky inconveniences such as warrant or probable cause. What has been setup is a method of confiscating property that the average person won’t oppose. After all most people actually believe the police so when they claim a dog “alerted” to the smell of drugs people just say, “OK, if that guy didn’t want his money stolen he shouldn’t have been dealing drugs.”

Of course civil forfeiture laws can’t actually be laws, right? Wrong. As I’ve shown previously civil forfeiture laws are covered under United States Code 881(a)(6). The state has covered all its bases. They’ve legalized theft, abolished the concept of innocent until proven guilty, have gotten the general populace to believe drug and bomb-sniffing dogs can sniff out drugs and bombs, and convinced people that this power is necessary to fight the war on drugs. Confiscating bail money is a new low though but demonstrates how desperate the state is to lock people away in cages. They’ve created a new twist in the system, now you can’t even get bailed out of jail because the bail money will be confiscated by the state under the claim the persons posting bail can’t prove said money wasn’t tied to a drug crime.

We live in a prison state, unfortunately most of the people can’t seem to wake up and see it.

3 thoughts on “The Reason the State Loves Civil Forfeiture Laws”

  1. Even if the dog got a true positive, we tested and confirmed that every bill that has gone through few cash registers has cocaine on it. Every bill we tested tested positive.

    1. In other words demanding bail money be pain in cash guarantees easy civil forfeiture money. I’m trying very hard to be shocked but I just can muster the false surprise.

  2. One has to wonder about the ethics of local Green Bay law enforcement. My wife and myself had our home raided on Jan. 24, 2011. She has owned and lived in the home for 37 years. Were great grandparents for god sakes! The paperwork said the tip came from the Brown County Drug Task Force!!!! Of cource during the raid the 2 community police lied and said all our nieghbors reported us and the department will now force us out of the city of Green Bay. All our neighbors know us as “Grandpa Lee and Grandma Betty with deep love and respect for us”. They now have a deep hate for the Green Bay Police Department in our neighborhood.

    We all wonder what’s next, sending in a SWAT team to raid us again and shoot me because I had a can of diet coke in my hand. Them saying it’s a gun.

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