For decades now, federal government and their cohorts in law enforcement have been carrying out theft of the citizenry on a massive scale using Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF). The 1980’s-era laws were designed to drain resources from powerful criminal organizations, but CAF has become a tool for law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to steal money and property from countless innocent people. As the case below illustrates, many of those in law enforcement will use CAF as a punitive measure against innocent people for merely asserting their rights.
No criminal charge is required for US law enforcement to use CAF, resulting in easy inflows of cash for law enforcement departments and the proliferation of abuse. This phenomenon is known as “policing for profit.”
In the last 30 years, the amount of “profit” stolen through civil asset forfeiture has skyrocketed.
According to the US Department of Justice, the value of asset forfeiture recoveries by US authorities from 1989-2010 was $12,667,612,066, increasing on average 19.5% per year.
In 2008, law enforcement took over $1.5 billion from the American public. While this number seems incredibly large, just a few years later, in 2014, that number tripled to nearly $4.5 billion.
When we examine these numbers, and their nearly exponential growth curve, it appears that police in America are getting really good at separating the citizen from their property — not just really good either, criminally good.
To put this number into perspective, according to the FBI, victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses in 2014.
That means that law enforcement in America, in 2014, stole $600,000,000 more from Americans than actual criminal burglars.
In many instances, even if no crime was committed, it takes years for people to get back their property — if they get it back at all.