Asset Forfeiture

Sheriffs Say Forfeiture Reform Threatens Public Safety

Less loot means higher taxes, cops warn.

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NSA

Here is some evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder's forfeiture reform, although less dramatic than portrayed by much of the press, nevertheless will do some good: The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) is "deeply disappointed" by it. The NSA complains that a decrease in foreiture loot "will reduce law enforcement capability to respond to 911 calls" and undermine "our work on major crimes, drug cases, human trafficking, and other threats to public safety." It warns that "the result will be an impact on local taxpayers in the form of tax hikes."

Such complaints only confirm that law enforcement agencies have become dangerously dependent on forfeiture revenue, which according to the NSA provides essential funding for basic police services. The Washington Post found that "298 departments and 210 task forces have seized the equivalent of 20 percent or more of their annual budgets since 2008." That situation perverts police priorities and invites corruption, since it encourages cops to target people based on the seizable assets they own, as opposed to their criminal culpability. 

The NSA is not worried only by the loss of revenue. "Equally troubling," it says, "is that this decision puts law enforcement lives at risk by the continual barrage against law enforcement." By this logic, any reform that addresses police abuse endangers cops' lives by accepting the possibility of such abuse.  

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  1. “The NSA is not worried only by the loss of revenue. “Equally troubling,” it says, “is that this decision puts law enforcement lives at risk by the continual barrage against law enforcement.” By this logic, any reform that addresses police abuse endangers cops’ lives by accepting the possibility of such abuse.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! What?

    “If you don’t let us steal this car, it will put our lives at risk.”

  2. The NSA is not worried only by the loss of revenue. “Equally troubling,” it says, “is that this decision puts law enforcement lives at risk by the continual barrage against law enforcement.” By this logic, any reform that addresses police abuse endangers cops’ lives by accepting the possibility of such abuse.

    If you say a single bad thing about an officer, you’re killing them. WHY DO YOU WANT TO KILL OFFICERS, SULLUM! Be careful next time you drive by one, lest you get shot for “driving at him”.

  3. Looters gonna loot.

  4. It warns that “the result will be an impact on local taxpayers in the form of tax hikes.”

    Key point. So… maybe it’s time we have a conversation about the actual costs of maintaining our law enforcement (and the laws they’re asked with enforcing)? It’s a sad state of affairs when our law enforcement agencies have to rely upon funds outside of the normal budgetary process to enforce the law.

    The state-level tax-cutting zealousness of late has only made it worse as their has been no concurrent effort to cut the number of laws that result in expensive criminal processes. It’s honestly no surprise at all that sheriffs, police chiefs, prosecutors, etc., have been getting “imaginative” in ways to raise funds.

    1. Note that the first and immediate reaction is “if you don’t let us steal from strangers on the highway, we’ll just take the money from locals”. There isn’t even an attempt to hide the thuggery and extortion. It’s absolutely blatant. This is where we’re at now.

      1. It turns out that not only do voters figure out how to vote themselves money from the public treasury, they figure our how to vote themselves money from the pockets of travellers unfortunate to pass near their town.

    2. The state-level tax-cutting zealousness of late has only made it worse as their has been no concurrent effort to cut the number of laws that result in expensive criminal processes.

      Untrue, thankfully. They could go farther, but a number of states have had some success in that kind of criminal justice reform, including Texas and Georgia. Though they tend to result in other kinds of processes as well, but less expensive and different than prison.

  5. Say it ain’t so!

  6. This is just more sad proof of the screwed up state of our country. We have an enormous over bloated government with every single person in every facet of it being hopelessly addicted to every form of graft and corruption, with an insatiable appetite for more. We are so totally fucked. Goodbye USA, it was nice while it lasted.

  7. See, if asset forfeiture isn’t abailable to supplement funding, the sherriffs won’t ba able to pay all,those deputies, and we all know what that kind of terra-cotta toothed moron gets up to when unemployed, don’t we?

  8. They hate us ’cause they anus.

  9. It warns that “the result will be an impact on local taxpayers in the form of tax hikes.”

    This is actually a rather stunning indictment of democracy itself.
    Give them credit for taking an honest approach though.
    We can’t stop robbing innocent people or your taxes will go up!

    1. If citizens vote for the tax levy increase.

      1. Except it’s a naked appeal to voter’s self-interest to rob innocent people rather than pay an equal share of the tax burden.

        For some reason the NSA thinks this sort of appeal is good politics.
        Are they wrong?

  10. Cops thinking they can steal from me makes them feel safer? That would be a mistake.

  11. Let them economize, the taxpayers have had to do so, the taxspenders can try it for once.

  12. Imagine all the people that were deeply disappointed when the first laws outlawing theft were passed.

  13. The NSA is not worried only by the loss of revenue. “Equally troubling,” it says, “is that this decision puts law enforcement lives at risk by the continual barrage against law enforcement.”

    Oh, and fuck you. Go shoot another teenage girl with a pocket knife… for my safety.

  14. Now why do you think that Sheriffs might have made such a statement?

  15. Long past time to starve the beast.

  16. Another idiot officer. How does confiscating money from people with no evidence of crime become a crime? Some people keep cash and always will but that does not make them criminals. If you have a lot of cash with you now they automatically label you a crook. This really needs to change.

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