Wednesday, September 10, 2014

To Protect and Serve? Wake-up Call on Illegal Police Seizures

I had the opportunity to read the Washington Post yesterday and was appalled by one of the articles I read. It was, in short, about rampant abuse of power by local police departments against citizens who are largely unaware of their rights and who, believing they had done nothing wrong, had allowed police to conduct unwarranted searched of their vehicles.

The Bible is pretty clear--the love of money is the root of all evil (1Tim 6:10)--and this story demonstrates how law abiding citizens can become ensnared in over zealous law enforcement activities and lose their livelihoods and hopes for the future.

The article was part of a three story series in the Post showing how the police are targeting cash. At the heart of the problem is the Civil Asset Forfeiture Act which allows local law enforcement to keep part of the money they confiscate which is believed to be associated with drug activity. One of the articles titled, Stop and Seize describes the process pretty well. 

A blog, called Reason, also provides a view of this practice. 

While most of us do not carry thousands of dollars around--there are people in our society who do not believe in the cashless approach to personal economics. Apparently there is evidence to suggest that the police are identifying and targeting those who probably are in a cash only place in their lives. This is wholly unfair.

I read the article about how lives are wrecked by over zealous police who confiscate cash with no evidence--just a feeling. And, it costs people thousands to defend themselves and get their money returned. That is wrong.

We need to clean up our police forces--especially in the wake of Ferguson  MO--it is time to remember the motto that I grew up feeling about police: "To Protect and Serve!"

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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