Unlike most forms of government revenue, there is really no way to disguise civil asset forfeiture as something it’s not. It’s outright theft, and that’s all there is to it. If you’ve committed a crime, even a minor one, the police can seize your stuff. They can steal it from you even if someone else used your property during a crime without your knowledge. In some cases, they can even steal from you if they so much as suspect that you may have committed a crime or intended to commit a crime. To anyone with half a brain and a conscience, it’s obvious that this is just State-sanctioned robbery.
When the police seize assets from ordinary citizens, there is often no recourse. It’s expensive to take the cops to court, sometimes more so than the value of what was stolen. And in any case, there is no guarantee that they will win in court, so most people simply cut their losses.
However, private citizens are not the only people who can be victims of asset forfeiture.
In 2010, a police officer in Oklahoma had his truck seized by the sheriff’s department, after a ranch hand used it during a crime. How he finally got it back might surprise you. It just goes to show that predatory cops don’t discriminate.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.