Chicago Police Department Caught Hiding Millions in Secret Asset Forfeiture Fund

chicago-secret-forfeitureBy Ryan Banister

A detailed report released in September 2016 by the Chicago Reader unveiled a secret civil asset forfeiture fund that amounted to nearly $50 million in seized cash which the Chicago Police Department was attempting to keep for themselves. The detailed analysis shows that CPD officials were attempting to pocket 65% of the cash and assets they brought in through civil asset forfeiture. This is policing for profit, and it is no different than highway robbery.

The Reader reports:

Since 2009, the year CPD began keeping electronic records of its forfeiture accounts, the department has brought in nearly $72 million in cash and assets through civil forfeiture, keeping nearly $47 million for itself and sending on almost $18 million to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office and almost $7.2 million to the Illinois State Police, according to our analysis of CPD records.

The Chicago Reader’s investigation, conducted over the past two years, concerned countless Freedom of Information Act requests by the Reader about civil asset forfeiture. Revenue from civil forfeiture is of particular interest because it is collected without scrutiny, and as the report states, once it is collected, this “secret budget isn’t scrutinized by the City Council, nor must CPD make any public disclosures about how these funds are spent.”

According to the Reader, CPD made close to $4.7 million in 2015, which is 6% of the department’s total public budget. However, this secret fund was already brimming with cash from previous years. At the end of 2015, CPD “had more than $16 million in its forfeiture checking and savings accounts, according to deposit records obtained by the Reader.”

One thing that is too easily forgotten in situations like these is the many lives affected by countless acts of theft that are excused when they are done by someone wearing a badge. One example is Willie Mae Swansey, 72, a grandmother who had her car seized during her son’s arrest. Once it was seized, it was a nightmare attempting to get the car back. After 10 hearings over the course of two and a half years, the court still ruled to forfeit her car, even though her son testified to stealing the keys, leaving no legal cause for the court to have taken the car from her.

What do we think will happen when we give someone a gun and a badge and tell them that they can take anybody’s belongings under civil asset forfeiture laws, without any accountability whatsoever? Police are not exempt from ethical standards, so we should stop treating them as if they are.

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Contributed by Ryan Banister of The Daily Sheeple.

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9 Comments on "Chicago Police Department Caught Hiding Millions in Secret Asset Forfeiture Fund"

  1. So maybe they could take this illegally obtained…booty away from the Police Dept and use this money to bail out the City or State instead?? As long as the cops do NOT benefit from this payola and if it can’t be returned to the people that it was stolen from then perhaps it should be used for the benefit of the City’s children and the organizations that would do that…

  2. Sound like they gave the state attorney and state police hush money. With all those gas guzzler SUVs tax payers flipping, they need to pay it back. Freaking crooks.

  3. Arrest warrants for who????

  4. The real reason for ‘the war on drugs.’

  5. Chicago is obama’s legacy – trickle down theft from the usurper himself. They’re forcing taxpayers to pay for their military gear and weapons – TWICE.

  6. Just try to imagine what it will be like if Hillary is able to take our guns away. Just try!

  7. Up with your hands and give me your wallet(s), car(s), home(s) in the name of the law(?) or in the name of the scam, that is known as justice (jewstice?).

  8. Does this shock anyone?????!!!!!

  9. All the haters are blaming the left and right when its both political parties. The whole ball of wax is an criminal enterprise. The police make up over 95% of right wing. These master criminals condition you to blame each other while they laugh all the way to the bank and these crimes have been going on for many years while we take it out on each other because of a color.

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