When law enforcement is wrongly incentivized / by kevin murray

Most people are only vaguely familiar with civil asset forfeiture laws, and how they are currently applied in America.  This is unfortunate, as America's law enforcement agencies in the era of the War on Drugs, have been incentivized to seize property from "suspects" that are alleged to have been involved in criminal activities, of which such a seizure in many jurisdictions is not subject to even a criminal conviction, let alone a criminal charge.  The only legitimate reason why a law such as that has been allowed to be applied -- is apparently under the ostensible logic that criminal enterprises should not be able to utilize their ill-gotten gains in order to have those resources available to them for a defense against legal sanction.


While it does appear unfair for those with ill-gotten gains to use those funds in order to "buy" themselves some justice, the greater problem is really not that, but rather the fact that these civil asset forfeiture laws aren't really being applied against major drug traffickers but rather are being applied rather liberally to those that are least able to defend themselves from such forfeiture.  That is, the police have made it their point to somehow leave untargeted those that are connected to serious and insidious criminal enterprises, but rather, instead, focus on low level criminals, as well as people that are at the wrong place at the wrong time.


Additionally, whether the police even pursue criminal charges or not, apparently matters not, as when a law is constructed in the manner in which cash, cars, homes, and other property can be seized by law enforcement so that they thereby directly or indirectly benefit monetarily from that seizure, then the objective of the exercise, really comes down to seizing from entities that don't have the good wherewithal to effectively fight back.  This thus means that the law enforcement agencies are able to augment their resources at the expense of those so persecuted, wrongly or rightly.


In point of fact, when law enforcement is functioning as something akin to performing their duties in a manner in which they are able to effectively get "bounties" upon the citizens of their community, as some sort of perverse adjunct to their sworn duty to serve and protect, then that law enforcement is going to have a very strong tendency to do exactly that, which is what is occurring in America, in the here and now. 


There are already laws in effect to "freeze" certain assets of those that have been formally accused of committing a crime, and then, pending upon the resolution of justice, a determination is made as to the verdict of those assets.  The fact, that law enforcement is able to seize assets from citizens, under the color of these citizens apparently breaking some sort of law, but without a conviction of such, is a grand disservice to those citizens as well as to the community at large; for when permission is granted for law enforcement to seize whatever that it is, that they so desire to seize, of which, by doing so, those assets will be set to be forfeited into their hands, has morphed law enforcement into an agency of premeditated predatory prowling that means to benefit that law enforcement agency at the expense of the people that they are actually suppose to serve and to protect.