Law Enforcement Forfeitures and You

civilforfeitures

I was reading my email today and got a link to this story. Having had personal experience in the subject matter, and wanting to shed some light on something few people know about, I thought I’d share it with you.

In 2006 I got put in jail for a probation violation in Chambers County Texas, it’s not something I’m proud of or normally share but it’s relevant to this story.

I was in the holding cell just inside the front door for about 9 hours. While I was there approximately 6 other people were booked in and put into that holding cell. Of the 6 two were there for nothing more than “having cash in excess of $7500.00 dollars”

The two were arrested solely for being in possession of that money according to them, and they both thought someone had called the police on them. One guy claimed he had $18,000, but police showed him having $12,000. Hmmmmm And the other guy said he had $30,000 cash. Why did they think someone called police on them you ask?

Because they both claimed officers knew they had the money, even asking them before searching the vehicle “Where is the currency?” The FBI runs a joint task force with Chambers County, they are the guys with the dark tinted windows on I-10 before you get to Beaumont, Texas.

Well my curiosity was aroused by now, how in the world did police know these guys had that money BEFORE they searched the car?

Once my booking was complete I got my striped jumpsuit and went on back into the jail. (what joyous memories) Once in the back I met another young kid, he was about 19. The same thing had happened to him!

The kid spoke honestly with me,  said that a man had payed him to drive a Ryder rental truck to Houston from Florida to buy cheap marijuana in Houston. The man who payed him was following behind the truck in a car. The young man said police stopped the car of his associate, so he pulled into a burger shop to wait for him.

He went inside, got a burger and went back out to the truck. As he reached the truck police swarmed in on him and almost immediately asked him “Where is the currency?” He had been in jail a week or so, and after some phone calls found that the man following him was released by police because he had less than $7,000 on his person.

The slick man had the youngster hauling the majority of the cash, over $102,000 dollars! I know what you are thinking, “who can believe a guy in jail.” Well, I saw the kid’s indictment myself and it read “The state of Texas vs. The Kid and $102,000” No crime was cited on the indictment.

That’s exactly what it said! The money was NAMED in the indictment! The kid bonded out later that day and I don’t know what happened to him after that, but I’m sure neither of them got that $102,000 back! And the same goes for the $12,000 and the $30,000.

In one day in Chambers County Texas they confiscated $144,000 THAT I WITNESSED!!! How much more did they get that day that I was not aware of?

After that day I spent in jail, witnessing all of that, and  listening to their stories, I’m convinced that police have some type of “radar” that can detect large groupings of those little security strips in currency. If not, how could they know before searching the vehicle, and pick out THAT vehicle???

That money is just another resource that gets wasted, stolen, or misused in our broken system. Thanks to Bree for igniting me to write about this, because everyone I’ve ever told acted like my hat was made of tin-foil or something. If I had not witnessed it all myself, talked to the people involved myself, and seen the documents for myself………….I probably would not believe it either!

 

This story made me want to tell my story :

 

Cops Seized Over $107,000 From Couple But Didn’t Charge Them With a Crime

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A Massachusetts couple has been fighting for three years to regain cash they say was wrongfully seized from them. In October 2012, the Illinois State Police pulled over Adam and Jennifer Perry for speeding as they were driving through Henry County on Interstate 80. The Perrys said they were headed to Salt Lake City, Utah to see a hearing specialist for an ear infection Adam was suffering from.

A drug dog sniffed and indicated on the car. Officers then searched the vehicle and found $107,520 in cash in a suitcase and in Jennifer’s wallet. The Perrys claimed the search was without their consent and without a warrant. According to the officers, they also found a duffel bag that reportedly smelled of marijuana.

No drugs were found in the car, nor did the government file criminal charges against the Perrys. Nevertheless, officers seized the cash and eventually transferred it to the federal government.

In a letter filed earlier this month, Adam claims that the taken cash came from savings and disability settlements and payments. “Our faith in the United States legal system has been shaken. Why are officer’s [sic] allowed to be judge, jury and executioner on the side of the road?” the Perrys asked in a 2013 response to federal prosecutors.

Unfortunately, their case is not unique. An extensive investigation by The Washington Post into one federal forfeiture program found nearly 62,000 cash seizures since 9/11 where police did not use warrants or charge the owners with a crime. Out of those seizures, more than 1,700 were in Illinois alone.

Moreover, for federal civil forfeiture cases, property owners are not presumed innocent and do not have a right to an attorney. With few safeguards, police and prosecutors can profit from forfeiture. Illinois agencies received more than $186 million in federal forfeiture funds between 2000 and 2013 from the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the Institute for Justice’s report, Policing for Profit.

This article originally appeared on Institute for Justice.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Bree is a recent college graduate from NYC who excels in writing, social media, music-listening, and pizza pie-eating.

Source :

Capitalism Is Freedom

Cops Seized Over $107,000 From Couple But Didn’t Charge Them With a Crime

Surviving an Active Shooter Event

thI was doing a little research earlier and found a video called “Run, Hide, Fight”. It was posted by the Houston, Texas Mayors Office, and links to the FBI website. I thought it somewhat peculiar, but wanted to pass it along and offer criticism.


 

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cirg/active-shooter-and-mass-casualty-incidents/run-hide-fight-video

From that page :

This video, recently produced by the Houston Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, dramatizes an active shooter incident in the workplace. Its purpose is to educate the public on how to respond during such an incident. Warning: The initial sequence in this video may be disturbing.

 

Transcript:

Narrator: It may feel like just another day at the office.

A series of shots shows a standard office. People work at cubicles. One desk has an American flag.

But occasionally, life feels more like an action movie than reality.

A muscular man dressed in all black, wearing sunglasses and carrying a backpack, walks towards the office building. Inside the building, the employees are still going about their daily tasks. A security guard talks with a woman. A visitor greets a staff member.

Narrator: The authorities are working hard to protect you and to protect our public spaces.

Two employees say hello to each other and get into the elevator.

Narrator: But sometimes, bad people do bad things.

We cut back to the sidewalk outside, as we continue to see the man in black approaching the building. As he walks, a series of facts are displayed on the screen.

Caption: 21 killed, 19 wounded at a fast food restaurant. 32 killed, 25 wounded while attending class.

Narrator: Their motivations are different.

Caption: 6 killed, 13 wounded at a shopping center.

The man in black starts up the steps to the glass front doors of the building.

Caption: 13 killed, 29 wounded while at work.

Narrator: The warning signs may vary, but the devastating effects are the same.

The man in black opens the front door of the building. As he enters, we see a notice on the glass prohibiting the carrying of concealed handguns in the building under penalty of trespass.

Narrator: … and unfortunately, you need to be prepared for the worst.

The camera pans past a series of people at their desks and stops in front of the elevator, where the security guard is talking with an employee. The man in black walks past the guard, removes a shotgun from his backpack, turns around, and shoots the security guard and two employees. More shots are fired. A woman at a photocopier hears the noise and looks around.

Narrator: If you are to ever find yourself in the middle of an active shooter event, your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan.

The man in black stops shooting in the lobby and starts walking off.

Narrator: The plan doesn’t have to be complicated.

A man in a purple shirt looks up, startled. A woman hangs up a phone and looks down the hallway at the commotion.

Narrator: The plan doesn’t have to be complicated. There are three things you could do that make a difference: Run. Hide. Fight.

The woman who was on the phone stands up, moves into the hallway, and looks scared. Another woman, wearing pink, sits at her desk with an alarmed look on her face. She then gets out of her chair and moves under her desk.

Narrator: First and foremost, if you can get out, do.

The man in purple starts running down the hallway. He grabs the woman who was on the phone and continues moving towards the exit.

Narrator: Always try and escape or evacuate, even when others insist on staying.

The man in purple and the woman who was on the phone pass the cubicle of the woman in pink. They help her up and the three continue moving towards the exit.

Narrator: Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let them slow you down with indecision.

The man in purple stops, looks around a corner, then continues to lead the two women out. The woman in pink looks very afraid, but the other woman encourages her to keep going. The three employees enter the stairwell and start moving up the stairs.

Narrator: Remember what’s important: you, not your stuff. Leave your belongings behind, and try to find a way to get out safely.

The three employees leave the building through an emergency exit. The camera turns to a mechanical area behind the building, where another man is locking a bicycle to a bike rack.

Narrator: Trying to get yourself out of harm’s way needs to be your number one priority.

The three employees come around a bend and take shelter behind a cinderblock wall protecting mechanical equipment. They are now out of sight of the front of the building and the emergency exit.

The man with the bicycle has headphones off, and walks off, looking at his phone. The man in purple runs out and gets the bicyclist’s attention. One of the women screams “hey” at the cyclist.

Narrator: Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 911.

The man in purple leads the cyclist back to the area where the employees are sheltering. The woman who had been on the telephone calls the police from her cell phone. The woman in pink is still panicking, but remains with the group.

Caption: RUN. When an active shooter is in your vicinity:

· If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate.

· Evacuate whether others agree to or not.

· Leave your belongings behind.

· Help others escape if possible.

· Prevent others from entering the area.

· Call 9-1-1 when you are safe.

The camera cuts back to the office, where we see the woman who was at the photocopier. She looks out the door, but quickly ducks back into the room.

Narrator: If you can’t get out safely, you need to find a place to hide.

The woman from the copier closes the copy room door and looks around the room. The camera cuts to a group sitting in the break room. More shots ring out. The employees in the break room stop talking and begin to look around. They all rise from the table at the same time. A man in a brown suit motions for the group to stay still for a minute, and a woman in red says “oh my gosh.” The man in the suit looks out into the hallway and sees other people running at the far end of the hallway. He moves back into the break room and closes the door. Another man, in a blue shirt, signals the others to stay quiet as he and a man in yellow move the table to barricade the door.

Narrator: Act quickly and quietly. Try to secure your hiding place the best you can.

The camera cuts back to the copy room, where the woman at the photocopier moves the machine in front of the door. She then shuts off the lights and pulls out a cell phone.

Narrator: Turn out lights, and if possible, remember to lock doors. Silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone.

The woman in the copy room slides the ringer volume control on her phone to silent, then turns the vibrate mode off. The camera cuts to the shooter, who is walking through a set of cubicles. The employees are all in hiding or have left the building. He reaches for a doorknob, but finds it

locked and moves on.

Narrator: And if you can’t find a safe room or closet, try to conceal yourself behind large objects that may protect you.

The camera shows the woman in the copy room crouched in the corner between the wall and the copier, her eyes closed, silent.

Narrator: Do your best to remain quiet and calm.

Caption: HIDE. If an evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide.

· Lock and/or blockade the door.

· Silence your cell phone.

· Hide behind large objects.

· Remain very quiet.

Caption: Your hiding place should:

· Be out of the shooter’s view.

· Provide protection of shots are fired in your direction.

· Not trap or restrict your options for movement.

The music switches from suspenseful to a faster tempo. The camera switches to the break room, where the group of employees realize that they are in trouble.

Narrator: As a last resort, if your life is at risk, whether you’re alone or working together as a group, fight! Act with aggression. Improvise weapons. Disarm him.

The employees in the break room try to calm the woman who is panicking, and begin organizing themselves. The man in yellow picks up a chair. He looks apprehensive, but moves towards the door. The panicking woman moves into a corner. The man in brown stands to the side of the door, holding a fire extinguisher above his head, ready to swing. He silently mouths to the others, asking if they’re ready.

Narrator: … and commit to taking the shooter down, no matter what.

The shooter enters the break room holding an assault rifle, and the employees attack. Two employees are holding coffee mugs, while the other two start to swing with the fire extinguisher and chair.

Caption: FIGHT. As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger:

· Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.

· Act with physical aggression.

· Improvise weapons.

· Commit to your actions.

The tempo of the background music slows, as the camera cuts back to the exterior of a building. Three more employees exit, and the group in the mechanical area gets their attention, directing them to the hiding place.

Narrator: Try to be aware of your environment. Always have an exit plan.

The camera cuts back to the interior of the building. The police have arrived. Some are patrol officers, wearing blue uniforms. Others are part of the SWAT team, wearing camouflage fatigues and helmets. All the officers are holding assault rifles. They are entering in a tactical formation, with some officers looking forward while others check to the sides and behind them. They stay as a tight group.

Narrator: Know that in an incident like this, victims are generally chosen randomly. The event is unpredictable and may evolve quickly.

The officers begin entering offices one by one, searching for the shooter. They pass a man lying on the ground, continuing to search for the man in black.

Narrator: The first responders on the scene are not there to evacuate or tend to the injured. They are well-trained, and are there to stop the shooter.

The music changes to a more upbeat, militaristic march. The police continue to do a room-by-room search as they pass by more casualties. Officers check each stall in a bathroom before moving down another hallway.

Caption: 9-1-1. When law enforcement arrives:

· Remain calm and follow instructions.

· Keep your hands visible at all times.

· Avoid pointing or yelling.

· Know that help for the injured is on its way.

The front door of the building slams open and more employees pour out. They are running with their hands in the air, palms facing forward to demonstrate that they are not holding any weapons. A man assists others as they round a bend on an exterior stairwell. We then see a shot of a fire engine parked in front of the building.

Narrator: Your actions can make a difference for your safety and survival. Be aware and be prepared.

More people leave the front door as a firefighter directs them towards a rallying point. More people are running down the exterior stairwell. As he rounds a landing, a man removes his suit jacket, but does not slow down. Other employees, including the group from the break room, are crouched on the ground by the fire engine, out of breath, but uninjured.

Narrator: And if you find yourself faced with an active shooter, there are three key things you need to remember to survive: Run. Hide. Fight.

The camera pans across the employees congregated by the fire engine. Many are talking with one another. Others are on cell phones. A firefighter moves past, giving directions as the screen fades to black.

Caption: “Run. Hide. Fight.: Surviving an Active Shooter Event” is a Department of Homeland Security Grant Funded Project of the Regional Catastrophic Planning Initiative. Produced by the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security. Ready Houston, www.readyhoustontx.gov.

Caption: For more information: www.readyhoustontx.gov.

Screen fades to black.


 

Hold on…………..Let me silence my cell phone ringer

I’m glad to see the government is trying, but I have to be honest with you, I may not follow all of their advice!!!

Every situation is unique. In the FBI video they say to only “FIGHT. As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger“.    Well I think we crossed into the “My life is in DANGER!” zone the minute someone started popping off caps in the building I’m occupying! Don’t you agree?

If there is any way possible I’m capping the gunman off even if I’m not armed, and I’d hope to be armed. But even if you are not armed there is no reason for 5 or 10 or even 15 people to sit back and wait to get shot!!!

I agree with taking cover if possible but all the “barricade yourself in a room and silence your cell phone ringer” stuff is a little far-fetched in most mass shooting scenarios. Should we order a pizza maybe???

If someone is shooting everyone they see, they are going to empty a magazine fairly quickly. And that is when he’s mine. And if you are all close enough to the shooter to jump on him, you have to stay clear of the muzzle but 2 or 3 people could easily disarm a gunman if they are close, especially if he has a rifle.

This video reminds me of the famous advice for rape victims “urinate on yourself“. I think AWARENESS of what to do in a scenario like this is important. If there are 10 people close to the gunman and he is shooting everyone you may as well all jump on him!

If you are lucky you’ll be in Texas or another gun-friendly state and lots of good guys will have guns, bringing your gunman’s killing career to an abrupt end with some hot lead. The way to stop bad guys with guns is with GOOD GUYS WITH GUNS! Arm yourselves and be prepared. Discuss the scenario and how you will react with family and friends.

 

If you are serious about staying alive during an “active shooter” crisis I would recommend arming yourself and maybe checking out something a little more realistic. I found this video earlier, and I like how it demonstrates that a woman can disarm an active shooter by using any opportunity. Something like this would be far more helpful than the FBI video in my opinion. I found these on Youtube, which stress some important factors.

Unarmed Defense Against an Active Shooter

Dealing with an Active Shooter in the Workplace

Hopefully it will be something you never need. Once you create your “plan of action” be sure to share it with friends and family members, those who you’ll likely be with when something like this kicks off. It’s important everyone is on the same page.

And I personally think that we as Americans all need to take the Flight 93 pledge, and if something like this does happen then “Let’s Roll!!!” Because quite honestly, peeing on yourself won’t save anyone.