If you heard about the Manchild President’s meeting with a gaggle of Sheriffs yesterday it was most likely about how he claimed the murder rate was at a 47 year high, reported because it’s just another in his series of batshit crazy lies. And thankfully absolutely everybody is calling it a lie, not a misstatement or a falsehood. Tapper nailed the Minister of Propaganda about it yesterday after CNN relented and let her back on their air. That embargo on her because of her credibility didn’t last very long, did it? CNN has balls of
steel soft coal.
The second thing you may have heard that came from that meeting was Herr Trumpenfürher’s blithe offer to ruin the career of a Texas state senator who was pushing back against civil forfeiture. Ha, ha, he let’s ruin him.
Those two inappropriate and irresponsible moments were easy for the media to report on because they don’t really take any context at all. You may have heard of both incidents without even knowing that he was meeting with Sheriffs, context free. They show that he’s pretty dishonest and ridiculous, ha ha. Another of the endless line of deeply disturbing things no president should ever do that he does every fucking day.
But the deeper problem was his incredibly shallow and uninformed discourse with the Sheriffs on asset forfeiture itself. He didn’t know what it was. Had never heard about it or the problems with it. So in the telling by the law enforcement personnel in the room, whom you can infer certain things merely by their presence in the room, civil asset forfeiture is a great tool in the law enforcement arsenal to stop drug dealers. Period. End of story. Childishly, he accepted that version of it and went on to wonder why anybody would be against it? Must be crazy people.
The crazy thing is that this is actually a property rights issue. It’s totally conservative, libertarian, liberal – cuts across the ideological spectrum as something nobody wants to see abused. But it’s getting really and truly abused like a broken subway turnstile. And ignorant Trump gave a thumbs up for unscrupulous law enforcement agencies to take stuff from people.
SHERIFF AUBREY: And the other thing is asset forfeiture. People want to say we’re taking money and without due process. That’s not true. We take money from dope dealers ―
THE PRESIDENT: So you’re saying ― okay, so you’re saying the asset-taking you used to do, and it had an impact, right? And you’re not allowed to do it now?
SHERIFF AUBREY: No, they have curtailed it a little bit. And I’m sure the folks are ―
THE PRESIDENT: And that’s for legal reasons? Or just political reasons?
SHERIFF AUBREY: They make it political and they make it ― they make up stories. All you’ve got to do ―
THE PRESIDENT: I’d like to look into that, okay? There’s no reason for that. Dana, do you think there’s any reason for that? Are you aware of this?…
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Asset forfeiture. You’re encouraged. Okay.
Yeah there’s reason for it. More Than Dozen States are Trying to Stop Cops From Taking Innocent People’s Stuff. John Oliver did a whole segment on it in 2014. Almost everybody who has looked at it has seen abuses. Lots of law enforcement agencies around the country have frankly used it as a way to make money, not seek justice.
Civil asset forfeiture allows police departments to take money and property they believe was obtained through illegal activity and put it right into their own bank accounts. What makes the practice, which has generated over $2.5 billion since 9/11, so outrageous is that police don’t even have to charge people with a crime in order to confiscate their property.
As has happened numerous times, like here, here, and here if you’re driving in your car with a large amount of money and you are stopped, and they search the car, for whatever reason and find said money, they can seize the money, asserting that it must be from drug sales – even if there’s no evidence of that being the case. Then you have to go to court and prove that you got the money legally. And if you go before a bad court, that court could even find that the money was taken appropriately even when you were never charged with a crime.
It’s criminal behavior, by the police, which is the most fundamentally unjust. And of course, our El Presdidente Bambino had no clue because they’ve never talked about it on his main source for news on the justice system: Fox and Friends.