More highway robbery — by cops, obviously

Something really, really, really has to be done about forfeiture laws that allow cops to “impound” cash without charging or convicting the money’s owner with a crime. George Renby was pulled over for simple speeding in Tennessee. The cop asked if he had a large amount of cash on him, and Renby — confident that it was his right as an American to do so — said yes.

He didn’t see his $20,000 again for four months.

Again, I feel strongly that a key piece of the solution is a drastic rollback of the immunity cops now enjoy. This cop needs to fat lawsuit, as does the jurisdiction.

2 thoughts on “More highway robbery — by cops, obviously

  1. This is drastically different from Nee’s case. This guy cooperated and was richly rewarded by a royal screwing. I would have been furious.

    Nonetheless, I don’t see announcing a guaranteed-to-be-an-unending-disaster free for all national lawsuit festival on cops as the solution here. Just change the law such that confiscating people’s stuff indefinitely without any apparent recourse isn’t so absurdly easy, and certainly not in such a protracted manner, especially in the instance of an infuriating cash grab such as this.

    It’s critically important to make the distinction between silly howling babies like Shawn Nee, and people like this who suffer real mistreatment and harm at the hands of the police.

  2. Yeah, the thing is, there IS no difference. Neither citizen broke the law, and so neither citizen should have been victimized by the police.

    Police act with impunity because they are rarely punished for misbehavior. Police departments become corrupt because of civil forfeiture laws like this one. The way to fix both is increased transparency, a return to actual due process, and an increased chance of personal repercussions for cops who abuse their authority.

    They’re not special citizens. They need to follow the same laws as the rest of us.