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Corruption is inevitable

We’ve talked here often about the corruption that is an integral part of the drug war. There are a lot of corrupting influences, but one of the most egregious is the notion that law enforcement can go out and seize money for itself like some kind of mercenary army that is paid by allowing it to loot and pillage the enemies it defeats (or anyone else who gets in the way).

Americans for Forfeiture Reform has one more in the long list of abuses…

A Kentucky sheriff is on trial over how he used more than $43,000 from a drug-asset forfeiture account belonging to the county. […]

Hendrickson cited Garrett’s use of more than $900 to pay his homeowner’s insurance and nearly $600 to pay for Coca-Cola products. Thousands more, she said, were used to pay personal loans for former Deputy Sheriff Benjamin Buckler Sr., who became a Carlisle police officer before he was indicted earlier this year on similar charges. Buckler will be tried separately.

About $6,000 was spent to make drug buys as part of investigations, but there was documentation only for a $180 buy, Hendrickson said. There were no case reports and no prosecutions resulting from those buys, she said.

And this is just peanuts in the millions of dollars in forfeiture abuses – one that got caught.

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6 comments to Corruption is inevitable

  • MaineGeezer

    There is blatant individual corruption, as described here. It’s what most people think about when corruption is mentioned. A cop skimming off seized money, or a border guard taking a bribe to be busy somewhere else when a certain truck goes through the gate.

    I believe there is also widespread institutional corruption, touching virtually every police department, which is less obvious and more subtle. Most law enforcement and other officials engaged in it wouldn’t view it as corruption at all because it’s legal.

    But what would you call the actions of a police department in which the chief privately admits to himself the war on drugs is folly, yet because 20% of his budget comes from grants to fight the drug war the chief continues the drug war charade to keep the money coming in. His officers — at least some of them — may share the chief’s opinion but are glad to take their share of the 20% in overtime pay to do what they know is useless police work.

    Aren’t those police getting bribed to continue the drug war just as much as the border guard who takes $10,000 to ignore a particular truck?

  • Common Science

    There is an animation program (Xtranormal) that one creative soul found as a suitable catharses to the LE corruption that you folks in Washington state are undoubtably familiar with. Unfortunately his well-scripted parodies appears to be deserving of the whittling-down of the First Amendment against some legal experts professional opinion:

    “That hasn’t stopped the police from creating a search warrant (posted below) to go after MrFuddlesticks, the name of the YouTube account that posted the animated videos. A local Washington judge James Cayce rubber-stamped their warrant, which will force Google-owned YouTube to hand over information revealing the identity of the filmmaker.”

    http://www.cartoonbrew.com/cartoon-culture/internet-cartoon-creator-targeted-by-washington-police.html

  • vickyvampire

    Asset Forfeiture=Incarnate Evil.
    This is the main reason the do not want Drug Decriminalization or Legalization to go away.

    There has always been some systematic and incidental in Police Departments,Forfeiture it Bloody Monster added to the mix.
    Yeah it been around since ancient times,early part of century used for customs violations,then in 1978 For Drug Violations.
    1984 was the pivotal year it was ramped up to take property and more assets.
    Here is good example of this Title of story sarcastic enough:Utah High Patrol Forfeiture or Highway Robbery.

    http://voice-of-deseret.blogspot.com/2009/02/asset-forfeiture-or-highway-robbery.html

    In Utah citizens in late 90’s, not sure on year overturned some of the harms done with Asset Forfeiture in a Ballet initiative,a few years later in 2,000 legislature overturned Citizens initiative.
    This was the first time an Ballot Initiative was overturned since the 1960’s.
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/595046371/Lawmakers-overturn-2000-forfeiture-law.html

    I know and I live in a state that keeps talking about ensuring folks freedoms ad nauseaum- Yeah just stuff it you greedy bastards. Yeah we tried Forfeiture re-form in our state and damn it they took it away.

  • Cliff

    Kaptinemo says that the money from both sides of the war on some drugs is corrosive to the ethics of law enforcement. I would go further to say that it is actually corrosive and radioactive and can contaminate anything that comes into close proximity of it with the power of propaganda and feel good Puritanism.

  • DdC

    “Corruption and hypocrisy
    ought not to be inevitable products of democracy,
    as they undoubtedly are today”
    ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    Drug Test A Miscarriage of Justice on Marijuana
    US police are using a flawed scientific test in drugs busts that gives ‘false positives’ to strongarm citizens into plea bargaining.

    “Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency.”
    ~ unknown

    The Truth About America’s Oxy Epidemic
    By Maia Szalavitz July 22, 2011
    As the White House prepares to launch a billion-dollar anti-Oxy war, here are some crucial facts about who gets addicted—and why.

    A government, for protecting business only, is but a carcass, and soon falls by its own corruption and decay.
    ~ Amos Bronson Alcott

    Chronicle This Week’s Corrupt Cops Stories

    All institutions are prone to corruption and to the vices of their members.
    ~ Morris West

    Houston Deputies Kill Man Fleeing Drug Warrants
    A Houston, Texas, man attempting to evade US marshals seeking to arrest him on drug and other warrants was shot and killed by a Harris County sheriff’s deputy Friday afternoon. The man, as yet unnamed, becomes the 33rd person to be killed in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

  • DdC

    “The more corrupt the state, the more laws.”
    ~ Publius Cornelius Tacitus

    Alex Jones-‪Fake War on Drugs In US
    As Feds, DEA Help Traffic Drug & Guns
    1 of 22 of 2

    And I am saying, how about the other two branches? And putting the pressure on our representatives in the Senate and the Congress, and the court system. They should be counter-acting this corruption, but they are sitting there silent.
    ~ Sibel Edmonds

    One-Year Anniversary of the Fair Sentencing Act

    I filed the ethics complaint against Tom DeLay not because I’m a Democrat and he’s a Republican or even because he drew me out of my congressional seat but because he engaged in corruption to further his plans to disenfranchise voters in Texas.
    ~ Chris Bell

    This Week in History

    August 8, 1988: The domestic marijuana seizure record is set (still in effect today) — 389,113 pounds in Miami, Florida.

    August 7, 2000: The Houston Chronicle runs a front page story about the corruption of paid informants in drug cases.

    August 6, 2004: The Ninth Circuit orders the release, pending appeal, of Bryan Epis, who had been convicted of conspiracy to grow 1,000 marijuana plants in a federal trial in which the jury was not allowed to hear that he was a medical marijuana activist.