categoryMenu_new
 
  Home
  EXTRAORDINARY AH Teaching from Spiritual Hierarchy
  AbundantHope
  NEW READERS! Read Here First
  Supporting AH
  Leadership of AbundantHope
  Announcements
  Regional AH Sites
  Other Sites with AH material
  Contact Us
  Becoming A Messiah
  OUR PUBLIC FORUM IS OPEN TOO ALL
  Mission Ideas
  System Busting
  Cleric Letter/English
  Translations of Cleric Letter
  AH Member Writings
  Candace
  Ron
  Rosie
  Jess
  Brian's Poetry
  James
  Giuseppe
  Esteban
  Telepathic Messages
  Candace
  Jess Anthony
  Vince
  Leonette
  John
  Adam
  Bela
  Joyce
  Hazel
  Kibo
  Peter
  Rosie
  Johan
  Lucia
  Lucia G
  Rubens
  Shellee-Kim
  Ben
  Dorothea
  Solon
  Others
  Targeted Messages
  Hano
  Light Flower
  Changing The Face Of Religion
  - Phoenix Journals - PDF in German
  Candace on Religion
  Other Spiritual Pieces
  Gems from God Like Productions
  Spiritual Nuggets by the Masters
  Phoenix Journals
  Phoenix Journals - PDF
  Telepathic Messages PDF books
  Selections from the Urantia Book
  Illustrations For The Urantia Book
  CMGSN Pieces
  THE WAVE
  Environment/Science
  David Crayford and the ITC
  Health and Nutrition
  Podcasts, Radio Shows, Video by AH
 
  Political Information
  True US History
  Human/Animal Rights
  The Miracle That Is Me
  Education
  Resources
  911 Material
  Books - eBooks
  government email/phone #'s
  Self Reliance
  Video
  Websites
  Alternative News Sources
  Art and Music
  Foreign Sites
  Health and Healing
  Human/Animal Rights
  Scientific
  Spiritual
  Vegan Recipes
  Translated Material
  Dutch
  Gekanaliseerde berichten Jess
  Gekanaliseerde berichten Candace
  Gekanaliseerde berichten Anderen
  Artikelen/berichten
  French
  Canal Jess
  Par Candace
  Other Channels
  Articles
  German
  Telepathische Nachrichten (Candace)
  Telepathische Nachrichten (Jess)
  Telepathische Nachrichten (div.)
  AH Mitgliederbeiträge (Candace)
  AH Mitgliederbeiträge (Jess)
  Spirituelle Schätze
  Italian
  Translations - Candace
  Translations - Jess
  Translations - Others
  Portuguese
  by Candace
  By Jess
  By Others
  Spanish
  Anfitriones Divinos
  Bitácoras Fénix
  Creadores-de-Alas (WingMakers/Lyricus)
  Escritos de Candace
  Escritos de Otros
  Monjoronsón
  Telemensajes de Candace
  Telemensajes de Jess Anthony
  Telemensajes de Otros
  Chinese
  By Candace
  By Jess
  By Others
  Korean Translations
  Hungarian Translations
  Swedish Translations

Search
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Political Information Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021 - 1:53:57 AM


"Cash Is Not A Crime": The Raw Tyranny Of Civil Asset Forfeiture
By Brian McGlinchey
Oct 18, 2021 - 1:51:38 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page Share/Bookmark

https://starkrealities.substack.com/p/texas-case-illustrates-raw-tyranny

 

On May 14, 2019, Ameal Woods drove from rural Mississippi to Houston with $42,300 in cash. He was ready to achieve a major goal he and his wife had worked, saved and borrowed for: Purchasing a second semi truck for the fledgling trucking business he operated with his brother, and perhaps a trailer, too.

Along Interstate 10 in Texas, however, his entrepreneurial dream turned into a nightmare. It started when Woods was pulled over by a Harris County sheriff's deputy who claimed Woods had been following too closely behind the truck in front of him.


Illustrative file image, via News6 ClickOrlando


The deputy asked Woods if he was carrying drugs or money. Seeking to be cooperative, Woods said he was carrying cash in the trunk and consented to a search of his vehicle. The deputy proceeded to the trunk, took the money, handed Woods a receipt, and sent him on his way without charging him with anything.

"All my cash. All my life savings. All my dreams. He got it," says Woods in an Institute for Justice video profile embedded at the end of this article.

Woods had become a victim of civil asset forfeiture, a controversial practice that authorizes police to seize money, cars, trucks, houses or anything else they merely accuse of having a link to criminal activity-regardless of whether the property owner is charged with a crime.

Woods says all his money was legally acquired: $22,800 from his own savings, $13,000 borrowed from his niece and another $6,500 lent to him by his wife, Jordan Davis. Davis says she'd worked overtime shifts in her job as a restaurant cashier to help accumulate the money Woods needed to pursue his business goals.

"I worked hard for that money," says Davis. "There were days that I didn't even want to go to work because I'm tired, and to just have it taken, with no explanation is terrible. How do you start over?" It was an even more devastating blow for Woods: "All of my drive, all of my motivation, everything was gone." He went into a deep depression. Rather than expanding his business, he's been reduced to doing odd jobs.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Puts Property on Trial

Violating the American justice system's cornerstone presumption of innocence, those whose property has been taken via civil asset forfeiture must prove their property wasn't involved in a crime-or lose it forever.

In a real sense, the property itself is on trial. That's reflected in the bizarre case names associated with civil asset forfeiture proceedings, such as "Nebraska v. One 1970 2-Door Sedan Rambler (Gremlin)." That particular case illustrates that, even where a crime is charged, civil asset forfeiture can still be the instrument of terrible injustice: Police seized the Gremlin after arresting its owner for mere marijuana possession, saying it had been used to "transport" marijuana. The seizure was upheld by the state supreme court.

Property is regularly taken from third-party owners too. For example, the Philadelphia district attorney's office has pursued the forfeitures of houses simply because a child living in the home had been caught selling drugs. One calculation puts the median value of forfeited property at $1,276. Many victims of civil asset forfeiture, weighing the time and expense of challenging the seizure against the uncertainty of victory, simply surrender to the government-a dynamic that only encourages police to keep on taking people's property without charges.

Woods, however, isn't backing down. Thanks to the Institute for Justice-which calls itself "the national law firm for liberty"-Woods and his wife are now lead plaintiffs in a class action suit against Harris County, a suit that claims the county's confiscations from him and others violate the Texas constitution's prohibitions against unreasonable seizures.

News Flash: Law-Abiding People Carry Cash

According to the police affidavit, Woods' money was presumed to be connected to "illegal activity" because:

  • It was a large amount

  • The money was vacuum-packaged and wrapped in tape

  • Woods appeared nervous

  • Some of the money belonged to someone else: his
  • wife, Jordan Davis

  • Sometime after the seizure, a police dog allegedly alerted to the presence of narcotics (more on this later)

For most people, the idea of holding and carrying tens of thousands of dollars in cash for legal, everyday purposes is simultaneously unnerving and inconceivable. However, according to a 2019 FDIC survey, 7.1 million American households are "unbanked," meaning no member of the household has a checking or savings account. The proportion of unbanked households is higher among black, Hispanic, American Indian, lower-income and less-educated households.

Woods, who grew up and still lives in rural Mississippi, says his father didn't trust banks. Long ago, he told his son he'd attempted to withdraw his money from a bank, only to have the employees pretend he had no account. Woods was taught from a young age to keep his money close, and he made it a practice to cash any checks he received.

When it came time to go shopping for a semi truck and trailer, Woods viewed cash as a plus, believing it drives better deals when negotiating with owner-operators and shipping businesses looking to offload secondhand tractors and trailers.

Jordan Davis and Ameal Woods (Photo: Institute for Justice)

As for Harris County's claimed alarm over the fact that the money was wrapped in plastic, Woods says he's long vacuum-bundled his savings to protect it from the elements and to facilitate hiding it around his property.

His system worked-he says a home burglary a few years ago left his cash stash intact. If only he knew in May 2019 what he knows now: In addition to burglars, we should all keep our cash hidden from the police too.

In Harris County, Plunder with a Pattern

As with laws in many other states, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §59.06(c) creates a sinister profit motive, authorizing police departments, prosecutors and municipal, county and state governments to keep seized property and use it for their own purposes.

According to the petition in the class action suit, civil asset forfeitures added $7.7 million to Harris County's law enforcement salary and overtime budgets between 2018 and 2020.

Even more troubling than that steep, self-serving tally are two patterns seen in the seizures. Remember how the Harris County Sheriff's Office claimed that a dog alerted for the presence of illegal drugs after officers had already seized Woods' money? The Institute for Justice found 92 other cases where the alleged dog alert came after the seizure.

Drug-sniffing dogs are deeply problematic under any circumstances-various studies have pegged the false-alert rate at 66 to 80% or more. Their use is even more dubious where property is being seized without charges filed, as the unverifiable claim of a dog's reaction merely serves to pad a vague accusation that cash or other property is connected to illegal activity.

Of course, within a system that empowers deputies to enlarge their own overtime fund, we can't ignore the possibility that an enthusiastic dog-handler influenced or over-interpreted the dog's behavior-or that the handler or someone else made it up entirely.

A second pattern emerges from the Institute for Justice's scrutiny of Harris County seizures: As with the Ameal Woods case, every one of Harris County's 113 civil-forfeiture petitions filed since 2016 was based on an affidavit signed by an officer who wasn't at the scene. Eighty of them were signed by the same person. Between that and the fact that the affidavits use copy-and-paste, nearly identical language, the Harris County Sheriff's Office has seemingly built a civil asset forfeiture assembly line, one that's focused on relentlessly padding the agency's budget by seizing property from the public it purportedly exists to serve.

Those who do try to contest Harris County seizures face long waits for justice. Woods' $41,680 was seized in May 2019, but the agency's procedural sloth meant he had to wait until this fall-two years and four months-for his case to actually start.

A Nationwide Scourge

This article uses Harris County to illustrate civil asset forfeiture, but it's important to realize the practice exists in various forms throughout most of the United States, and everywhere federal agencies are present. Only a small handful of states have abolished it entirely.

In 2018 alone, 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Justice and Treasury departments took in over $3 billion in forfeitures. Buried in those billions are many more agonizing personal experiences like that of Ameal Woods.

Though some states offer better protections for property rights than others, "federal equitable sharing" creates a loophole: State and local police can team up with federal officers to seize property under federal law and pocket up to 80% of the haul, with no regard to what state law says. (You can learn about your state's forfeiture policy in this Institute for Justice report; state profiles start on page 59.)

The class action suit against Harris County is one of several active cases against civil asset forfeiture being pursued by the Institute for Justice. Davis says his participation isn't just for him: "I'm fighting for myself. I'm fighting for others. I'm fighting for everybody it happened to in the past. I'm fighting for my dream. Cash is not a crime. For no one."

Stark Realities undermines official narratives, demolishes conventional wisdom and exposes fundamental myths across the political spectrum. Read more and subscribe at starkrealities.substack.com

 




All writings by members of AbundantHope are copyrighted by
©2005-2021 AbundantHope - All rights reserved

Detailed explanation of AbundantHope's Copyrights are found here


Top of Page

Political Information
Latest Headlines
Democrat Senator Threatens Supreme Court With ‘revolution’ if Roe v. Wade is Overturned
Brisbane Beats The Heat To Rally For FREEDOM
Russia Not Building ‘fortress walls’ But Simply Seeking to Increase Sovereignty – Putin
Four Ways The Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Is Already Rigged
The Most Striking Fact in Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s New Book
Canada Is Turning Feminists Into Criminals
New Law Allows For Warrantless Spying On Australians – where next?
Secretary of Defense Sends out Memo to Force Full Vaccination of All Members of the Armed Forces Under DoD Authority
Pentagon Orders New Probe into Syria Airstrike That Killed Dozens of Civilians
US Officials Confirm Israel Behind Cyberattack On Iranian Gas Stations
Dubbo - Old World in the Outback
COVID-19 vaccine II
Israel Authorizes Spy Agency To Access Private Cell Phone Data To Track Omicron Variant
Riccardo Bosi !! This guy!! Refreshing honesty and he's a politician!! Legend!!
BREAKING: Federal Judge Blocks Vaccine Mandate Nationwide – Protects Health Care Workers Across America
CNBC Pundit Calls Unvaxxed People “Psychotic”, Demands U.S. Military Hunt Them Down, Force Vaccine or Force Quarantine
Exposing The ‘indefensible’ Lies And Corruption Of Roe v. Wade Ahead of The Mississippi Case
Rittenhouse shooting victim confronted with video showing him pointing gun at defendant
Russia Comments On US ‘religious freedom’ Claims
Big Pharma Hunts Down Dissenting Doctors