Texas police seize black motorists' cash, cars

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by leekohler, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Chicago, Illinois
    #1
    Oh man- so much for racism being dead in the US. This is unbelievable- well, not really so much for Texas. ;)

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-texas-profiling_wittmar10,0,6051682.story
     
  2. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    Wow, highway robbery just doesn't cover this one. It's extortion with a badge, while I'm generally in favor the law of seizure for property used in the commission of a crime. This little town is overlooking that a crime must be committed and a judge determines what to do with the property based on precedent and circumstances of the crime.

    What a horrible mockery of justice.

    ... and a discredit to every good cop/police force out there!
     
  3. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #3
    First off it is not racism, racism is the inherent belief that your better than someone else simply because of your race. This falls under the guise of profiling. In other words, they know which people are more likely to give in without a fight.

    Like my police friends here, target cars that are older, not well maintained, or have a some obvious mechanical issues. They don't care who is driving, in fact at night they won't know till they pull people over.


    the real story here is the state's asset-forfeiture law which is probably based on the Federal one from the mid 80s where the government can charge your property with a crime and seize it. See, through some nice stacked courts they managed to get it past Constitutional choke points by claiming that it wasn't the person losing the property or being charged with a crime but that the property itself was charged. Thats how they walk off scott free with millions each year because in many cases the people who lost the money don't have any left to get it back with. Guilty till proven innocent, one of the better reasons to end this damn drug war.
     
  4. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    Prejudice is indeed racism. These cops were judging people based on race.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism

     
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #5
    We need The Stranger (Clint), from High Plains Drifter, to pay this town a friendly visit. ;)
     
  6. MotleyPete macrumors regular

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    Blighty
    #6
    Wow. That's pretty shocking.

    I'd demand they dressed up as Dick Turpin (or Adam Ant, same difference). It'd still suck to be robbed by cops, but the amusing period attire might take the edge off a bit.
     
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #7
    I think this is going to be blown out as a racism issue and completely miss the more important issue.

    The more important issue is what the little town is doing. it is basically stealing people property.

    It could be that because generally speaking blacks are poorer than whites and have less education that they are more willing to be taken by the threat. Or just a much larger number of blacks go though that area.


    Point being that larger issue here is not the racism part but what the cops are doing. I both question the press on making that and issue and people here seeing that issue and missing the larger problem.
     
  8. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    Race of course is part of the issue here. Read the rest of the article and you'll see the vast majority of the people victimized were black.
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #9
    But it is a minor issue at best here when compared to the larger issue.

    I also listed part of the reasons why it will show a larger share of minorities getting hit for this.

    I willing to bet most of the people who gave in are uneducated and poor no matter which race.

    Even if race is involved it is still a minor issue over all. The larger issue is going to be COMPLETELY missed and not taken care because that is what everyone will focus on is the race issue. not the fact that property is being taken under very questionable reasons at best.
     
  10. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #10
    Rodimus- please read the article. That issue is indeed being dealt with.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #11
    Even so. I am more concerned about race being made the issue here and not the larger issue.
     
  12. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #12
    Now I'm really confused. :confused:
     
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #13
    that both the people and the media will focus on the racism part of the issue and not the cops taking the property
     
  14. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    Why do you care what others' opinions are as long as the main issue is being dealt with?
     
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #15
    Because they will not deal with it.

    They will instead make a big dog and pony show about how the towns are wrong and go after them for racsim but will not fix the loop hole in the law they are abusing.

    Politicians are slim balls who will only do what they think the public cares about and here it will be racism.

    The media only cares about making money so they will focus on racism which goes back to my point before.

    I want the loop hole fix. The racism part is such a minor MINOR issues here in the over all picture.
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #16
    This news broke in July or August, last year. Houston Post, IIRC. The AG was supposed to look into it. I haven't heard any followup.

    Tenaha is over in KKK country. A lot like Vidor, on down toward Beaumont. East Texas along the Louisiana border has never really gotten into the 20th Century, much less the 21st. The larger towns aren't so bad, but the little places are spooky.

    "Officials in Tenaha, situated along a heavily traveled highway connecting Houston with popular gambling destinations in Louisiana, say they are engaged in a battle against drug trafficking and call the search-and-seizure practice a legitimate use of the state's asset-forfeiture law. That law permits local police agencies to keep drug money and other property used in the commission of a crime and add the proceeds to their budgets."

    The War On Some Drugs has given us the basics, and racism has caused the focus on minorities.

    In Louisiana, just having a large amount of cash brings on an "Arrest the money" deal. Their state law divvies it up: 50% to the state, 25% to the local court and 25% to the local LEO department making the arrest. It's sorta hard to persuade a judge to find in favor of the original owner of the cash, since a fair chunk comes out of his pocket.

    Happens nationwide, of course. Only the amount of corruption varies, not the kind.

    'Rat
     
  17. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    But it IS being dealt with! For the last time- read the article. You're making something out of nothing. 'Rat's post is pretty interesting too.
     
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #18
    I can see where the cash forfeiture law could get lost here, coming from a gambling destination when the people are doing everything they can to make sure the money isn't seen by the IRS -- it can be an issue.

    One of the reasons to take money out of the bank in an amount to trigger the SAR, and fill out the IRS cash form while at the same time requesting new sequential serials (easier to track back to the bank that way.)

    At least filling out the IRS form or the bank filling out the SAR, will allow you to get the money back. And file a case against the police station.

    ---

    When I knew a bunch of the people that did the traveling sales shows, they were always running into trouble with the law for carrying a bunch of merchandise and cash -- and it wasn't from the IRS, but the police looking for illegal money.

    Darn it go to the window and convert the winnings into a check even if it may trigger an IRS statement, sometimes it is less costly to lose money to the IRS than COPs.
     
  19. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #19
    Maybe Rodimus doesn't know you didn't quote the whole article. It does say race is an apparent issue:
    But to Rodimus' point they could be profiling a social demographic as well, but there's nothing in the article to indicate such ... though I suspect he's on to something there too.
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #20
    I have. It saw a politain made a statement. But reading what 'rat wrote clearly shows that is it not being dealt with.

    If it is being handled for rasim reason it is both sad and wrong it took that being the reason to fix this and not the other reason that it is just wrong.

    I just tired of everything being race and as soon as the race part is covered up or handled the larger issued comes back. Fix the loop hole the damn loop hole they are using.

    I still stand by my fact that this should not be made into a racism issue but more of the larger problem in hand. Plus they are targeting the poor and uneducated. Both which statically showing are much heaver towards African Americans than whites so I would expect to see a much higher number of them being black.

     
  21. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Apr 24, 2003
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    Colly-fornia
    #21
    This is as ridiculous as Eric Cantor claiming that Obama can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Both problems need to be addressed, and are addressed in the article. In fact, my read of the entire article lead me to believe that the author believes that the asset-forfeiture laws are much more problematic than the racism issue.

    Of course, the issue that I think you're putting your finger on (if not quite identifying properly) is that it will be much easier for the authorities having say over this matter to slap "a few bad apples" on the wrist for racism than it will be to force law enforcement to either give up, or accept strict oversight on, asset forfeiture laws.

    These laws are basically structured for abuse. I've got no problem with criminals losing their ill-gained assets upon conviction, but I have got a real problem with the agencies charged with taking the assets also being the recipient of the largess. It should just go into the state's general fund, if we're going to allow asset forfeiture at all.
     

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