Saturday, May 19, 2012

Policing For Profit: “I Absolutely Would Not Believe That This Could Happen In America”

You may think your biggest threat when carrying any amount of cash over $1000 is a thief or armed robber, but you’d be wrong.

Your most immediate concern is not being robbed by a criminal, but rather, by the very people who are supposed to serve and protect the public.

As one New Jersey man found out when he was on his way to pay for a car he purchased on Ebay, a new heavy handed trend called “policing for profit” is empowering law enforcement officers to ignore fundamental Constitutional safeguards against warrant-less searches.

George Reby was driving down Interstate 40, heading west through Putnam County, when he was stopped for speeding.
A Monterey police officer wanted to know if he was carrying any large amounts of cash.
“I said, ‘Around $20,000,’” he recalled. “Then, at the point, he said, ‘Do you mind if I search your vehicle?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t mind.’ I certainly didn’t feel I was doing anything wrong. It was my money.”
That’s when Officer Larry Bates confiscated the cash based on his suspicion that it was drug money.
Bates said the amount of money and the way it was packed gave him reason to be suspicious.
“The safest place to put your money if it’s legitimate is in a bank account,” he explained. “He stated he had two. I would put it in a bank account. It draws interest and it’s safer.”
“But it’s not illegal to carry cash,” we noted.
“No, it’s not illegal to carry cash,” Bates said. “Again, it’s what the cash is being used for to facilitate or what it is being utilized for.”

NewsChannel 5 Investigates noted, “But you had no proof that money was being used for drug trafficking, correct? No proof?”
“And he couldn’t prove it was legitimate,” Bates insisted.
In fact, Reby had proof on his computer. [The ebay evidence he showed the officer was not sufficient

“On the street, a thousand-dollar bundle could approximately buy two ounces of cocaine,” Bates told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
“Or the money could have been used to buy a car,” we observed.
“It’s possible,” he admitted.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Bates if Reby had told him that he was trying to buy a car?
“He did,” the officer acknowledged.
“But you did not include that in your report,” we noted.
“If it’s not in there, I didn’t put it in there.”
So why did he leave that out?
“I don’t know,” the officer said.
Source: News Channel 5

We could venture a guess why Officer Bates failed to include this absolutely critical piece of evidence in his report… Maybe because if Mr. Reby can’t afford an attorney to prove his innocence(!) then the State of Tennessee, specifically Mr. Bates’ police department, gets to keep the money.

Tennessee law legitimizes what amounts to armed robbery by police officers. Had Mr. Reby refused to give up his money and fought his attacker as any reasonable person might when threatened, he would no doubt have been charged with a host of crimes or worse.

This is a clear cut Constitutional issue, but the police, government and judicial system will refute any such claims, or completely ignore them, showing once again that the protections laid out by the Constitution of the United States of America mean absolutely nothing to the sycophants and thieves who we have entrusted with preserving our most dearly held principles.

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