It’s official: more assets are being taken by federal law enforcement than by the criminals they are supposed to protect us from in this country.
As Investment Watch Blog reports:
Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year.
That’s $4.5 billion in federal civil asset forfeitures in the U.S. just within 2014. Billion, with a “B”.
The FBI estimates that, by contrast, all 2014 property offenses totaled approximately $3.9 billion.
That means federal cops are now officially raking in more “assets” than burglars in this country do.
What does that tell you?
What is civil asset forfeiture? Well, it was supposed to be a little used legal process that allows officers to seize someone’s assets for being suspected of a crime but without ever actually having to be charged with a crime.
Just by definition, you can clearly see how this can be abused to turn a police station into a self-funded criminal gang.
And that’s just on the federal level. Why can’t we see similar figures (or possibly much worse figures) at the state level? Because, in this pervasive surveillance state age of big data, “deriving similar totals at the state level is impossible because most states require little to no public reporting of forfeiture activity,” Mother Jones reports.
Not only that, but as budgets have gotten tighter, and especially in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse, civil asset forfeiture has taken off in what has been described as a “meteoric, exponential increase” likely because “Forfeiture is an attractive way to keep revenue streams flowing when budgets are tight”.
This chart says it all.
When society can no longer tell who the real “criminals” are between cops and robbers… we’ve got a big, big problem.
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