Latest Police Extortion Racket: ‘Booking Fees’ for Arrests — Even When You Are INNOCENT

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Top Tier Gear USA

Public domain police officer

by Jack Burns

As if getting arrested and taken to jail isn’t painful enough, residents in Ramsey County, MN are forced to pay “booking fees” whether or not they’re eventually found guilty of the crime for which they’re charged. One example of the latest, and some have said “outrageous,” revenue streams comes from the case involving Ramsey resident Corey Stratham.

Arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, Stratham had in his possession a total of $46 dollars in cash. Released two days later, after having the charges dismissed, he attempted to reclaim his possessions, only to learn the jail had charged him $25 for “booking fees.” In place of the cash, which the cops took from him upon his arrest, the authorities returned to him a gift card for $21 — the remainder after the booking fees were withheld. Worse yet, the gift card came with a myriad of fees which made getting the $21 quite impossible.

First, there was the $7.25 to withdraw the funds from an ATM, then there was the $1.50 maintenance fee per week, and a per occurrence of $2.50 to withdraw the funds at an ATM where Stratham didn’t have an account. All of which made it nearly impossible to get the $21 cash in hand. Stratham sued the county.

According to the New York Times, the nation’s highest court is considering weighing in on the egregious practice of what some are calling government sponsored extortion, which all too often hits the poor the hardest.

“The Supreme Court will soon consider whether to hear Mr. Statham’s challenge to Ramsey County’s fund-raising efforts, which are part of a national trend to extract fees and fines from people who find themselves enmeshed in the criminal justice system,” write the Times.

And the extortive practices aren’t limited to small counties in MN either. In Kentucky, citizens are forced to pay for the time they spend in jail. In Colorado, after assets have been confiscated, citizens are required to file a separate lawsuit in order to reclaim their funds, even after they’ve been found not guilty. The major problem with filing a lawsuit in CO is that if you lose your court case, you’re then required by CO law to pay the court costs of the defendants.

The Times reported Stratham’s case was, “argued last year before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Paul, a lawyer for the county acknowledged that its process was in tension with the presumption of innocence.” Oh yeah! There’s that famously quoted legal expression which appears to be largely overlooked in 21st century policing in the U.S. The idea of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law seems to be overlooked as police departments seek to implement, develop and expand an ever-increasing source of revenue streams.

As police departments seek to make up for budget shortfalls, instead of focusing on catching criminals, a conflict of interests arises. Just last year, a Justice Department report found the Ferguson, MO police department, along with the courts, worked to enforce the municipality’s penal code to supplement up to 30 percent of the police department’s budget.

The report concluded, “Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs. This emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing, and has also shaped its municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process concerns and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the Ferguson community.”

As The Free Thought Project has reported, many police officers are uncomfortable with their roles in generating revenue for their departments, instead of focusing on what led them into law enforcement in the first place; fighting crime. Left unchecked, the new sources of revenue streams can be as controversial a subject as unlawful arrests. Already, police departments are heavily involved with asset forfeiture, using speed cameras, and “tossing” cars while looking for crimes with which to charge people.

One source even claims police are looking at an ever-expanding list of ways to charge people for their services. Here’s a list of the possible revenue streams police departments are encouraged to explore:

1. fees for sex offenders registering in your jurisdiction

2. tow companies and/or impound lots that are owned and operated by cities

3. fine increases of 50 percent; substantially more fine increases for DUI offenses

4. imposing a fine for repeat false burglary alarms, as done by Meridian township, Michigan (some communities, such as Fremont, California, have stopped responding to alarms altogether, citing a high false alarm rate)

5. service fees for: jumpstart and vehicle lockout services; ride-a-longs for the public; fingerprinting for employment purposes; checking vacation houses when the owners are away (a truly ambitious police department could start its own in-house security service that includes home checks and security for private businesses); security and clean-up for various special events, such as fireworks and marches; note, however, that you may open yourself up to challenges from residents who have limited tolerance for fees imposed for police services that are either “too high” or that some may claim are already paid for from taxes;

6. designated business to clean biological material from serious crime scenes

7. allowing advertising on agency website and/or squad cars or otherwise allowing agency name for advertising purposes (this is an idea that has been floated from time to time since earlier this decade in some communities)

8. charging a resident fee similar to a utility franchise tax (a quarterly, stand-alone bill for law enforcement services)

9. charging fees to non-residents who wreck in another town

10. taxes/fees on all alcohol or ammunition sold in the city

11. fee for public to use police firing range during certain hours

12. public safety fee for all new developments in the city

13. offering firearm safety classes to the public for a fee

14. pay-per-call policing/charging a fee for each 911 call – though this may be possible only in unique situations as it may be particularly difficult to find public support for this option

When police departments cease being a law enforcement agency, and begin to transform themselves into a business, which generates revenue, an interesting phenomenon occurs. The agents of the agency, the police officers themselves, become incentivized to generate more income for their employer, rather than do their jobs as crime fighters.

As the Rand Corporation explains it, the practice of revenue generation by local government agents is rife with conflicts of interest. “But, the devil is always in the details. Having these assets go (in whole or in part) into the budget of the department that collected them creates an incentive for them to do more—to pursue more resources,” Rand writes.

“If a department starts to plan on having seized resources available—and to rely on them—or if officers start getting rewarded for how much revenue they bring in, the concern becomes whether law enforcement action will become driven more by the goal of revenue and less by the goal of public safety,” the corporation concluded.

As for Stratham, the county’s attorney Jason M Hiveley stated, “There is some legwork involved,” but he can get his money back. The county’s legal counsel continued, “They can do it as soon as they have the evidence that they haven’t been found guilty.”

But the question still remains. If the case is dismissed, or if the courts rule someone is not guilty, why doesn’t the county feel compelled to return the money without forcing the exonerated individual to file any paperwork at all or requiring said individual to once again prove their innocence? The answer may simply be that the county wants to hold on to it.

Stratham’s attorney Michael A. Carvin reportedly wrote in the Supreme Court brief he filed, “Revenue-starved local governments are increasingly turning toward fees like Ramsey County’s in order to bridge their budgetary gaps,” adding, “But the unilateral decision of a single police officer cannot possibly justify summarily confiscating money.” He said, “Providing a profit motive to make arrests…gives officers an incentive to make improper arrests.”

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Video: Cops Seize Innocent Family’s Life Savings Using Civil Asset Forfeiture Racket

Feds Stealing More Than Thieves: Federal Civil Asset Forfeitures Exceed All Burglaries in 2014

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  • Mike

    theft by government is still theft

  • Speaking of extortion, why hasn’t this website covered the Tanya Gersh extortion racketeering operation? That significant story seems to be getting the memory hole treatment for (((some reason)))

    • Freespirit

      You’re there when Freedom needs you “Rolly”

      • You too, man, always on point with an accurate message. It doesn’t go unnoticed.

    • Freespirit

      Here is the only site I could open,Rolly, which does not try to COLLECT my personal info, regarding that Psychopath Ashkenazi Zionist, Tanya Gersh and it gives a lot of great CONTACT info:

      • Oh, man, this one is good so I took the time to craft a timeline from the website spearheading the campaign campaign against these criminals who have been caught but are receiving protection from the local, state, and feral governments because of their (((privileged status))) that I keep hearing white people have without any proof.

        Here’s a timeline that outlines the facts of the extortion racket:

        It seems strange that people are not aware of this, I (((wonder why)) they don’t know? 🙂

        • Freespirit

          Just got back to my computer and will take some time to check what you organized. Going out to do a work out first while it is a nice warm minus 9 and YES that is warm where I live.

        • Freespirit

          Could not use the DIRECT links you provided because they use that phoney TACTIC called a “Security Check” which is really a location program. They make you check the Street signs, Street numbers etcetera until they locate you and then let you in. I wont have anything to do with that, in spite of the FACT I have DISABLED Geo Location and use TOR because I am sure by now there are programs which can bypass, eventually, if you keep checking each image they present you with, the Disabled Geo Locate and EVEN TOR. IN fact my TOR was turned off once by their system, after being on for quite a while and I had to clean and reboot my computer

          I did however read thoroughly the link I gave you and I disagree with their TACTICS, EXCEPT on a case by case basis, such as with Gersh because she is the ACTUAL Criminal BUT much of what they are doing, fighting with ALL Muslims and Immigrants is simply FALLING into EXACTLY what the Zionist/Freemason Criminal CABAL want us to do – FIGHT with each other instead of with THEM

          It is simply one of the major TACTICS of “Divide, Conquer and RULE”

          If they were ONLY fighting with the PEOPLE at the TOP, who are pulling the Strings, so-to-speak, which cause all of our problems – people such as the Rothschilds ,the British Royal Family and the Vatican Jesuits, I would agree with them 100%, BUT they are not.

          They are fighting with the Victims, of those criminal psychopaths just as they themselves and we are victims. Yes there are criminals among Muslims and Immigrants, as there are among all westerners, including Americans,BUT not all are criminals, only a small minority. The REAL Problem is with the Controllers of Governments and THEIR controllers and THOSE are who they should be fighting, for ALLOWING Immigrants to come with no background checks.

          Also as a final note, Rolly, they constantly mention the word “Jews” without , at any time, noting NOT all Jews are the same. ONLY those FALSE Khazar Ashkenazi, Jews are the problems. They are the so-called “Jews”, who are NOT TRUE Jews and are the same “Jews” who have been removed from about 109 countries, since the were converted from Pagans in Khazaria. Now we know why.

          The Orthodox and Semitic Jews are NOT the problem. IN fact those Orthodox and Semitic TRUE Jews do not support or agree with the existence of Israel or of those Ashkenazi FALSE Jews. They are enemies of each other.

          By the way the word NAZI comes from their classification as AshkeNAZI. NO coincidence there and they are the REAL Nazis

          I will be sending emails to the many contacts re the attempted EXTORTION and criminality of Tanya Gersh, her family and “loyal” friends and contacts, expressing my distaste and condemning what she is doing to Richard Spencer’s mother. That is IMMORAL , but not unexpected of those type of phoney Jews.

          If I think of anything else to report to you I shall during Friday or the Weekend

          • I hear ya and I realize what you’re saying, I don’t agree with them 100% either, they treat false flags like they’re real, they mock the flat earth and they shit on women but they lead the trolling campaigns which have been extremely effective so I keep an eye on what they’re up to. I don’t partake in the hate stuff, wasted energy, but I am pro-white and not shy about saying it.

            You can right-click those links and choose “copy link location” if you’re using firefox and then paste them into a text editor first and take off the URL parameter before the link. Disqus adds URL parameters, I guess for tracking purposes, to all links. A little while ago a number of infowars articles on pizzgate were showing a 404 error when you used the disqus links but worked when you accessed them directly.

            That website was the victim of DDOS attacks because of its response to the extortion so now they do mandatory browser checks, that’s why they wanted you to do the captcha, it’s for cloudflare, it won’t even let me access it from my phone because I’m using a vpn. It didn’t use to be like that but now it is. I believe that site is controlled opposition just like this one is, it’s just much further right.

            If you use TOR with disqus you’ll get doxxed because it’s javascript. It’s best to use an open vpn protocol vpn when using disqus and it’s wise to use one when you use TOR so your ISP doesn’t see you using TOR because they watch for that and compile lists. Vpnbook is free and the Euro 1 & 2 certificates give you 8 choices of connections from Romania. Vpngate has a bunch of open vpn servers you can use also, most have a 2 week log policy, vpnbook used to be like every 3 days but nobody has switched the password in over a week now, maybe because of the holidays, I don’t know.

            If you can it’s worth checking out those links because they have all of the tweets and screen shots and other evidence that makes the failed extortion attempt clear as day for all to see.

          • Freespirit

            Thanks for the info Rolly. I’ll certainly check it out. I was using Psiphon3 but didn’t see any benefits.

            Don’t get me wrong about those “Road Warrior” types. I agree with the PRINCIPLE of what they WANT to accomplish.I just KNOW from living 76 years and fighting this fight since the late 1960’s that their tactics are, without realizing it, serving the REAL ENEMY, at the TOP of the Pyramid by what I call the CHAOS Problem using the HEGELIAN DIALECTIC tactic, They suck people and countries into WARS of DEATH and DESTRUCTION( The PROBLEM) by pitting people against other people, (REACTION)instead of ALLOWING the PEOPLE to go after the Puppeteers, like their Government leaders and their CONTROLLERS. Eventually the people DEMAND a SOLUTION and The Rothschild, British Royal Family and Vatican, who are the REAL PROBLEM , offer WORLD GOVERNMENT

            Richard Spencer and the other “Road Warriors” can only CAUSE people to DEMAND the (False) SOLUTION from Government by their tactics……..WHICH is EXACTLY what the Freemasons and Zionists want.

            They SHOULD be looking for ways to fight those FREEMASONS and ZIONISTS, starting with the UNITED STATES Corporation. The fact they do not makes me suspicious as it does you. They could be CONTROLLED Opposition, as you state, to actually help keep the American people in a state of CHAOS.

            Richard and the others remind me of my youth when we boys, in the 10 – 14 year old range, used to organize our “GANGS” to fight for what we considered causes, ONLY because we never understood the Real PROBLEMS and those behind the REAL CAUSES

            Those were PETTY problems for IMMATURE uninformed minds, as we were .

            Have a GREAT New Year Rolly and keep your “powder dry” for WHAT MAY come in the latter part of 2017

          • c_chandler

            thank you.

          • You’re welcome!

  • Freespirit

    Do Americans need more proof,, in order to REALIZE they are SLAVES ?

    Help Patriot, THOMAS LACOVARA-STEWART of Independent Media
    site“Resurrect the Republic” :

    ….. who has been arrested on TRUMPED-UP UNCONSTITUTIONAL
    NON-charges for, in actuality, helping the Bundy Family in their court
    proceedings. He is being held in Nevada, so if you and your friends can call
    Nevada Corrections to support and inquire, it should help- DETENTION
    CENTER : 503-988-3051 , SHERIFF: 503-988-3714, TOM’S ID NUMBER: 801727

  • Brian Superfly Disguise

    It costs my county $140/night to house someone at the county jail. They charge a booking fee of $50 for the arrested person to try and offset the cost the taxpayers are paying. I dont feel bad…if you’re out selling drugs and stealing cars…you deserve to loose your money.

    • varlog

      What if not only are you supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but you really are innocent?

    • I guess you don’t know what the word “innocent” means. You are either an idiot or a pig troll.

      • Brian Superfly Disguise

        So everyone arrested is “innocent”?

        • Louis Lewis

          Uh, fucking lame-brained millennial dipshit cunt: Innocent before being proven guilty. So yes, you anti-American cunt.

          • nice_boat

            wtf does being a millennial have to do with anything? How can you even know that is the case?

        • nice_boat

          No, but some are. Try to see it from an innocent person’s perspective.

        • Razedbywolvs

          YES, you idiot! Everyone who is arrested is innocent in tell proven guilty by the court, not the police or the public. That is the way it works in almost every country. Even under Sharia law you are not guilty by accusation alone.

          • Upcounty resident

            Razedbywolvs wrote: “Everyone who is arrested is innocent in tell proven guilty by the court, not the police or the public.”

            I love when sanctimonious people call others idiots & then use words like “in tell”. 😉

        • Cynical Bastard

          Duh! Yes. Innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law. That’s the way the system was founded and that’s the way it is supposed to work. It’s people like you who are f*cking it all up.

          Good lord. We are so screwed. This is straight up Idiocracy.

    • Brian Smith

      First of all, you remind me of a bunch of Hillary voters with your “you are stupid if you dont agree with me” comments you’ve posted on here. Secondly, i understand that of the 50 million arrests made each year, 100% are not all guilty, but i also know realize that 90% are not completely innocent either. Finally…there are 320 million people in the USA meaning each year, 270 million live as law abiding citizens without getting arrested at all.

    • Loog Moog

      It costs your county NOTHING. It is all part of a system that makes blood money off of the public. Fuck government !

  • John C Carleton

    Let me see if i get this right. These low life criminals, kidnap you, and then demand ransom to let you go! ok, got it, now why are all these kidnapers not in jail for violating the Laws of Nature, as well as the laws of man, (which MUST take a backseat to the Laws of Nature).


    These morons are gonna get themselves killed.

  • Whistler

    How much will it cost to have the cops turn up and not shoot your dog?

    • Probably a couple of dollars for the bullets for your gun.

  • Phil_Ossifer

    Worse yet, cops who work for departments that are eaten up with the “policing for profit” mentality are (unofficially) evaluated on the basis of how much revenue they generate and this factors (again, unofficially) into assignments and promotions. A cop would have to be pretty stupid not to know this was how he/she gets ahead in this kind of department so the only logical conclusion is that they actively condone this kind of behavior. You don’t have to be an active conspirator to be part of a conspiracy.

  • mwp2634

    “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The
    strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear
    arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in
    government.” Thomas Jefferson

    • Ignominious

      Great quote but has not been connected to Jefferson. Most likely from a 1914 debate on socialism – John Basil Barnhill said, “Where the people fear the government you have
      tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.”

  • Tatiana Covington

    If those govs are revenue-starved… them let them die.

    • SP_88

      Indeed. If they can’t stay afloat with the tax dollars allocated to them, let them make whatever cuts are necessary to make ends meet, or let them sink. It’s as simple as that.

  • c_chandler

    there is no shortfall, police get govt money. and are just greedy and usurious. charging people for their keep in jail is preposterous, you are held against your will and cannot help yourself. justice gone blind and greedy and wrong.

  • Randy Locher

    And these asshole’s still wonder why they get shot.

  • SP_88

    The police departments have always been somewhat motivated to collect revenue for the city. But it seems as though some of the more cash strapped police departments have resorted to outright extortion and theft to make ends meet. And of course, once they get the idea that this is a lucrative source of income, greed kicks in and they become a band of highway robbers who conduct shakedowns so they can get as much cash from the people as possible, while letting actual criminals get away, because there’s no money in catching bad guys anymore.
    This is a problem caused by greed, and exacerbated by the slow collapse of our economy. As our economy gets worse and worse, things like this will become more and more commonplace, and the cost to us will get higher and higher.

  • George Reichel

    Land of the Fee