There was no arrest, noÂ CRIMINALÂ charge. This seizure was doneÂ CIVILLYÂ in the name of the War on Drugs. This officer ASSUMED that no one in their right mind would carry $20k in cash with them, so this man must obviously be a drug dealer.
I’m not a rich man. I “get by” just like most of you. But there have been times in my life when I have possessed this much money. When I quit law enforcement, cashed out my 401k and started a business with it is one example. Another would be several times while buying houses. The point is, there are PLENTY of legitimate reasons someone would have this much cash on them and but a few illegal reasons. But this officer chose to believe that this man must be a drug dealer. Why would he think that? I’ll tell you why, and it is at the root of the recent blatant abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws.
The victim here was from out of state. That means he is less likely to complain, fight for his property or return to get it (no doubt after several court appearences).
The aggressor (the police officer) gets to turn that money over to his department to be used for anything from new boots to new weapons and almost anything in between. Federal and state laws specify categories (equipment, personnel, uniforms, etc) seized money can be used for but in most cases they are very broad and can be interpreted to mean many things.