Letter To The Editor of NewsOK: Repeal Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

August 2, 2013 Posted by zachary

Recently, news broke out that the Caddo County DA was using a private organization to run a civil asset forfeiture ring on a 20 mile stretch of I-40. In response to this I sent in the following letter to News OK:

In response to the July 28 story, “Prosecutors return $21,227 more to Interstate 40 travelers”, This is honestly just sick. Civil Asset Forfeiture is nothing more than legalized theft by cop. We would not stand idly by if some thug was robbing us blind, but for some reason too many people just roll over and take it when the thug is wearing blues.

There are two things that we can learn from this story. The first being that civil asset forfeiture needs to go. We should not be forced to defend our property from allegations that the inanimate objects were involved in criminal activity while the owner of the property is not charged.

The Second is that we should never consent to a search of our vehicle when pulled over, nor should we voluntarily answer potentially incriminating questions, or questions that might expose us to civil asset forfeiture.  Do not tell cops you have cash.

We the people need to stand up to institutionalized thuggery. We the people need to demand the repeal of all civil asset forfeiture laws.

It was published today with these edits:

Regarding “21K seized by task force is restored” (News, July 28): Civil asset forfeiture is nothing more than legalized theft by cop. We wouldn’t stand idly by if some thug was robbing us blind, but for some reason too many people just roll over and take it when the thug is wearing police blues.

There are two things we can learn from this story: The first is that civil asset forfeiture needs to go. We shouldn’t be forced to defend our property from allegations that the inanimate objects were involved in criminal activity while the owner of the property isn’t charged. The second is that we should never consent to a search of our vehicle when pulled over, nor should we voluntarily answer potentially incriminating questions, or questions that might expose us to civil asset forfeiture. Don’t tell the cops that you have cash! We need to stand up to institutionalized thuggery. We need to demand the repeal of all civil asset forfeiture laws.

E. Zachary Knight, Newcastle

There was also another posted along side it by another concerned citizen.

In “21K seized by task force is restored” (News, July 28), District Attorney Jason Hicks said, “I believe I have done everything right.” That’s just it — he followed the examples of many task forces across our nation. These stops happen to hundreds of people every day. The forfeiture laws were intended to take away the ill-gotten gains of “drug lords,” but they have grown to include any citizen who happens to be carrying money. These crimes perpetrated by our law enforcement have been featured many times on shows like “20/20.” They know most travelers won’t make the expensive choice to come back to that state, hire a lawyer and try to get their money back. Forfeiture is a civil action. You don’t have to be guilty of anything personally. The money is the property that’s being charged with a crime — the crime of having traces of drugs on it. You can’t defend that.

I agree that Hicks has done nothing illegal under our nation’s current forfeiture laws, but in the spirit of the law he has damaged our faith in law enforcement. I hope the people of Caddo, Grady, Jefferson and Stephens counties remember that on election day.

Norma Sapp, Norman

Hopefully, this fiasco and the resulting outrage will get the Oklahoma Legislature to repeal these laws. Oklahoma is one of the worst of the worst when it comes to protection of private property from legalized theft by cop. It gets a grade of D from the Institute For Justice.

 

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *