A perfect example of this blatant abuse of Civil Forfeiture laws is the case of Russell Caswell, a motel owner in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. His property was seized on the grounds that possession and prostitution had taken place on his premises.
According to Fox News, “the basic accusation they used to seize his motel was that Caswell could have done more to police what was happening in his own motel. That was news to Caswell, who says over the years he had comp’d the cops free rooms and space so they could set up stings and bust drug deals going down.”
“I’ve found, which is kind of hard to believe, but I’m responsible for the action of people I don’t even know, I’ve never even met, and for the most part I have no control over them,” Caswell said in court. “And I have to rent them a room unless I have a real good reason not to or I get accused of discrimination and that kind of thing.”
“And when they do something wrong, the government wants to steal my property for the actions of those people, which to me makes absolutely no sense,” he added.
Speaking with a Fox News correspondent, Institute for Justice attorney Larry Salzman summed up it up quite well, saying that actions like these “breed a culture of take first, ask questions later.” Salzman’s words are very true. When our own Government, refuses to respect the Fifth Amendment, not only does tyranny and injustice follow, but just think about the impression it leaves in the minds of our youth who are being raised to believe that such violations are the norm.
And these incidents aren’t without their money trail, oh no. In fact, Fox News has recently reported that the Government has netted $6.3 billion dollars in 2013 through civil forfeiture. With this, all sorts of implications regarding potential abuses of power within our own justice system are raised. This is a system which is supposed to be incorruptible. The very system which we place our faith in to maintain order in our society may be ‘policing for profit‘.
It’s time to close the loophole on Civil Forfeiture laws. We already have “warrior cops” who take advantage of these laws to bankroll their departments. Protect your Fifth Amendment rights. Share this article!
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