Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Texas police shake down drivers, lawsuit claims

TENAHA, Texas (CNN) -- Roderick Daniels was traveling through East Texas in October 2007 when, he says, he was the victim of a highway robbery.

Police in the small East Texas town of Tenaha are accused of unjustly taking valuables from motorists.

The Tennessee man says he was ordered to pull his car over and surrender his jewelry and $8,500 in cash that he had with him to buy a new car.

But Daniels couldn't go to the police to report the incident.

The men who stopped him were the police.

Read more....

Clearly asset forfeiture is a valuable tool, but it appears that it is widely abused by police and prosecutors. Asset forfeiture is also an excuse to keep the drug war going as cash-strapped departments can supplement their budgets with cash and property from suspects. It is time that states review their policies in order to prevent the kinds of abuses noted in Texas and elsewhere.


The Tenaha Police Department is returning some of the seized assets after the CNN coverage of the law suit.

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