Thursday, March 5, 2015

Policing-for-Profit exposed in Ferguson probe; still part of South Dakota's culture of corruption

South Dakota has been doing it for decades.
If we are lucky, an unfortunate era of “policing-for-profit” is coming to an end. Ferguson, and many of the surrounding jurisdictions, has been stopping drivers without the required reasonable suspicion. That’s been happening since Garrett Morgan invented the stoplight. Law enforcement officers making arrests without probable cause and using excessive force was simply a way of life, something some people found acceptable. Focused on generating revenue to support the city’s operations, officers train their eyes on people they can bully into court, people who won’t have the money to fight with a lawyer, people who will sometimes be forced to stay in jail until a mounting fine is paid — the Constitution and federal law be damned. [Blue Nation Review]
Cannabis advocate, Emmett Reistroffer weighed in on Amicus lector, the blog of Argus Leader crime and justice reporter, John Hult:
Policing for Profit also grades the states on how well they protect property owners—only three states receive a B or better. And in most states, public accountability is limited as there is little oversight or reporting about how police and prosecutors use civil forfeiture or spend the proceeds. Federal laws encourage even more civil forfeiture abuse through a loophole called “equitable sharing” that allows law enforcement to circumvent even the limited protections of state laws. With equitable sharing, law enforcement agencies can and do profit from forfeitures they wouldn’t be able to under state law.
Hult made this chart showing where the loot from drug busts goes:

The large awards to Corson County stand out:
The racial makeup of the county was 60.80% Native American, 37.19% White, 0.10% Black or African American, 0.05% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. 2.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.3% were of German ancestry.
Proceeds from seizures are netting less cash for South Dakota's police state after interested party began alerting West Coast and Colorado patriots.

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