Unless you are incredibility stupid, or actually doing something
illegal, you have nothing to fear from 99.999% of law
enforcement, and for that 0.001% of the time there is a risk,
there isn't much you can do anyway. But you have the same things
at home I'll bet.
Are you deliberately lying or is the problem that you have
not yet learned to Google before posting extraordinary claims?
Your claim is directly contradicted by
article in the New Yorker that was probably pivotal in
raising the alarm. Here is a small sample:
Yet only a small portion of state and local forfeiture cases
target powerful entities. "There's this myth that they're
cracking down on drug cartels and kingpins," Lee McGrath, of the
Institute for Justice, who recently co-wrote a paper on Georgia's
aggressive use of forfeiture, says. "In reality, it's small
amounts, where people aren't entitled to a public defender, and
can't afford a lawyer, and the only rational response is to walk
away from your property, because of the infeasibility of getting
your money back." In 2011, he reports, fifty-eight local, county,
and statewide police forces in Georgia brought in $2.76 million
in forfeitures; more than half the items taken were worth less
than six hundred and fifty dollars. With minimal oversight,
police can then spend nearly all those proceeds, often without
reporting where the money has gone.
It takes only a pinch of common sense to realize that if you
allow a group of people the right to stop law abiding citizens
and take their money and possessions with no legal repercussions
then this right will be abused.
In some places it costs well over $1,000 for a citizen to start
fighting a seizure. If the cops took $500 or less then fighting
and winning will cost at least $500 and likely thousands of
In a backhanded way, you seem to be saying that the police in
America are a bunch of nincompoops who haven't yet figured out
that it is much easier to steal smaller amounts of money from
people who can't or won't fight back than it is to steal larger
amounts of money from people who can and will fight back.
The way the system is set up, it may be impossible to provide
accurate statistics on what percentage of these civil forfeitures
had anything at all to do with criminal activity because no
criminal charges need to be filed and there are big disincentives
that prevent even completely innocent people from fighting back.
Many of the anecdotal stories in the New Yorker article show how
easy it is for civil forfeiture laws to be systematically abused
by the police. Even if the original system was created with the
best of intentions it has devolved into us basically paying the
police handsomely to violate people's Constitutional rights.