Law enforcement for profit roundup

  • One Oklahoma official used asset forfeiture to pay back his student loans, another lived rent-free in a confiscated house [Robby Soave, Reason]
  • Per ACLU, Arizona has a one-way legal fee rule in forfeiture cases, with prevailing police allowed to collect from property owner but not vice versa [Jacob Sullum]
  • From Michael Greve, some thoughts on prosecution for profit and where money from public fines should go [Liberty and Law]
  • About the Benjamins: Philadelphia mayor-to-be cites revenue as reason to let parking officers ticket sidewalk users [Ed Krayewski, Reason]
  • Captive market: with wardens’ and sheriffs’ connivance, prison phone companies squeeze hapless families [Eric Markowitz, IB Times]
  • Former red light camera CEO pleads guilty to bribery, fraud in Ohio [Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica]
  • Taxpayers lose as Maine counties jail indigents over unpaid fines [Portland Press-Herald]
  • “St. Louis County towns continue to treat residents like ATMs” [Radley Balko]


  • If the police think that they can use the proceeds from their activities to feather their nests, then I think it would only be fair to impose the costs of their misbehavior on them directly. I would propose that any fines or judgements imposed on the police (and maybe even all the legal costs of their defense) as a result of their official misbehavior should come out of the pension funds of the entire police unit where the misbehavior occurred. The citizenry should not have to pay for the misbehavior of its employees – the miscreants should be responsible. After all, that is what the police do when they catch criminals or people they think might possibly be criminals.

    Maybe some peer pressure from retired cops who see their pensions drop will induce a sense of responsibility in the cops on the force.

  • […] talks with attorney J. Cabou about the legal fight over Arizona’s civil asset forfeiture law, which authorizes “one-way” fees to be made available to prevailing law enforcement, but not to prevailing citizens. Note, by the […]