To Serve and Collect

My latest paper (co-authored with Michael Makowsky and Thomas Stratmann) is To Serve and Collect: The Fiscal and Racial Determinants of Law Enforcement (forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Studies):

We exploit local deficits and state-level differences in police revenue retention from civil asset forfeitures to estimate how incentives to raise revenue influence policing. In a national sample, we find that local fine and forfeiture revenue increases at a faster rate with drug arrests than arrests for violent crimes. Revenues also increase at a faster rate with black and Hispanic drug arrests than white drug arrests. Concomitant with higher rates of revenue generation, we find that black and Hispanic drug, DUI, and prostitution arrests, and associated property seizures, increase with local deficits when institutions allow officials to more easily retain revenues from forfeited property. White arrests are broadly insensitive to these institutions, save for smaller increases in prostitution arrests and property seizures. Our results show how revenue-driven law enforcement can distort police behavior.

We find that drug arrests, especially of blacks and Hispanics, generate revenues so police have the motive and opportunity to engage in revenue driven policing. What about the means? Arrests for murders or robbery are limited by the number of murders and robberies. Drug arrests, however, are more of a police choice variable, able to be ramped up or down almost at will. Thus, in addition to motive and opportunity, police also have the means for revenue driven law enforcement.

How can we test for this effect? In some states, police get to keep the revenues they collect from forfeitures but these states are not randomly assigned. Thus, we use deficits which are plausibly randomly assigned (relative to our variables of concern) and we identify off of the interaction of the two i.e. the marginal impact of additional budget deficits in states where seizure revenue is retained.

We find that black and Hispanic arrests for drugs, DUI, and prostitution arrests are all increasing with deficits in states where seizure revenues are legally retained while white arrests are broadly insensitive to deficits.

Our identification strategy is somewhat coarse so we are by no means the final word on this issue but surely it is time to forbid police departments from keeping the revenues they collect.

We conclude:

The prospects for justice are dimmed when the probability an individual is arrested varies not only by the character of their transgression but also by the potential windfall they present to the public coffer.

Mike Makowsky has an excellent tweetstorm going into further details.

Comments

Anecdote: Up and down the low country, local police spend the bulk of their time on I-95 trying to spot "suspicious" vehicles that might have illegal drugs on board. These are local police not state troopers whose job is to patrol the highways. I have driven past countless numbers of stopped vehicles with the passengers standing by the vehicles while the police search them. And these are not white people but mostly black and brown people. In years past many of the small towns in the southeast were known as speed traps, where local police would hide in wait for a vehicle exceeding the speed limit. I was stopped for this offense in 1968, taken to the local "jail" (it was a storefront on the town square), called home for my family to send money via western union (yes, that was a thing back then) so I could pay the fine, and be on my way. It was a racket. There are still billboards along the back highways that warn of the "speed trap ahead". But today's practice of preying on minorities, not for speeding on I-95 but for looking "suspicious", is a travesty. And it's no secret in my county or the adjacent counties that the local police are using fines and forfeitures (including the vehicles they stop) to fund "law" enforcement. Driving while black.

We're going to play against Cummings and we're going to play against Conor Casey, so we need
to decide. A doctor (Jeremy Northham) directs a
medical team (Lana Parilla, Mike Vogel) your market best trauma center in Miami.

So, incentives matter?

One hopes that the paper is long enough to provide the proper understandings of basic issues of context and interpretation, such as how a clear Constitutional prohibition against seizing property was simply ignored during the Reagan years as part of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984.

Ah, at 33 pages, it is respectively longer than Einstein's work concerning special or general relatively. Which undoubtedly means it must be even more important than the scientific papers of some physicist from more than a century ago.

Great minds think alike, I was just about to post that this AlexT statement: "Our identification strategy is somewhat coarse so we are by no means the final word on this issue but surely it is time to forbid police departments from keeping the revenues they collect." is at odds with free-market advice to align incentives with work effort. Adam Smith would disapprove of not paying police a bonus for their due diligence.

Bonus trivia: read the above.

Congratulations clockwork_prior! This seems like a pretty important paper, and as a opened the comments section, I thought to myself, "I wonder how c_p will torture this post to insult the hosts of the site!"

Mission accomplished. Not only did you get in a bizarre, off-topic dig at the Reagan administration, but some great snark concerning the length of the paper by comparing its length to an ancient physics paper. I can't quite figure out what that has to do with anything, but you've done your job in letting Alex and Tyler know you're still on the case!

Ol' c_p is doing his predictable schtick on the Emergent Ventures thread too. You can set your watch by him.

No, no. He clearly has a well thought out point. If one paper is longer than another, the longer paper MUST be more important. Everyone knows and agrees with this. Duh.

Also, the authors know this, so by writing a 33 page paper, they were intentionally signalling, "this is more important than relativity." Duh.

Nobody actually reads Prof. Tabarrok's posts, do they?

Or if they do, remember what was actually written 3 days ago.

Not sure what that has to do with your earlier point. And if you don't read his posts, why comment? If you do, then clearly N>0.

I'll remember this paper. If you can't recall things you read by Alex three days ago, that seems like a personal problem, not mine.

The link to Prof. Tabarrok's relevant post is immediately below. Which also contains the relevant quote from Prof. Tabarrok that prompted the length comparison observation in the first place.

Which it seems you had either forgotten or didn't read. The quote you pulled below doesn't stop where you stopped it. Also, general rules can have exceptions, or conditions placed on them.

See below again - my quoted comment is from September 10, 2018 at 10:53 am.

However, at this point, the threading is starting to become extremely unwieldy.

'I can't quite figure out what that has to do with anything'

Well, I'm guessing you unaware of the context involved, having not read this post from Prof. Tabarrok - https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/09/rejection-good-citation-maybe.html#comments

Where you can read Prof. Tabarrok write this '...but Science papers often leave me puzzled about basic issues of context and interpretation. This is also puzzling. Shouldn’t more important papers be longer?'

Interesting how you think that the reality of civil forfeiture starting in 1984 is snark. Libertarians, which one assumes you aren't, tend to have real problems with such clear abuse of the Constitution, and have been bemoaning it for a generation.

Maybe you should read something about it on Reason? This link will give you an idea of where to start acquiring a more informed perspective - https://reason.com/tags/civil-forfeiture Then you can replace 'civil-forfeiture' in the URL with asset-forfeiture, and enjoy reading more on the subject of how our government seizes property in a way that is clearly against not only the words, but the original intent of the Founders.

Keep reading... the quote doesn't stop with "shouldn't more important papers be longer?" It goes on:

"Or is the value of time of scientists higher than economists so it’s optimal for scientists to both write and read shorter papers? The length of law review articles would suggest that lawyers have the lowest value of time except that doesn’t seem to be reflected in their consulting fees or wages. There is a dissertation to be written on the optimal length of scientific publications."

Actually, I already responded to part of that quote in Prof. Tabarrok's original post -

''There is a dissertation to be written on the optimal length of scientific publications.'

Not in physics - there, the equations tend to be the important thing, not the words. Though it did take Einstein four papers to handle general relativity - using the original edition page counts found in wikipedia, a total of 20 printed pages, which is even less than his decade earlier special relativity paper, which was 30 pages in print.'

That a banana republic phenomenon like asset forfeiture can even exist in the US is a clear demonstration of the remarkable power that the law enforcement tribe has over the entire society. As Heinrich von Kleist's 1810 story Michael Kohlhaas illustrates, this may not end well.

Asset forfeiture is simply theft under color of law. That a violent response to its possibility could occur is predictable and justified.

A great example of asset forfeiture abuse is here. Further info is here. While thousands of taxpayer dollars have been awarded to the victims of police theft, none of the thieves have been punished.

it's amazing to me that libertarians have been complaining about this for literally 30 years and nobody has been paying attention. All the things we said would happen, have happened. The exact incentives we said would be created were created and it lead to exactly the abuses we said it would lead to.

'and nobody has been paying attention'

Even more amazing is that when you name the legal framework that allowed this abuse of government power, it is considered a 'bizarre, off-topic dig at the Reagan administration.'

I don't know why anyone would object to pointing out that this whole thing started because of the "War on Drugs" under Reagan.

You would need to ask Thelonius Nick above - he seems to think that talking about the start of civil forfeiture is an off topic dig at the Reagan Administration.

But didn't Proudhon argue property *is* theft? Double irony!

As for the MN task force, it seems, by non-US standards, rather mild abuse. The police was aiming for the toddler's mom when he kicked the toddler by mistake. And the very fact these cops got caught means the system worked. Move along, nothing to see here.

Bonus trivia: super typhoon coming in both where I'm at in PH and in DC (hurricane)! Double-whammy! Raining hard now.

Doesn't anyone read Foucault anymore!?

If you fall into the tough on crime camp, wouldn't you draw the exact oppose conclusion from this research to Alex's "but surely it is time to forbid police departments from keeping the revenues they collect."

Depends on whether you also fall into the blacks-and-Hispanics-commit-most-of-the-crime camp.

I do not think so, as police will funnel resources into stopping crime that is most profitable for them, not necessarily crime that is most detrimental to a community. Policing is a limited resource, besides there's a history of malfeasance when financial incentives and policing are intertwined.

Yes, but if you're a tough-on-crime voter, you're less likely to care that asset forfeiture is disproportionately detrimental to blacks and Hispanics if you think that blacks and Hispanics are the criminals. The cops may just want to make money, but the voters who enable them have other biases.

Police (read law enforcement) resources are far more extensive than those available to criminals, unless, like the police, you consider everyone but the police to be criminals. Most criminals, except those that are wearing police uniforms, don't have computers attached to national crime data bases in their car, can't carry exposed firearms, must generally obey traffic laws and can't beat up people that won't listen to them.

"Our identification strategy is somewhat coarse so we are by no means the final word on this issue": I do wish more investigators would enter that sort of caveat. Hats off, Mr T.

I pity the fool who publishes overconfident papers!

Brilliant idea. Well done.

Maybe criminals should not commit crimes if they do not want to lose their stuff.

Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the term "Due Process"

So that is, criminals should be free to terrorize the populace. As we say in Brazil, human rights for humans who are right.

As we also say in Brazil, "hey enough with the mugging, that's the third time this week!". Also, "time of death, 9:23PM, by fatal gunshot"

We do not say those things. Representative Captain Bolsonaro makes clear that we should protect law-abiding citizens from criminals.

Your comment is illogical. I would suggest actually learning what civil forfeiture is before commenting on it. Hint: it is NOT about the court stripping a person of ill gotten gains AFTER they have been convicted of a crime. No one is complaining about that.

So there might be an interaction effect in a regression. Were you inspired by intersectionality analysis in discovering this?

I'm disappointed with this study.

What causes the budget deficit in many of these communities? Crime is greater than revenues generated through normal taxes. Why are tax revenues falling? Because the tax base is leaving. Why is the tax base leaving? Because crime is rising. Regretfully that often follows demographic changes - from white to black and sometimes brown. Crime is increasing as the tax base falls. The police and elected officials do not wake up one day and ask how can we make life miserable for minorities they wonder how they can fight the rise in crime given declining resources. If you are selecting communities that can't fund police activities you are selecting communities that have other underlying problems.

Jesse Jackson famously decried stiff penalties for crack and lesser penalties for powdered cocaine. He claimed that was because of racism. The truth was that people were killing each other over crack. The police response and legislative response was to the violence, not race.

As violent crime increases police often revert to a Broken Window policing. They start cracking down on quality of life crimes. It is an attempt to restore order in an area of disorder. The alternative is what we see in Baltimore and Chicago.

Many small communities across America impose huge court fees on traffic violations. Annoying yes. But a racist plot. Hardly. Many rural communities with hardly a minority in sight do it.

In many communities, drug use and drug violence go hand in hand. Cracking down on the funding sources for gang activity is not the same as trying to prevent recreational drug use. Gangs tend to flourish in communities that have limited budgets, the communities you preselect.

Communities where citizens spend a small part of their disposable income on drugs are very different from areas where criminal activity funds drug activity. The police response is very different. The problem is very different.

Overall you seem to have cooked the books to get the result you wanted.

I am genuinely interested in your comments, though my position may not yet be changed you have piqued my curiosity.

You imply above that secondary of even tertiary effects of a certain crime should change how law enforcement prioritizes their policing (crack over powders cocaine since its related to more violence), but to the simple user of crack, is it a fair application of the law that they be policed more simply because of a non-related context? In the eyes of the law shouldnt both acts be considered free from context or are we to Rico off in a sense every crime that occurs in certain bad neighborhoods? I dont think just because acts may be correlated or even causally related doesnt necessarily justify a less even application of the law. It may make sense on the whole, but in individual cases with the lives of individuals at stake it does not. Especially when sentencing is so harsh.

The negative secondary effects associated with increased policing on poor neighborhoods probably has more to do with harsh sentencing and our horrid prison system than the policing itself.

In order to protect the innocent members of a community, it is often necessary to impose order. The more lawless the community the more action is required to protect the innocent. The goal is to protect the innocent and allow people to live free from fear.

I think Becker wrote about how you might need to adjust the penalties for criminal activity to achieve optimal deterrence. The penalties required to stop drug dealing in one community can be very different in another community. The penalties to stop a white collar criminal from stealing $1,000 can be very different from the penalties to stop a mugger from stealing $1,000. Not to mention the externalities from the crime are very different. In much the same way, the externalities from the crack epidemic (violence) required a much more severe response.

What does imposing order have to do with seizing the property of people who aren't charged with a crime?

It varies a lot by state but civil forfeiture in Missouri that Professor Tabarrok refers to, the statute requires a preponderance of the evidence and a criminal conviction or guilty plea and all funds go to the schools.

https://codes.findlaw.com/mo/title-xxxv-civil-procedure-and-limitations/mo-rev-st-513-607.html

State by state rules
https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/asset-forfeiture-laws-by-state.html

Could the system be reformed? Sure. I think the argument that police have a profit motive is weak.

and all funds go to the schools.

Just like state lotteries! Ha ha!

What do you mean by what we are seeing in Chicago?

No one to my knowledge has accused Chicago cops of being soft on crime, or overly concerned with miranda type niceties

The high murder rate in Chicago, the low clearance rate, many police in Chicago have gone"fetal". Don't get out much do you?

Chicago police are actually suffering from an increasing suicide rate for officers.

Can you cite any evidence the CPD has gone fetal, whatever that means

And further that this is due to a lack of agressiveness?

Can start with the blog second city cop Search fetal

Lots of data out there. Some by fbi and doj

All I saw at the blog was a cop complaining about increased scrutiny and some political squabbling with the Mayor.

THIS is the CPD https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site

That story is false. Proven false many times over. Yet some people still believe it. Amazing.

Obama was in the White House. His close ally Rahm was mayor of Chicago. Ultra-liberal Illinois Senators Durbin was in the Senate. Perhaps the Democrats are running this secret black site. I suggest you contact President Obama about this right away.

BTW how many lawsuits have been filed against the CPD or anyone else that involves the Homan Square location - zero. All the lawyers in this country and not one lawsuit related to Homan Square? Amazing.

If you believe that story, well you must go around with a nice shiny aluminum hat. At least now I know you aren't a serious person.

Yeah the guardians obviously a fake news site

The Guardian’s poor reputation is well earned. They have a history of not being able to support their claims.

Regardless, you dodged the point. If the CPD have a black site where they’re waterboarding drug dealers for some reason, where is the lawsuit?

Your claim is that there is a torture black site prison in a Democrat party stronghold ruled by Obamas chief of staff and no lawyer will bring a lawsuit.

This needs evidence.

The fact that you keep trying to make a conversation about the Chicago Police Department a referrenda on the Obama administration tells us everything we need to know about when your brain got stuck in time

What are you talking about?

The word is referendum, and you missed the point entirely.

The point is whether the story is credible, which it is not.

https://www.google.com/search?q=chicago+homicide+rate+by+year&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS757US757&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi-sY3dvr3dAhUnw1kKHdUGBH0Q_AUIDygC&biw=1543&bih=709#imgrc=YS44-ghIFE5E0M:

Chicago homicide is higher than other major cities and has spiked recently but it is still better than it was in the 90's. Absent real solid evidence, I don't buy any 'cops going fetal' and BLM scaring people too much unless you get some real data to back you up. You won't because there isn't.

There is an interesting argument about murder clearance rate versus homicide. One could argue that there's a trade off. Better policing and social change overall has reduced the homicide rate dramatically all over the country, but the clearance rate hasn't improved so much. This may not be a bad thing. Cops could argue that a decrease in crime and disorder lowers the murder rate. Or you could put you resources into investigating the murders that do happen to increase the clearance rate. But in the end wouldn't it be better if we had 50 murders with 50% of them getting solved than 200 murders with 75% solved? I suspect most murders are once in a lifetime events so a person who gets away with a murder is not likely to keep killing in many cases. We might be better off if fewer murders happen in the first place, in that case.

Chicago has a declining population. Plus the murders are largely concentrated in a few communities. Some communities remain as violent as ever but most of the housing projects have been torn down and many communities have been depopulated, buildings were torn down.

The black middle class is fleeing the city. Is that better social change?

Witnesses do not come forward in killings. Hard to solve if nobody sees anything. In the early 90's the clearance rate was 60% in 2017 it was 17.5%. Even more remarkable is that shootings where the victim survives only about 5% are cleared. With all those shooters remaining on the street is it a wonder people are afraid to come forward?

Arrests in Chicago were down 24% in 2017 from 2016. Down almost 50% since 2010. (167,3555 Vs 85,493). Why do you think?

"Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said the “steady and striking” decline in police arrests cannot be explained away by the fear police officers have of being captured on the next YouTube video.

“One problem is that our members are being excessively punished for minor or insignificant infractions. More importantly, there is a growing body of evidence that our officers are unfairly vilified, even when they conduct themselves ethically and according to the law and city policy,” Graham wrote in an emailed statement."

The murders are increasing because of increased gang violence.

Your comments are niave

"Arrests in Chicago were down 24% in 2017 from 2016. Down almost 50% since 2010. (167,3555 Vs 85,493). Why do you think?"

"Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said the “steady and striking” decline in police arrests cannot be explained away by the fear police officers have of being captured on the next YouTube video."

I'm looking at page 9 of https://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/cpb/AnnualReports/CPBAnnualReport2017.pdf. Cases of 30 day+ suspension of police officers was 6 in 2013 but only 2 in 2016 and 1 in 2017. Page 7 has total hearings from 2013-2017...cumulatively during that period 78 hearings happened and 25 cases were resolved prior to the hearing for a total of 108. Wikipedia says there are well over 12,000 officers in the CPD. Perhaps we should not take a union officials word without question?

Chicago has a declining population. Plus the murders are largely concentrated in a few communities. Some communities remain as violent as ever but most of the housing projects have been torn down and many communities have been depopulated, buildings were torn down.

The graph cited the homicide rate so a declining population by itself would not impact the graph. We do see, however, that Chicago has always been above other major cities in terms of homicide even when rates were declining.

The murders are increasing because of increased gang violence.

This would explain a lower clearance rate. Murders are easier to solve when they are intimate with clear motive and plenty of evidence. Murders where one unrelated person kills another are more difficult to solve since you need to learn a lot about the gangs or mob that is doing it. Serial killers, I suspect, are hardest to solve but we can hopefully assume those homicides are a low level 'background noise' that doesn't dramatically increase over time. This begs a lot of questions. Why were gangs so peaceful with each other a decade before? Seems a bit odd that arrests are down unless maybe that's the problem. Perhaps the criminal economy is contracting in Chicago and gangs are finding less market so the only way to survive is to expand market share.

For example, the opioid crises & smart phone app economy might mean that white drug users no longer need to drive to the 'ghetto' to buy their drugs. For distributors up the chain this isn't an issue, just shift to drug dealers out in the sticks. For the street level drug dealer, though, things could get really nasty. What might be happening might be like what is happening with cab drivers and uber drivers....if both were armed.

The police and elected officials do not wake up one day and ask how can we make life miserable for minorities they wonder how they can fight the rise in crime given declining resources.

How much have these resources declined? In fact, police departments must have virtually unlimited amounts of money that they can distribute in cases like this or this. The coercion and punishment complex is a big business with many receiving financial benefits.

OK tell Professor is research is wrong because there are no communities with declining resources.

You can have racially biased effects without a conscious effort to produce them.
In this case, I think it's possible that cops simply notice that blacks and Hispanics are either easier or more lucrative targets, so they are more likely to arrest them and/or to seize property. It's not a conscious racist plan, it's just police notice who has stuff they can seize and who they can get away with targeting. On a secondary level, if whites are the majority, and they aren't strongly affected, they will not vote on the issue of asset forfeiture reform. As we all know, every election is over vote over hundreds of issues - the majority whites just aren't paying close enough attention to care that much if asset forfeiture is having harmful effects on black communities. Nowhere is there a conscious plot to harm black people and yet you can still get incentives that produce systemically biased effects.

Are blacks and Hispanics more often drug dealers than whites? The buyers don't often get the same treatment as a dealer, and the dealer would be carrying a lot more cash to seize.

Probably, but that doesn't explain the finding of this paper, which is that asset forfeitures taken from blacks and Hispanics rise during recessions, but not whites.

So they are sub-consciously racist? Even the officers of color? I don't think so.

More likely I think after serving in a high crime area the officers become callused. After dealing daily with the victims of crime the temptation to work the penumbras of the law becomes great. It's not a desire to frame innocent people, it's a desire to see the guilty punished even when the system seems stacked against the pursuit of justice. The hypocrisy that is baked into the justice system, the sense that it is all a game where truth is a punchline can, for some, get to be too much.

So I don't think it is a racist plot. I don't think they seek out innocent people. I don't think it is motivated by enrichment. I think it is, for the police, a desire for a sense of justice - using the rules politicians give them.

For the people who make the laws, the motives can be more suspect. They pass laws that on the surface may make sense. But the enforcement of those laws frequently leads to unintended consequences.

Civil asset forfeiture happens in all sorts of cases where there is no clear harm. For instance cops taking cell phones or cash from cars stopped passing through town. The current court case is over a taking a $40000 vehicle from a man carrying less that $200 worth of marijuana. Furthermore if it was purely motivated by a desire for justice then forfeitures would not go up during times of budget cuts, which is the finding of the paper.

If the budget cuts are due to an area undergoing "change" i.e. moving into a period of higher crime and decreasing revenue it is the increasing crime that is driving the forfeitures and not the declining revenue. The key variable is increasing crime. You see more arrests for crimes in an area with declining revenue but the increasing crime is driving both more arrest and the decreasing revenues. Not sure why the study seems to assume that declining revenue is driving increased arrests. So what is driving declining revenues?

And I'm sorry but driving an expensive car through a high crime area, with drugs in the car, is a bit suspicious. Depending on the location that could be 1/4 of a pound, not exactly normal personal use level. I would suggest that you should not convey illegal substances, bad things can happen. What was the explanation for possession?

> Even the officers of color? I don't think so.

I think they know who will fight back and who will not.

It has long baffled me how so many self-described conservative lovers of our Constitution manage to step over the fact that our founders were particularly concerned with two things: ensuring that people can criticize the government, and keeping overt checks on the police powers of the government

Many conservatives do overlook the police when they step over the line, but I'll take issue with the 1st amendment argument. That's the left stepping on it all the way.

The right does its share of clamping down on public assemblies that it disagrees with

Like.....

Oh please, there's no need for you to pretend to be dumb

So no examples then. Just a baseless comment.

Cool.

Oh hey you're right. I thought back and remembered how the right supported the anti-NFTA/WTO movements and the Occupy movement and how they help walk the picket lines for every union demonstration while the cups maced and clubbed people, and I remember how the right advocated in favor of the Constitutionality of every anti war rally. And that stuff about the caged "free speech zones" during national conventions and the like were just fake news from the liberal media. And kettling by cops is fake news too.

Moron.

You made a claim. That “the right” clamps down on public assemblies that it disagrees with.

Your examples include: a city with a socialist government that hasn’t had conservative leadership in decades and the city ruled by de Blasio.

The NAFTA protest turned into a riot and was dealt with by police in one of the most liberal cities in the US.

Occupy, no one cared much until they started defacating on the sidewalks and the streets. If your position is pro street shitting then....ok. But it wasn’t the public protest that people cared about.

It’s always a hilarious spectacle when someone tries to use vague generalities instead of specifics. Instead you use specifics that show the opposite of your claim, and then throw in bullshit.

What union demonstration are conservatives showing up to and macing/beating demonstrators? Absolute nonsense.

This only exists in your mind.

Anti-war rallies were a phenomenon that existed until Obama was elected. At no point were they “clamped down.” They were a left wing city event until the presidency changed, and at no time did they encounter “clamping down.”

Obama is the cleaving point?

You are dumber than I thought?

You shift the goalposts every comment you make.

You make a factless claim, and then try to shift to a different factless claim once your point is refuted.

The anti-war movement dissipated immediately upon the election of Obama. The surge in Afghanistan provoked not a whimper.

But that isn’t even the point.

You said “the right” clamps down on peaceful demonstrations in the US when it disagrees.

Which is factually untrue.

Inasmuch as banking and insurance have devolved into legalized rackets for seizing assets from comparatively powerless people, you can’t really blame budget-strapped cops for wanting to get a piece of the action

What is this sentence even attempting to say?

"Since no banksters went to jail, your other concerns are invalid."

It's a joke, doofus.

Go back and figure out which statement triggered you into shutting your brain down.

So just back to throwing shit at the wall.

Carry on then.

What is this sentence even attempting to say?

It’s more than one sentence.

You spewed forth a vague mood affiliation emote. The logical conclusion would be that you have an irrational hatred of “banking and insurance” and are trying to equivocate literal theft by police with actuarial policies and loans.

So a bank signing a mortgage is the same as a corrupt policeman robbing a black family.

There are definitely moronic statements in this thread, but they are not written by me.

Maybe ask the community college you attended for a refund?

Nice work, for decades I've been baffled by the civil forfeiture laws that practically invite law enforcement to pursue rents by seizing property. This should be something that outrages libertarians, conservatives, and liberals alike -- but there has been little motion towards reform.

It's horrible and one of the few bright spots of Eric Holder's time as AG was the federales backing away from the civil forfeiture.

I said in the other thread about helping the poor is to stop squeezing them. If you have to raise my taxes so city hall can function, okay. I would rather you raise my taxes so government can operate instead of destroying the poor and then raising my taxes anyway to support a welfare state that the government created.

"First, do no harm." Can we please do that? If the tax bill cannot pass the voters then deal with that problem.

Whenever someone does make an effort to rein in asset forfeiture, law enforcement, their unions and their apologists, who include Jeff Sessions and the frequently-published Heather MacDonald rush to their defense, typically opining that without asset forfeiture the country will be overrun by brown barbarians.

Actually, it is a desire to protect the innocent people of color trapped in crime infested communities. Giving their children a chance at a brighter tomorrow and a safer today. If you care about such things

The desire to protect the innocent people of color doesn't correlate with taking their money and belongings, no matter where they might be trapped. In fact, many asset seizures are made on interstate highways, or even Amtrak trains, that aren't part of any particular crime infested community.

There's also high rates of violence in rural white communities. Imagine if Obama sent an army of BATF cops into Redneck country to not only lock up people for violations of the few gun control laws we have but also confiscate their pickup trucks, trailer parks, bank accounts, and anything else laying around that could be auctioned off on ebay. Would the result be thank yous and praise for increasing safety?

BTW, who exactly in these 'crime infested communities' are buying all the drugs that are coming into them to be sold? If you were serious about this then you should be advocating confiscating the homes of any white person caught leaving a drug area with drugs. After all he is almost certainly heading home with illegal drugs so his home would be an illegal drug house as well. Imagine if, say, Sarah Palin was told because her daughter was caught driving a car registered to her mom with some pills and weed in it, not only would the state be taking the car but also her mansion to be auctioned off for the crime relief fund. I think either drugs would be legalized in less than a year or the 'drug problem' would evaporate almost overnight.

Please list the specific rural white communities that you think should be targeted and why? Give a top ten target list.

People who buy drugs, drug addicts, are often viewed as being in need of rehab. If you think that should stop please write your elected officials.

Some communities do confiscate cars of the patrons of prostitutes or publish their names and pictures. People regardless of color are arrested in drug sweeps across the country.

I was unaware that white gangs have infiltrated inner cities and taken over the drug trade. Please list where this has happened.

Please list how many parents have had their homes confiscated because of their children using drugs?

BTW the use of Obama phones has made the delivery of drugs to drug users a much more efficient system than the old open drug markets. Go through many inner cities and see the little sun shelters set up to sell the phones. They have proven very helpful in the drug trade in many cities.

Delivery of drugs to who from whom? Obama phones? There are no such things.

"lock up people for violations of the few gun control laws"

Pretty strong argument against gun control laws, as you rightly note that gun control laws, like the laws mentioned here, are and would be largely disproportionately enforced against blacks (and Hispanics.) See stop-and-frisk.

You might as well ask what would be the reaction if cops in this very study enforced speeding and forfeiture laws the same way. It doesn't happen, which is a good prudential argument against gun control laws.

Comment section here is great!

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