Bronx cops can steal anything they want by calling it "evidence"


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/22/bronx-cops-can-steal-anything.html


#2
For starters, half of the clients on the Bronx Public Defenders' roster say they were never given an itemized receipt for their seized property.
But then you need a signed letter from the DA saying your stuff isn't evidence anymore. The Bronx DA doesn't give those out, generally speaking (nor does the DA's office explain why they won't send such a letter)

How can this happen? Both activities are part of due diligence in police procedures and the legal system and even with the minimal police training in the US* an absolutely fundemental building block of a constitutional state.

* compared to everywhere else


#3

#4

The most commonly seized items are wallets, cash and smartphones (when the cops seize your smartphone, you have to keep up payments on your plan, but you don’t get to use it anymore).

This is only true if you have a service contract, which most poor people I’ve known don’t. If your phone is month-to-month, you can just stop paying, and they turn off your service. There is no penalty, except maybe a reconnect charge.

You can even continue to use your service. Buy a cheapass smart phone - mine was about $60 - and have the service transferred. Presto, cops can’t call Aunt Sue on your dime any more.


#5

I continue to utterly fail to comprehend asset forfeiture. I’d have thought that “[no one shall be] deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” would explicitly cover this shit.


#6

Silly liberal, that’s only for white rich people!
[/sarcasm]


#7

They’re not depriving the people of their property. They’re just depriving the property of its liberty. Because the money itself is bad, and has done bad things, and deserves to be punished.


#8

You joke, but we actually have court cases like, “The State of NY v. $35,000 in unmarked bills.”


#9

By being used to pay for more corrupt policing.


#10

As far as I’m concerned the police should have an obligation to return the property and a failure to do so should make them liable for armed robbery charges.


#11

Yes of course. Those poor people should just hit up the nearest ATM and take out that $60 for a cheapass smart phone.


#12

#13

Ooo you scored a point on me, didn’t you! Burn!


#14

Sadly, that’s actually true… It’s like, “If they meant it to apply to everyone, they would have repeated it in the constitution at least three times!”

“Money is ‘people,’ my friends!”


#15

Well, it’s definitely not in the Right Wing(nut) Constitutional Amendments.

  1. You have freedom of religion to worship Jesus in any way you see fit.
  2. Unlimited rights to bear arms.
  3. No Homo.
  4. For the sake of our security, you can be spied on, anywhere, anywhen.
  5. Anything you say will be taken out of context and used to condemn you. If you didn’t say it, we’ll make it up anyway, with scary language like “death panels”
  6. Your access to a trials are dependent on variables, with the baseline for “fair and speedy” being granted to White Christians. Other colors and other religions should expect high wait periods and/or unfair processes.
  7. You only get a trial by jury if a corporation says that it’s okay.
  8. Cruel and unusual punishment is only prohibited for White Christians, especially wealthy ones. Members of other groups need to be punished in order to make an example of the costs of stepping out of line.
  9. If it wasn’t written in the Constitution, the states get to decide, never the federal government.
  10. The federal government can never be granted more powers. Ever.

#16

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