DEA takes $16,000 cash from black man on train, leaves him penniless

Then let’s take a look at the “side” that the DEA offered, shall we?

“We don’t have to prove that the person is guilty,” Waite said. “It’s that the money is presumed to be guilty.”

Either that’s a completely fabricated quote and the journalist should be sued for libel, or Albuquerque DEA head agent Sean Waite just said his agents they can take this man’s money even if they have no evidence whatsoever that he’s committed any crime.

“The money is presumed guilty?” What the fuck is that? How does legal currency commit a crime? And why is it OK to presume that the cash in a black guy’s luggage is guilty of a crime but not the money in a white guy’s hedge fund?


So you haven’t heard of civil forfeiture?

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I’m pretty sure this has been posted here before, but just in case.


The reason why civil forefiture is so popular, is because the agents accusing against the property don’t have to actually prove there was a crime, or even evidence of a crime, and they get to use the property and money however they want, because it’s not actually evidence either.

Civil Forfeiture == Legalized Robbery without any requirements for restitution or fair exchange for the seized property, unlike eminent domain.


Heard of civil forfeiture, yes. Think it constitutes a reasonable “side of the story” here, no.

DEA: Hey, try to look at the situation from our point of view. We can take your money with no evidence, no charges and no legal or personal repercussions! Of COURSE we ripped the guy off.


Stand and deliver!


The self proclaimed “Land of the Free” and “taking away someones property without trial/due process” fit together exactly how?


Um… “You have chosen to pay your taxes (,or not, to a system that enables this BS), therefore I, your public servant, am free to take any of your candy-assets that you, John Q Public, will allow me to…” I’m pretty sure its there in the constitution, if you read it right. (/e what does probable cause really mean anyway /e) /s

Wow, there’s a ‘badge’ for editing your own post? Who needs steenkin’ badges. (I’m really hoping I get something cool for this.)

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Kinda makes ya just wanna muss up his hair, eh?

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I’m thinking this agent is a friend of yours, or one very much like him. With a mindset that ‘criminals’ are fair game when it comes to being tough on ‘crime’.


You made me go Google mugshots for my own name. I do not have an uncommon name; there are quite a few.

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You shure he just isn’t a random stranger who just stumbled upon the site right after this was posted, then created an account to comment, producing 5 comments in a couple of hours, never to be heard from again once shut down by other commenters?


I did a search too. My name is a very common female name, so I expected several. The results also included images of several men including Robert Downey Jr. I found it amusing.

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Edit to add: A lawsuit against the DEA will take years to resolve and almost certainly end up costing more than $16,000. And good luck collecting punitive or consequential damages, or even interest for that matter; the principal amount would likely be the upper limit for a judicial award.

A direct replacement of funds costs $16,000 plus whatever fee is applied by the GoFundMe organization.


I know people have suggested to you several times now that he might not have a bank account, but let me posit this more strongly: he almost certainly does not have a bank account.

Tell me, why would anyone with a bank account carry around $16,000 in cash?

If you had thought for one moment, you may have realized that all your assumptions about what he should have or could have done came from a very specific background, and in general our inability to recognize the assumptions we make is a big contributing factor to the inability to empathize across class and race lines.


I do not appear to have this plausible deniability.

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Actually this is addressed in the article too:

Rivers said he carried his savings in cash because he has had problems in the past with taking out large sums of money from out-of-state banks.

A black guy falls under suspicion if he tries to withdraw large amounts of cash from an out-of-state bank, so he avoids using banks. Result: even more suspicion. He can’t win.


Clearly there must be some Other Other Michael.

Well, there is OtherMichael, Jr.:

While he does get into trouble, he doesn’t have much of a paper trail yet. And what there is is covered in crayon.


Making photos of innocent children? Pervert! Quick, confiscate his camera!

What’s next? Selling drugs?