Thursday, 7 May 2009

Do you have proof that it's yours?

I'm sure you've heard about the bloke who had £67000 confiscated by the police because he couldn't tell them where he got it from. Now, personally, I'd have a pretty convincing tale to tell about a pile of used fivers in my house, but that's just me. Really, the police should have investigated the money and charged him with something or gotten the fuck out of there.

But no matter how strange it is that you have £67000 in your house that you can't explain, you have admit that the police confiscating stuff without due process is a pretty rum thing:

Illinois State Police troopers seized a high-performance muscle car and set it aside for the personal use of an influential police official. The Associated Press reported that a suspected drunk driver in a 2006 Dodge Charger was pulled over in January 2007. The troopers used a state seizure law to confiscate the vehicle.

Once the paperwork was complete, the 425-horsepower vehicle -- which had an as-new base price of $38,000 -- was handed over for the personal use of Ron Cooley, 56, the Executive Director of the Illinois State Police Merit Board. Taxpayers also pick up the fuel tab for gas-guzzling 6.1 liter V-8 as he drives to and from work each day and on various business trips.

Ooookaaaaayyyyy ... So let me get this straight, the guy got bust for drunk driving, they confiscated his car and gave it to some bureaucrat ... and the taxpayer picks up the tax bill? Jesus, the US really is no better than the UK, is it?

But wait! It gets even better -- are you sitting down?

A good relationship with the merit board is essential for any state trooper looking to move up into a position of responsibility.

"The mission of the Illinois State Police Merit Board is to remove political influence and provide a fair and equitable merit process for the selection of Illinois State trooper candidates and the promotion and discipline of Illinois State Police officers," the board website explains.

Right, so in essence:

  1. The police can nick any possession of value without any recourse to judicial process, they just have to "complete some paperwork".
  2. Said policeman can then give this possession to someone who has the power to influence their career.
  3. Said influence-wielder takes his wedge from the taxpayer, including the increased fuel bill.

I can't see any problem with that, can you?


MaitresseP said...

Do they have a jobs section, I think I want to apply!

K. MacEgan said...

Why didnt he just do as the PIRA did and say "I won it in Bulgaria at a casino?" As for plodtheft one could do worse than ask PC O'Keefee of Hertfordshire who seems to think that stealing other folks property is OK.

Umbongo said...

Just a thought but the present President of the US (pbuh) is a distinguished graduate of the Illinois political system (Chicago division). Illinois generally and Chicago specifically make Louisiana (and Greece and Bangladesh for that matter) look as pure as driven snow in the matter of political corruption.

OTOH under the Illinois/Chicago "justice" system the previous inebriated owner of the car should have done what everybody else does in these circumstances (or did when I lived in Chicago). He goes to the local wardheeler and asks him/her to "intervene". Money changes hands and voila! the car is back with its rightful owner.

The boys in the Illinois State Police and on the ISP Merit Board are only trying to make a living: not an honest living I grant you but a living. At least one dubious politico has hit the career jackpot and ended up in the White House: why not Ron Cooley?

Patrick McGroin said...

could u not say you had accumelated the money from playing on the roulette machine in william hills in your lunch hour?

John Pickworth said...

Reminded me of the stories I read of cars being seized in Greece... Often on the flimsiest of excuses, the 'appropriated' vehicles are invariably handed over to another Government Dept for official use or even for the private use of the officials themselves.

The BBC tells the storyHow long before this becomes common place in Nu-Soviet Britain?