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Forfeiture Dollars at Work

On June 28, 2011, in Drug War, by John Payne

The McAllen, Texas Police Department just acquired this monstrous vehicle for its SWAT team:

This modified Ford F-550 features “11 gun ports, a rotating turret and room for 10 officers.” And just how did the department raise the $150,000 to pay for this makeshift tank? From “[c]ash and other assets seized during police operations.” Naturally.

It’s really rather seamless. The police conduct SWAT raids to seize assets, so they can buy enormous war machines to conduct more SWAT raids to raise more money, and so forth.

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2 Responses to “Forfeiture Dollars at Work”

  1. [...] Yes, that could end very badly with innocent people and police officers killed in the confusion. What Fox does not mention is that these dangers exist in every SWAT raid, which is a damn good reason why SWAT teams shouldn’t be deployed except to deal with inherently violent situations. Unfortunately, it appears that SWAT teams are mostly used to serve search and arrest warrants, frequently for non-violent drug offenses. This unnecessarily endangers both police and civilians and carries enormous monetary costs, which encourages SWAT teams to look for methods of self-financing, such as asset forfeiture. These things ain’t cheap, after all: [...]

  2. [...] Yes, that could end very badly with innocent people and police officers killed in the confusion. What Fox does not mention is that these dangers exist in every SWAT raid, which is a damn good reason why SWAT teams shouldn’t be deployed except to deal with inherently violent situations. Unfortunately, it appears that SWAT teams are mostly used to serve search and arrest warrants, frequently for non-violent drug offenses. This unnecessarily endangers both police and civilians and carries enormous monetary costs, which encourages SWAT teams to look for methods of self-financing, such as asset forfeiture. These things ain’t cheap, after all: [...]

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