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A thread about police brutality continued

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Anonymous, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    No Jail Time for Virginia Sheriff's Captain Charged with Child Porn Distribution | Photography is Not a Crime

    Quote:

    Chesterfield Captain Donny Lewis Dixon, 40, was arrested and charged with distribution of child porn after police executed a search warrant on his home.

    However, Dixon will serve no jail time after reaching a plea deal in which he entered a written agreement with Hanover County prosecutors agreeing to be convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to WTVR.

    He also will not have to register as a sex offender, since the felony charge was dropped as part of the agreement.
    Dixon received a sentence of one year in jail after his conviction.

    However, the jail term will be suspended if he follow the conditions of his probation, which include no unsupervised visits with minors he isn't related to and undergoing therapy.

    Defense attorney Peter Baruch said there wasn't enough evidence to pursue felony charges in the case.

    "Rather than run the risk of a trial, we agreed to something that was a misdemeanor, did not involve the need for sex offender registration," he said.

    Dixon has since resigned from his position as captain at the Chesterfield County jail following his arrest, according to Richmond.com.

    Source: https://newsmaven.io/pinacnews/publ...ild-porn-distribution-23NSscA-PkmjhDT4yHBLaw/
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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Louisiana Cop Arrested on 40 Counts of Sexually Abusing Animals and Recording it | Photography is Not a Crime

    Quote:

    Bossier City police officer Terry Yetman, 38, was arrested and charged on 20 counts of sexual abuse of animals by performing sexual acts with an animal as well as 20 counts of sex abuse of animals by recording sexual acts with an animal.

    After receiving a tip in August, Louisiana State Police began an investigation into Yetman's activities with animals. Police then obtained a warrant to search his electronics and found pornographic videos, which showed Yetman performing the acts before charging him with the crimes.

    Continued at https://newsmaven.io/pinacnews/cour...mals-and-recording-it-G-AGSnfR3kGmtQIPNmp49w/
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    North Carolina Police Chief Jailed for Choking Wife Says "I'm the Fucking Chief" | Photography is Not a Crime

    Every state has them, you know that small town police chief that thinks they own the world.
    In Newton Grove, North Carolina, it is the police chief who choked his wife during an argument on Wednesday, suggesting it was his legal right to do so.

    "I'm the fucking chief," Newton Grove Police Chief told Johnston County sheriff's deputies who responded to a 911 call that he was abusing his wife. The 48-year-old man was arrested on domestic violence charges anyway.

    It all started when Harrrell's wife was sitting in her van Wednesday afternoon on a phone call with her brother when her husband stepped outside their shared home and became agitated, The Daily Record reports.

    Harrell then told his wife, “I have guns” before making a gesture with his hand like a gun.

    As their two young children watched, Harrell then grabbed his wife by the neck. Johnston County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the couple's home where the chief said, “Big deal, that ain’t no assault.”

    As deputies asked Harrell to confirm his identity, he said, “I’m the fucking chief.”

    Deputies say they observed red marks on the wife’s neck. Harrell also played deputies an audio recording from an earlier fight between the couple. In that recording Harrell is heard calling his wife a, "Goddamn bitch."

    Harrell eventually decided to stop speaking with deputies on scene and instead demanded a lawyer. When deputies handcuffed Harrell he told deputies:

    “This is fucking bull shit. You’re not looking after me.”

    Harrell told a magistrate that he felt unsafe being held in the county jail, so Harrell was released on a $1,000 bond, and the magistrate ordered him not to have any contact with his wife.

    Continued at https://newsmaven.io/pinacnews/cour...i-m-the-fucking-chief-MQnuWCOnyUWYhb5Pxa3wMw/
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Colorado Judge Sentences Cop who Raped Handcuffed Woman to 90 Days in Jail | Photography is Not a Crime

    She tried to check herself into a hospital for alcoholism but the cop ended up driving her home and raping her.

    Quote:

    Broomfield District Court Judge F. Michael Goodbee let a police officer who raped a handcuffed woman he was supposed to be helping off easy, handing him just 90 days in jail plus only four years of probation on November 29.

    Just ninety days in jail for sexually assaulting an intoxicated and handcuffed woman in his custody.

    His victim now has PTSD as a result of being raped by Westminster police officer 41-year-old Curtis Lee Arganbright, according to the Denver Post.

    Officer Arganbright brought his patrol car to a stop before ordering the intoxicated woman out of his vehicle and forcing her to have sex on the front of it while she was still handcuffed, according to his arrest affidavit.

    Moments before being raped, the woman had admitted herself into St. Anthony North Health Campus Hospital for alcoholism before hospital staff began accusing her of attempting to steal items in the emergency room. That's when Arganbright was dispatched to the hospital to sort things out.

    After arriving, Arganbright and the hospital came to an agreement not to press charges against the 36-year-old woman only if he would drive her home. During that trip home in the early morning hours is when Argainbright sexually assaulted the woman.

    She returned to the hospital the following day saying she'd been raped. Detectives from the Broomfield Police Department were called to investigate and brought along a rape kit.

    After the rape kit was performed, officer Arganbright was arrested and then placed on paid leave before he eventually resigned from the Westminster Police Department, a move bad cops often make in order to be eligible for jobs with other departments.

    Chief Deputy District Attorney Trevor Moritzky refused to push the case to trial for felony rape charges.

    Instead, in spite of his tough rhetoric, he offered the disgraced former cop a plea bargain with only 90 days of jail, if he pleaded guilty and agreed to register as a sex offender.

    "The victim in the case was physically unable to be present for the sentencing hearing but her mother told the judge that her daughter was brutally raped and suffers extreme PTSD because of Arganbright’s actions," a written statement from the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office in Colorado said.

    "Chief Deputy District Attorney Trevor Moritzky told the court that as a Westminster police officer, Arganbright was entrusted with protecting those most vulnerable in the community and that Arganbright abused that trust. He said Arganbright continued to blame the victim. Arganbright chose this victim because she was vulnerable, he said."

    But Broomfield District Court Judge F. Michael Goodbee, who had the only chance to refuse the plea bargain once it was agreed upon, signed off on the plea bargain Moritzky made with the state, which allows Arganbright to serve just 90 days in jail for raping a drunken handcuffed woman.

    Moritzky used tough rhetoric to explain why he failed seek justice vulnerable member of the community attacked by a sworn, uniformed police officer, but has apparently failed to deliver.

    And Judge Goodbee implied he was sending a tough message with his tough rhetoric to other officers to not rape vulnerable people in their custody and re-establishing trust with community members. But he signed off on the sentence, finalizing it, allowing Arganbright to plead guilty to official misconduct and misdemeanor unlawful contact for raping a woman.

    Continued at https://newsmaven.io/pinacnews/cour...an-to-90-days-in-jail-eRAn1Kqn_ECIzMgLKVUiJg/
  5. LAW
    More Police Officers Died From Gunfire Than Traffic Incidents In 2018, Report Says
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    December 27, 201810:25 AM ET
    BILL CHAPPELL
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    [IMG]

    As of Dec. 27, this year 144 federal, state and local law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty — a rise from the 129 officers killed in 2017. Here, wounded Dekalb County Police K9 Indi stands by his handler's side during a funeral service for Edgar Flores on Dec. 18 in Georgia.
    John Bazemore/AP


    More law enforcement officers were shot and killed in the line of duty in 2018 than last year, driving a 12 percent overall increase in the number of officers who died on the job, according to preliminary data from The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

    "Firearms-related fatalities were the leading cause of officer deaths, with 52 officers shot and killed in 2018," the NLEOMF says. That's a rise from 2017, when guns were involved in 46 officer deaths.
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  6. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Can not un-imagination
  7. California authorities arrest, identify suspect and 5 others in officer's shooting death

    By Jay Croft and Amir Vera, CNN

    Updated 7:23 PM ET, Fri December 28, 2018







    Suspect was fleeing to Mexico, sheriff says
    Arriaga came to the United States illegally and was believed to have been fleeing to Mexico, Christianson said. The sheriff elaborated on Arriaga's history, explaining that he was arrested twice previously for DUIs and has known gang affiliation.
    [IMG]

    Adrian Virgen

    Arriaga's brother, Adrian Virgen, 25, and coworker, Erik Razo Quiroz, 32, were arrested Thursday for accessory after the fact to a felony. Virgen was arrested in Hanford and Quiroz in Modesto, Christianson said.
    He said they were trying to protect Arriaga, who was trying to go to Mexico.
    [IMG]

    Erik Razo Quiroz

    "That was his goal, to get across the border," he said.
    Christianson said Virgen and Quiroz were also in the United States illegally.
    Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said two men and a woman were arrested at the same home where Arriaga was found for aiding and abetting the suspect.
    The Kern County Sheriff's Office identified the three as Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, 59; Erasmo Villegas, 36; and Maria Luisa Moreno, 57.
    Youngblood said he could not confirm whether the three were in the country illegally.
    Youngblood also added that handcuffs owned by Singh were used in Arriaga's arrest.
    "Officer Singh's handcuffs were brought down, and they're on that guy for his trip home," Youngblood said.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/28/us/suspect-arrest-california-police-officer-killed/index.html
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  8. [IMG]
    Arriaga is accused of killing Newman police officer Ronil Singh — who, like him, was an immigrant.

    The 8-year veteran was on patrol Wednesday when he spotted Arriaga driving a car without a license plate. He pulled him over and began investigating whether Arriaga was drunk, prompting him to open fire and flee.
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  9. Slain officer Ronil Singh's wife, infant son and K-9 escorted to candlelight vigil

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    [IMG]

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  10. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Police encounter highlights tense race relations | The Associated Press



    "Two Milwaukee police encounters involving men believed to be armed over the course of 15 months ended dramatically different and with the question of how race factors into officers' actions."

    Police confront 2 men, 1 white, 1 black: Only 1 is shot | The Associated Press

    Quote:

    In the course of 15 months and in the space of one city block, Milwaukee police twice encountered two suspects they believed were armed. One was black; one was white. One was in fact unarmed; one had a gun. One was shot; one was not.

    That the black man was the one who was shot — though he had no weapon — might come as little surprise at a time when police shootings involving black men seem commonplace nationally.

    Milwaukee has been an epicenter. In 2014, Dontre Hamilton , a mentally ill man, was shot 14 times by police. In August 2016, 23-year-old Sylville Smith was killed by an officer. After the first, the city equipped police with bodycams; after the second, there were riots.

    The shooting of 19-year-old Jerry Smith Jr. in 2017 did not set off similar convulsions. And the blood-free resolution of the standoff involving 20-year-old Brandon Baker this past November drew little notice. But taken together, they prompt a difficult and unanswerable question:

    If their races were reversed — if Smith were white, and Baker were black — would Baker have been the one who was left bleeding and writhing in pain?

    Continued at https://www.apnews.com/aba8f6998ba54b06acfde0dccdc8819f
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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Secret NYPD Files: Officers Who Lie And Brutally Beat People Can Keep Their Jobs

    Internal NYPD files show that hundreds of officers who committed the most serious offenses — from lying to grand juries to physically attacking innocent people — got to keep their jobs, their pensions, and their tremendous power over New Yorkers' lives. A BuzzFeed News investigation.

    March 5, 2018

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/articl...-files-hundreds-of-officers-committed-serious

    A Huge Review Of How The NYPD Disciplines Officers Is About To Be Completed And Could Be Made Public Soon

    The review came after a BuzzFeed News investigation revealed the NYPD allowed about 300 employees to keep their jobs despite committing fireable offenses.

    January 14, 2019

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/articl...of-how-the-nypd-disciplines-officers-is-about
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Dashcam Video of Officer Jason Van Dyke Shooting Laquan McDonald



    Judge Acquits Officers for Covering Up Laquan McDonald Murder

    By Michael Harriot, The Root, January 17, 2019

    Quote:

    Again.

    Two months after a jury found Officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, a judge decided that the police officers whose remarkably similar false accounts of the incident delayed justice for more than four years were not guilty of trying to cover up the murder, according to the Associate Press.

    To be clear, the judge knew that former Detective David March, former Officer Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney filed false reports that seemingly absolved Van Dyke of any wrongdoing. Everyone who saw the video, including other police officers who testified, agreed that the footage conclusively showed that the cops, charged with official misconduct, obstructing justice and conspiracy, had lied.

    Associate Judge Domenica Stephenson disagreed.

    Citing the fact that McDonald’s body moved while Van Dyke was pumping it full of bullets, Stephenson noted that the video contradicted the police reports but that she could find no evidence of a conspiracy in the prosecution’s “weak case.”

    “The entire Cook County legal system (is) corrupt,” McDonald’s great uncle told reporters, according to the Tribune. “This judge had made up her mind … to make sure these officers never saw the inside of a jail.”

    On October 14, 2014, Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in 14 seconds in the middle of a busy Chicago street. As soon as the shooting was over, police walked inside a nearby Burger King whose cameras covered the area of the shooting and asked the manager where they kept the video equipment. When police left after two hours, the manager told everyone that the cops had deleted the evidence and that 86 minutes of footage was missing from the recording.

    In the absence of the surveillance video, three officers gave nearly identical statements, writing that Van Dyke shot McDonald after the teenager ignored verbal commands and continued to swing a knife. The officer’s statements all corroborated Van Dyke’s story that he shot McDonald 16 times because the boy kept trying to get up.

    Then the video came out.

    The Root’s Anne Branigin reports:

    That dashcam shows Van Dyke shooting McDonald as he faced away from the officer—clearly posing no threat. It also shows Van Dyke continuing to unload round after round into McDonald’s body as he lay crumpled on the ground, unable to get up.

    “Not a single police officer on the scene who wrote up a summary of what they saw said anything that can be reconciled with the video,” Michael Robbins, one of the attorneys representing McDonald, told NPR, adding that the move to cover up McDonald’s death was “instinctual” and “immediate.”

    But the officers’ attorneys claim all they did was file paperwork with a few mistakes—and that it isn’t a crime to file an inaccurate police report, writes the Tribune.

    The defense also claims that the meeting between officers hours after McDonald’s shooting was common practice after police shootings—which, frankly, shouldn’t make anyone feel better, especially given how departments around the country have come under increasing scrutiny for their conduct.

    This is why it is impossible to believe there are good cops.

    In the year between McDonald’s death and the release of the video, not a single one of the police officers who witnessed McDonald’s death stepped forward and accused Van Dyke of murder. Even now that he has been convicted, the officers of the Chicago Police Department still know that their code of silence is state-sanctioned and legally protected.

    Maybe our president should build his wall out of that thin blue line that separates police officers from justice.

    It is impenetrable.

    Source: https://www.theroot.com/judge-acquits-officers-for-covering-up-laquan-mcdonald-1831849268
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jason Van Dyke Sentenced To 81 Months In Prison For The Murder Of Laquan McDonald | WBEZ

    https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-new...mcdonald/c4772d99-6b88-45b7-bc2d-49b565fd9cfc

    Jason Van Dyke sentenced to 6 3/4 years in prison for killing of Laquan McDonald | Chicago Tribune

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news...jason-van-dyke-sentencing-20190118-story.html

    Jason Van Dyke Is More Than a Murderer. He Damaged an Entire City. | Chicago Magazine

    https://www.chicagomag.com/city-lif...re-Than-a-Murderer-He-Damaged-an-Entire-City/

    Laquan McDonald relative unhappy with sentence | Associated Press

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/cr...icer-who-shot-Laquan-McDonald-to-13544280.php

    Rulings in Laquan McDonald cases leave police reformers questioning if progress has been made | Chicago Tribune

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news...ald-jason-van-dyke-legacy-20190118-story.html

    Who walks away from the Laquan McDonald case? The politicians. | Chicago Tribune

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news...on-van-dyke-sentence-kass-20190118-story.html
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    The NYC Council Criticized The NYPD For Not Disciplining Officers

    Following a BuzzFeed News investigation that found officers who physically attacked innocent people and lied to grand juries got to keep their jobs, the city council is now considering new laws that would increase transparency.

    By Kendall Taggart, BuzzFeed News, February 7, 2019

    Quote:

    New York City Council members took NYPD officials to task at a hearing on Thursday for failing to discipline officers and a general lack of transparency about the discipline process.

    Donovan Richards, chair of the council's Public Safety Committee, said he was concerned about “officers that act as if they are above the law and the system that does not hold them accountable.”

    During the hearing, council members grilled top NYPD brass about the findings of a BuzzFeed News investigation that found the department let officers who lied and used excessive force remain on the job.

    The city council is now considering several laws that would require the department to release more details about its discipline process, look into standardizing penalties for misconduct, and ensure that the NYPD provides prosecutors with information about officers’ records so they can assess their credibility.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, in a letter previously obtained by BuzzFeed News, said the department was failing to provide it with sufficient information about officers who had lied.

    “These limitations frustrate our ability, not only to prepare for trial, but to make early assessments of witness credibility, explore weaknesses in a potential case, and exonerate individuals who may have been mistakenly accused,” wrote Carey Dunne, the general counsel for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, in the May 18 letter, adding that their concerns were shared by all five of the city’s prosecutors offices.

    Continued at https://www.buzzfeednews.com/articl...ty-council-calls-for-new-laws-nypd-discipline
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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jason Van Dyke, Cop Who Murdered Laquan McDonald, Beaten in Prison

    Quote:

    The former Chicago police officer who was convicted of killing black teenager Laquan McDonald has been assaulted in prison, the ex-cop’s attorney has told USA Today. Jason Van Dyke was sentenced to seven years in prison for second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm for the 2014 shooting.

    Jennifer Blagg, an attorney assisting Van Dyke on his appeal, claims he was assaulted by fellow inmates soon after being transferred to a prison in Connecticut this month.

    Another source close to the Van Dyke family told USA Today that Van Dyke suffered facial injuries in the attack.

    “Jason runs into problems because of what he represents and there are inmates who resent that and would be proud to say they are the guy that beat him up or hurt him,” said Blagg.

    Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times. The shooting was captured on dash-cam video, which appears to show McDonald walking away from Van Dyke when he opened fire.

    Source: https://www.thedailybeast.com/cop-who-murdered-black-teen-laquan-mcdonald-beaten-in-prison

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  17. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Houston Police To Cease 'No Knock' Warrants, Chief Announces After Deadly Raid | NPR

    Quote:

    Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says his department will stop serving "no knock" search warrants, weeks after a raid on a house left two married suspects dead and five officers injured. Acevedo also reiterated that the officer who led that raid may face criminal charges.

    "The no-knock warrant's going to go away, kind of like leaded gasoline in our city," Acevedo said. He added that raids that stem from those warrants would only be used in very limited cases — and that they would not be used to nab people suspected of dealing small amounts of drugs.

    "You're going to see those going away," he said.

    Acevedo announced the policy shift Monday night during a town hall meeting hosted by the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice. The event gathered criminal justice officials and politicians with local activists and members of the public — who vented their anger over the deadly raid and what they called the police's overreliance on informants and searches rather than investigation.

    The chief gave few new details about suspicions the lead officer in the raid may have lied about getting a tip about the target house from a confidential informant. Acevedo said the officer is still getting paid as the investigation proceeds, saying the arrangement is required legally but goes against his own opinion.

    "I'm very confident that we're going to have criminal charges on one or more police officers," Acevedo said Monday.

    But as the chief spoke those words, he was interrupted by shouts from the crowd, as people yelled, "All of them."

    Acevedo replied that charges will be filed "against whoever is appropriate."

    Dennis Tuttle, 59, and Rhogena Nicholas, 58, died in the Jan. 28 raid, which had been planned after an informant purportedly told police the couple's house was used for heroin dealing.

    No heroin was found at the residence, and Acevedo and the Houston police were forced to backtrack after initially saying the two suspects had opened fire on officers as soon as they reached the door of the house in the Pecan Park neighborhood, south of downtown Houston. The official narrative changed after it emerged that the police seemed to have opened fire first — shooting the couple's dog.

    Continued at https://www.npr.org/2019/02/19/6959...ck-warrants-chief-announces-after-deadly-raid
  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Supreme Court Just Struck a Huge, Unanimous Blow Against Policing for Profit

    By Mark Joseph Stern, Slate, February 20, 2019

    Quote:

    The Supreme Court struck an extraordinary blow for criminal justice reform on Wednesday, placing real limitations on policing for profit across the country. Its unanimous decision for the first time prohibits all 50 states from imposing excessive fines, including the seizure of property, on people accused or convicted of a crime. Rarely does the court hand down a ruling of such constitutional magnitude — and seldom do all nine justices agree to restrict the power that police and prosecutors exert over individuals. The landmark decision represents a broad agreement on the Supreme Court that law enforcement’s legalized theft has gone too far.

    Wednesday’s ruling in Timbs v. Indiana, authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is sharp and concise. It revolves around a single question of extraordinary importance. The Eighth Amendment guarantees that no “excessive fines” may be “imposed,” an ancient right enshrined in the Magna Carta and enthusiastically adopted by the Framers. But the Bill of Rights originally applied only to the federal government, not the states. After the Civil War, the 14th Amendment was ratified to apply these rights to the states, which had engaged in grotesque civil rights violations to perpetuate slavery. The Supreme Court, however, slowly applied (or “incorporated”) these rights against the states one by one, not all at once. And before Timbs, it had never incorporated the Excessive Fines Clause — allowing states to exploit their residents for huge sums of cash and property.

    They did so through civil asset forfeiture, a process that we would call theft in any other context. Here’s how it works: Prosecutors accuse an individual of a crime, then seize assets that have some tenuous connection to the alleged offense. The individual need not be convicted or even charged with an actual crime, and her assets are seized through a civil proceeding, which lacks the due process safeguards of a criminal trial. Law enforcement can seize money or property, including one’s home, business, or vehicle. It gets to keep the profits, creating a perverse incentive that encourages police abuses. Because the standards are so loose, people with little to no involvement in criminal activity often get caught up in civil asset forfeiture. For instance, South Carolina police tried to seize an elderly woman’s home because drug deals occurred on the property — even though she had no connection to the crimes and tried to stop them

    Tyson Timbs is not quite so sympathetic, but his story illustrates the injustice of limitless forfeiture. In 2015, Timbs was charged with selling heroin to undercover officers in Indiana. He pleaded guilty. A trial court sentenced him to a year of house arrest, five years’ probation, and an addiction-treatment program, which helped him overcome his opioid addiction. The court also ordered Timbs to pay $1,203 in fines and fees. So far, so fair.

    But then Indiana hired a private law firmto seize Timbs’ Land Rover, which he used to transport heroin. The firm filed a civil suit to obtain the car, valued at $42,000 — more than four times the maximum fine for his drug conviction. (Under Indiana law, the state and its chosen firm would get to split the profits.) Timbs fought back, alleging that the forfeiture constituted an “excessive fine” under the Eighth Amendment, applied to the states through the 14th Amendment. The Indiana Supreme Court disagreed, holding that SCOTUS had never incorporated that particular clause against the states.

    At oral arguments in November, multiple justices seemed incredulous that Indiana even raised that argument. “Here we are in 2018, still litigating incorporation of the Bill of Rights,” Justice Neil Gorsuch scoffed to Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher. “Really? Come on, General.” And on Wednesday, every justice agreed that the 14th Amendment applies the guarantee against excessive fines to the states. In her majority opinion, Ginsburg traced the right back to the Magna Carta through the English Bill of Rights and the Virginia Declaration of Rights, all of which heavily influenced the U.S. Constitution. By the time the 14th Amendment was ratified, 35 of the 37 states explicitly barred excessive fines. And during debate over ratification, congressmen noted that Southern states were using punitive fines to subjugate newly freed blacks. The framers of the 14th Amendment plainly intended to incorporate the Excessive Fines Clause to rein in these “harsh inflictions … almost reenacting slavery.”

    “In short,” Ginsburg wrote, surveying this evidence, “the historical and logical case for concluding that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Excessive Fines Clause is overwhelming.” She also swatted down Indiana’s fallback argument that the clause does not apply to proceedings over an individual’s property, holding that these forfeitures still qualify as “fines” that trigger constitutional scrutiny. Gorsuch and Justice Clarence Thomas wrote separately to quibble with a doctrinal matter: They argued that the Privileges or Immunities Clause is the proper vehicle through which to incorporate the Bill of Rights — not the Due Process Clause, as is generally accepted. This cavil has no bearing on the outcome of the case.

    In one sense, Ginsburg’s opinion is sweeping — it finally opens the federal courthouse door to victims of civil asset forfeiture, like Timbs, who believe they’ve been wronged. But Wednesday’s decision leaves some questions unanswered. The court has already ruled that when the federal government seizes money or property, the fine must not be “grossly disproportional to the gravity of [the] offense.” Presumably, this same standard now applies to the states. But when is a forfeiture grossly disproportionate? Does Indiana’s seizure of Timbs’ Land Rover meet this standard? Ginsburg didn’t say, instead directing the Indiana Supreme Court to evaluate the question. Prepare for a flood of litigation urging federal courts to determine when civil asset forfeiture crosses this constitutional line.

    There is, regardless, a great deal to celebrate in Timbs v. Indiana. At long last, SCOTUS has put a federal check on states’ multimillion-dollar civil asset forfeiture schemes. People like Tyson Timbs will have a fighting chance of getting their stuff back when the states seize it for profit. The Supreme Court is unlikely to end policing for profit in one fell swoop. But on Wednesday, it sent a clear message to states like Indiana that the days of largely unregulated abusive forfeiture are over.

    Source: https://slate.com/news-and-politics...ules-against-civil-forfeitures-rbg-timbs.html
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