phi (totient) wrote,

something else to get upset about

As most of my readers probably already know, a couple of guys were arrested recently in Michigan for operating a business out of a car while Arabic. They had $11,000 in cash, $20,000 in inventory, and a digital camera with some pictures on it, which some overzealous cop thought added up to a terrorism case. Turns out it doesn't, but at least this case went through the process it was supposed to go through, and no one had to figure out which country they'd been exported to to have confessions tortured out of them, and they're probably even going to be let go to get on with their lives.

That's not what I'm here to talk about.

What I'm here to talk about is what's going to happen to their cash and their inventory? They don't get it back. Current law in most of the US effectively says that cops can take anything they want and keep it for the use of their departments, and as long as they don't take it from anyone with any political power the law will probably stay that way. Even in places where the money can't be spent by the department and instead goes into an evidence locker forever, that's money that's not in M1 any more, which means the federal government can print more and spend that.

I handle large amounts of money from time to time. It used to be that I was afraid of running across a mugger on the way to the bank. Now I'm more concerned about running across a cop.
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