Sunday, September 07, 2014

Stop and seize

Washington Post

After the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the government called on police to become the eyes and ears of homeland security on America’s highways.

Local officers, county deputies and state troopers were encouraged to act more aggressively in searching for suspicious people, drugs and other contraband. The departments of Homeland Security and Justice spent millions on police training.

Thousands of people have been forced to fight legal battles that can last more than a year to get their money back.

Stop and Seize: In recent years, thousands of people have had cash confiscated by police without being charged with crimes. The Post looks at the police culture behind the seizures and the people who were forced to fight the government to get their money back.

Part 2: One training firm started a private intelligence-sharing network and helped shape law enforcement nationwide. (Coming Monday)

Part 3: Motorists caught up in the seizures talk about the experience and the legal battles that sometimes took more than a year. (Coming Tuesday)

Behind the rise in seizures is a little-known cottage industry of private police-training firms that teach the techniques of “highway interdiction” to departments across the country.

(More here.)

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