Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Warning For Everyone - No One Is Immune From This

You may have heard about this, but here is a feature article from the Washington Post, a reasonably well respected newspaper regardless of anyone's political persuasions. The article is about the Washington Metro Police Department - supposedly, one would think, in our nation's capital, a pillar of virtue. Not so! Read the story but, especially watch the video the Post produced.

It doesn't appear to matter what your race is or reason for being anywhere. I get the impression police are being trained to profile any vehicle they believe will contain a sizable amount of cash regardless of whether the vehicle is a "beater" or a luxury vehicle or anything between.

By the way, this has mostly been used by counties, small towns and villages, but as the big cities are realizing how much this "highway robbery" can bring in to be used to fund their departments, it appears they are raising the bar.

Read the Post article here and view the video:

Obviously, it's still a relatively small fraction of the traveling public who end up being targeted. But, the number is growing and so is the number of consulting/training companies who earn millions by teaching police how to "highway rob" with intimidation. They use interdiction methods specifically designed to catch smugglers and drug traffickers. But, the vast majority of the victims of these interdictions are innocent people like you and me. 

Just one more thing to be aware of. I guess we have to all make sure we don't carry any large sums of cash with us anywhere. You never know when you may become the next target or where it may happen. But usually, it will be at some serious distance from your home base. 

Here is something interesting. This is a current definition of "Police State" from the Urban Dictionary:

"A country where the police watch what you do and try to control your life. Where there's cameras in town centres and on public transport. Where you can be arrested because of something you said to a friend about the leaders of your country. Where police stop and search people for no reason. [my comment - anyone hear of "Stop and Frisk?"] Where you can be detained without charge or trial. Where the state plants bugs with impunity. Where protesters have to get police permits, and where police regularly attack protesters." 

And here is what is stated by Wikipedia in the opening paragraph of the topic "Police State:"

Police state is a term that originally designated a state regulated by a civil administration, but since the middle of the 20th Century, the term has "taken on the emotional and derogatory meaning of a government that exercises power arbitrarily through the police."

Does any of this sound familiar? 


Steve said...

Police searched my BlueBird WanderLodge 3 or 4 times without a warrant as I traveled the country.

* Once for drugs in (I believe I was in Kentucky)
* Once for fruit crossing from AZ to CA
* Once for illegal aliens in El Paso

After the first warrantless search, I stopped traveling with > $10k cash. I would have lost about $20k had they discovered my safe. That was in the 90s, I do not know how it is now.

I know that we can stand up for our rights protecting us from unreasonable searches, but IMO, that's spittin' in the eyes of a mad dog. The days of trusting law enforcement are long gone.

Ed Helvey - The Professional Nomad said...

Thanks for that input, Steve.

I guess your experience indicates that we RVers and VanDwellers are just as must a target as anyone else.

From all indications, it appears that the situation is increasing in frequency. It, may still be just a small part of the population, but the reality is that it is condoned and expanding. This is not a good sign for the future.


Anonymous said...

This is an article about accounting - not about Police Searching for cars with money. WTF Over ???

Ed Helvey - The Professional Nomad said...

Yes! The article is about how the DC Metro Police department is budgeting money they haven't confiscated, yet, from some guilty, but more likely, innocent citizens just because they happen to have cash in their vehicles.

Don't you wish you could plan how you're going to spend money you plan to steal from someone?

I think it's pretty nice when a law enforcement agency can plan in advance how how they will spend the money they are planning to steal from the public. How they are doing this is in the embedded video produced by the Washington Post.

The reason I published this article is because the Washington Post is generally considered a major news outlet, not a sensationalist tabloid.


Anonymous said...

Earth to Ed.

They are budgeting from past years trends in drug crimes confiscation of cars, houses, etc) used in criminal activities as allowed by law Then auction the stuff off. No planning to steal. WTF?

How you get from this article to "they are looking for cars with money in them" only suggests you need to see a doctor or take your meds.

Ed Helvey - The Professional Nomad said...

If you don't get the connection, that's your problem. I don't have time or inclination to argue, especially with someone who hides behind "Anonymous." Besides, it's my blog and I can post about anything I want to, you don't have to read it.