A Wisconsin Drug Task Force seizes more than drugs. It seizes bail money - illegally, according to a Huffington Post report.
Beverly Greer found this out the hard way. After raising money from family members to pay her son’s $7,500 bail following his arrest by the Force, she was told that she had to pay the entire sum to the Brown County Jail in cash. But when she paid them, the jail took her money and refused to release her son.
Jail officials claimed the money, which Greer knew had just come out of ATM machines, was tainted with narcotics. Therefore, the police were keeping - uh, “confiscating” it.
Their excuse, a civil asset forfeiture policy, is applied exceptionally unfairly in Brown County, says the Post. And evidence shows the county has, more than once, lied about bail having to be paid in cash.
Although Greer finally got her money back, this scam must end.
Tell Wisconsin to Stop Seizing Families’ Bail Money.
We, the undersigned, call for an end to this scam of seizing bail money.
According to the Huffington Post report on the issue involving Beverly Greer’s bail payment, bail in Wisconsin is to be paid either “in cash, with a registered check, cashier's check or credit card.” And attorney Donna Kuchler, told the Post that police aren't allowed to insist on cash.
This report also points out a lot of other issues related to the forfeiture policy, including that “most people who lose property to civil asset forfeiture are never charged” with the accusation used to confiscate the money and that most US currency is contaminated with cocaine.
Despite the unfairness of the policy’s legalities, apparently Brown County Police went beyond unfairness and committed crimes. Its Drug Task Force and Sheriff’s office, broke two laws. They lied about the cash requirement, and they stole Mrs. Greer’s money. And hers wasn’t the only such incident reported. One can only imagine how many times this has happened and the county has gotten away with it. So exactly what is the punishment for these offenses?
A New York Attorney who wrote a book on these scams says courts should start imposing punitive damages against police departments who do such things.
How can the general public be expected to obey laws if its law enforcement officials don’t? Those involved in this scam should be prosecuted, and we ask that your county and the state take appropriate measures to ensure this criminal activity ends.
Thank you for your attention to this serious concern.
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