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Cop Defends Stealing Property from Citizens Because “It’s Been Around Since the 1700s”

William Grigg | Pro Libertate

Joe David, a former California Highway Patrol officer, has made a considerable fortune by teaching police officers how to steal under the color of “law” through his “Desert Snow” consulting firm.




When he arrived in Meridian, Idaho for a two-day “asset forfeiture” seminar on August 10, he probably didn’t expect to be greeted by protesters. It is to his credit that he took advantage of the opportunity to speak with them, especially in light of the fact that the conversation couldn’t have been a pleasant one for him.

“You come up here to Idaho teach teach our officers to be more effective at a very bad concept,” complained activist Daniel L.J. Adams, who helped organize the “No More Road Pirates in Idaho protest outside the Peace Officer Standards and Training academy in Meridian.

“What do you find `bad’ about it?” inquired David, pretending that summary confiscation of money and property from people not charged with an offense somehow abates the menace posed by criminal cartels.

“It’s stealing people’s stuff!” exclaimed Adams, mildly astonished at the need to state a self-evident truth. “How do you get the sense that stealing stuff, through whatever inverted legal means that you can, make it morally legit?”

“It’s been around since, like, 1700,” David responded, ignorant of what he conceded in that blithe reply – and what it says about the role he plays.


“Civil asset forfeiture,” as practiced by contemporary American law enforcement officers (and taught by the likes of Joe David to officers both here and abroad) is close kindred to many of the abusive practices of his colonial-era antecedents who confiscated property and harassed innocent people in name of the British Crown. Acting through specially constituted “admiralty courts” in which due process rights were ignored, and the plundered property itself was prosecuted, colonial customs agents would routinely seize shipping cargoes, store inventories, and money as “deodands” (things “given to God”).

Colonial patriots reacted to this practice by introducing colonial officials to the decorative properties of bitumen and goose feathers, and then by shooting and killing the troops sent to police the restive colonies.

The congressional draft of the Declaration of Independence explicitly condemned asset forfeiture, accusing the Crown of undermining the law “with the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation of our property.” The Due Process provisions of the Fifth Amendment were directly inspired by the Framers’ revulsion over the criminal practice of which Joe David boasts such a venerable pedigree.

During his conversation with David, Adams noted that forfeiture operations are carried out by specialized “interdiction units.” Interdiction “is a military term for cutting off and destroying an enemy’s supply lines,” Adams pointed out – which means that every time a police officer escalates a traffic stop into a drug-related search, he is participating in a literal war on the public.

Watch the video below to see cops in action stealing from people:





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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3622 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Teresa Roberts

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