More hut! hut! hutting!… and watch the dollars “roll” in:
Last October, the department raked in over $100,000.00 in confiscated cash, using a tactic known as civil asset forfeiture. This allows police to seize property on the spot — sometimes without even charging the owner with a crime — and forcing the owner to prove his innocence in court to retrieve the items or money. Often, the legal battle is more expense than the property itself, and can take many months.
The seizures of cash and property are then liquidated by the police and split up among the participating agencies, and then used to beef up their equipment and redouble their dubious efforts.
Spartanburg’s WSPA investigated the 2013 operation and found that in just one weekend, police stopped over 1,000 cars and proceeded to search 171 of them. Reporters asked Spartanburg Sheriff Chuck Wright if the operation was all about revenue generation, provoking an interesting response.
After a long pause, Sheriff Wright replied, “You know it’s a part of it, but it ain’t the main reason we do it.”
“It’s a bonus actually when you get the cash or you get the cars we seize and sell,” he said.