Some assets are confiscated from people who have not been convicted a crime. Those people experience strong-arm robbery at the hands of street gang. There is little to no difference between having your property stolen by criminal and having your property stolen by a cop. The only difference is recourse. If a criminal steals your stuff, you can call a cop.
But when a cop steals your stuff, attempting to stop him is a crime that will result in years as a guest of the Missouri Department of Corrections, which leaves the victim only two choices: hire an attorney or bend over and take it. Hiring an attorney to reclaim your property is pointless – except when there are significant sums involved. It is an expensive long process with the deck stacked against you.
The process is simple. If the cops find a significant amount of property they want to keep, they call in the DEA or other federal agency. The feds seize the property and return a large percentage back to the department. It is just like the old mafia business: Vito brought his idea to the Don. The Don blessed it and Vito kicked a share up to the Don.
If there is a smaller amount, the local law enforcement may simply confiscate it and send it over to the prosecuting attorney for forfeiture. Once the property is forfeited in this manner, 100% of the proceeds are transferred to Missouri schools.
Missouri law requires forfeited funds to benefit the schools.
So, when the police want to throw a party, buy some swag, or give each other awards, they bring in a fed and circumvent Missouri law.
This essentially means that the local and state police departments decided that they are above Missouri law and they should make a profit from their policing. And they do.
Millions of dollars funnel into Missouri law enforcement coffers through this system – Millions of dollars that should be spent teaching our youth.
In Columbia, the city council questioned the distribution of funds. They still approve the theft of money from Missouri schools, but at least they started questioning.
It is an old maxim among detectives and reporters: follow the money. When you find out who profits, you find out who had motive for the crime. It is time to end policing for profit.