A story in the Chicago Tribune has shed some seriously needed light on a practice going on in Tenaha, Texas. Here the police are cracking down and using the states asset forfeiture laws at a very high rate. The problem, they are confiscating property and money from travelers who have committed no crime at all. Police are stopping vehicles as they travel through town, searching them, and often taking property with the threat of criminal charges.
The police are able to take property or assets seized related to a crime. The issue with what the Tenaha police are doing is there is often no crime being committed at all. For instance, a family driving through with a large amount of cash may get stopped, accused of money laundering, and told to hand over the cash or face criminal prosecution. They are stopping families, ordinary citizens, and even the elderly with this scam.
What makes the ploy even more interesting is the majority of victims are minorities. The police are stopping and seizing property from black and mixed race people at a much higher rate than they are whites. While local police deny any wrongdoing, the numbers don’t lie and look awfully suspicious.
Because Tenaha lies on the Texas/Louisiana border, many people drove through it on their way to the popular casinos in Louisiana. This traffic may be what the police are trying to eliminate, out of towners messing up their quiet, though desolate community.
Victims of this strange occurrence have teamed up to file a suit against the town and against the discriminatory practices.
No one wants to feel like they are under the control of the police, particularly when you did nothing wrong. Even when you are guilty of a crime, the attention doesn’t feel good. Facing a system where the cards are stacked against you can feel hopeless, I understand.
If you are facing criminal charges, you need an experienced defense attorney helping to ensure your rights are protected at every stage, regardless of your guilt or innocence. Call us today for a free consultation on your case.