Tennessee Police Robbing Motorists On The Highway
If you plan on driving through Tennessee on the Interstate 40, you better not be carrying a large amount of money with you. As it turns out, the police patrols have a right to seize your cash under suspicion that it’s drug money, and keep it without any proof you obtained it in an illegal way.
The reporters from News Channel 5 interviewed one of the victims, Karen Petrosyan, whose father was arrested for driving the truck in which the officers found two large blocks of cash containing nearly $200,000.
“What’s wrong with having a large amount of cash?” asked Karen Petrosyan. ”If I am a criminal, if they allege me to be a criminal,” he said, “why would they settle? They do not just let criminals go.”
Petrosyan and his father were released with no charges, but he will still have to come back to Tennessee and prove that his money wasn’t drug related. Due to the current law, in case the owner doesn't take legal action to prove that their money is legal, the police get to keep it all.
Ricky Chandler, Dickson police chief, admits that they use money to invest in the force, creating new teams to patrol the road. Since these teams are paid out of the seized money, their jobs depend solely on the amount of money they find. It’s no wonder these teams have collected millions of dollars so far using the civil asset forfeiture laws that are a direct breach of some of the essential civil rights.