Wednesday, September 12, 2007

First fake charges, then his car is confiscated and then they charge him to cover the costs.

Here is one of those stories that just infuriates you and indicates how out of control the US injustice system has become. We are talking about a rot that is more than just stupid, violent, or corrupt cops. We are talking about that along with the suppression of Constitutional protections and the passing of stupid laws. This case has them all.

Erasmo Palacios, and his wife, Rocio, had just dropped off their 6-year-old at school. And they had picked up their 22-year-old daughter and were going to have breakfast -- it was 8 am. Rocio notices a woman standing by the street waving her arms as if in distress and pointed her out to her husband. The daughter had just run inside a restaurant to exchange her coffee for a hot chocolate instead.

The woman in distress approached the car and leaned in and then offered to have sex in exchange for money. Remember this is with Rocio sitting in the car with her husband while they are waiting for their daughter to come out with hot chocolate. The couple found this more amusing than distressing but soon the humor died.

As the Chicago Sun-Times reports:
“Chicago police swarmed the family car, hauling Erasmo Palacios out in handcuffs. He was charged with solicitation of a prostitute His daughter, who had just run in to exchange her coffee for a hot chocolate, screamed, while his wife cried in fear. Eight hours later, Palacios, who has no criminal record, was released from custody. And weeks later, charges against him were dropped.”
You would think all’s well that ends well. But it hasn’t ended. Not when greedy government is involved. The police are denying that anything odd happened. They actually claim that Erasmo solicited the woman for sex -- right! I believe that. He was going to hide her from his wife and it was going to be so quick that his daughter wouldn’t notice when she returned to the car seconds later. That the lies make no sense is not enough to stop the cops.

Under the authoritarian asset forfeiture laws, an invitation to police corruption if ever one existed, the family’s 1982 Mercedes was confiscated by the police. In fact one major reason for bogus stings like this is so police department can confiscate cars and then sell them under the asset forfeiture laws with the police department being allowed to keep the proceeds.

But in this case Palacios did not solicit sex. His wife and daughter’s presence with him makes that police claim ludicrous on the face of it. But they confiscated his car anyway. Palacios wants his car back. Charges were dropped since the police claims were clearly bogus. But the city of Chicago won’t release it.

They claim that Palacios needs to pay them for towing and storage of the car which they, in my opinion, stole. So Chicago authorities steal a private car to sell it using bogus charges as the excuse. And when the bogus charges won’t hold up they still demand that they be paid for the trouble they went through when they stole the car. As usual city officials declined to comment, the undercover policewoman couldn’t be reached, and the stolen car is still missing. This is what passes as justice in overlegislated America today.

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