Victims can't make a federal case out of police who stole their money
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: April 1st, 2019
Police are violating no clearly established rights when they steal someones property after seizing it with a legal search warrant and, therefore, cant be sued in federal court, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to reinstate a suit against Fresno police by two people whose homes and business were searched in 2013 during a gambling investigation. After the search, three officers signed an inventory sheet saying they had seized about $50,000. But the two owners, Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, who operated automatic teller machines ... said the officers had actually taken $276,000 - $151,000 in cash and $125,000 in rare coins - and pocketed the difference. Darrell York, Jessops and Ashjians attorney, said police and a city attorney denied that a theft occurred. Even if Kumagai and his fellow officers stole money and coins from Jessop and Ashjian, the appeals court said, the owners could not sue in federal court to get their money back. Such a suit would require proof that their constitutional rights were violated, the court said, and suits against police must clear the additional hurdle of showing that those rights were clearly established. The allegation of any theft by police officers - most certainly the theft of over $225,000 - is undoubtedly deeply disturbing, Judge Milan Smith said in the 3-0 ruling. Whether that conduct violates the Fourth Amendments prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, however, is not obvious.
Note: Read about "civil asset forfeiture" used by police to steal money and other private property for their departments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.