Sunday, December 28, 2014

In Philly, "Kafka" isn't just a former third-string QB

In Philly, "Kafka" isn't just a former third-string QB

There are some things more Kafkaesque (lame pun intended) than the Eagles' quarterback revolving door. Like the part where The Man takes your money and doesn't give it back, even when you've committed no crime. This is a must-read piece of local investigative reporting: Isiah Thompsom of the City Paper on the bizarro world of asset forfeiture:

When Philadelphia Police officers stopped Dwayne Marks as he was driving north on Broad Street near Temple University last year, Marks says he wasn’t particularly worried. Marks, who is a black man in his late 30s from East Mount Airy, has faced drug charges in the past — but he’s straightened up, he says. When the police asked whether he had a criminal background, “I told them, ‘Yeah,’” he recalls. “I told them the truth.” 

As he saw it, he had done nothing wrong and had nothing to hide. And so, when police asked to search his truck, Marks said they could go ahead. 

He describes the encounter, initially that is, as calm. It was when police found more than $6,000 in cash in his car — money he says was related to a number of rental properties he owns, he says — that things changed.

“They … took me down to the district, handcuffed me, took my money … [searched] my whole truck again. Then they got a dog to sniff my whole truck out — and still didn’t find nothing.” There were no drugs on Marks or on his vehicle; no charges were filed. But the interaction wasn’t over, Marks says: “They got mad. … They said, ‘We’re going to make you go to court for your money, then.’”

Read the whole thing. It's a story of government run amok that liberals and conservatives can agree on (I think).

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Will Bunch
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