The Dallas Police Department’s Sunday Facebook post became viral. This photo shows Ballentine, the police dog who works out at Dallas’ Love Field Airport. Ballentine is praised for snatching more than $100,000 from the bag of a traveling companion.
It is important to note what mistakes, if any, were made by the traveler.
If contacted by There are reasonsDallas police refused to provide any details. The only comment provided was a statement that the squad “seized $106,829.00, from a 25-year-old female who is a resident of Chicago, IL., but was travelling on a domestic flight… [Her suitcase]It only contained blankets and two large bubble wrap envelopes with the currency. The person was not arrested. The money was however seized, and it will now be subject to civil asset forfeiture.
If a suspect is involved in criminal activity, civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to take cash and other goods. Officials don’t have to prove that the goods were or will be used in a crime. The legal limit for cash that a passenger can bring on domestic flights is unlimited, however forfeiture permits authorities to seize suspicious amounts.
Most cases the property owner is not allowed to pursue the agency. Texas is an exception. The Institute for Justice (IJ), which is a libertarian legal firm in public interest, states that Texas has a standard for property seizure. In Texas, “preponderance” is the only proof required by police. However, “an innocent owner will have to prove she isn’t involved with any crime involving her property in order for it to be returned to her.”
Texas law enforcement agents have another incentive to seize property. They are entitled to a large percentage of the proceeds. IJ has been suing Harris County (which includes Houston) over the application of Texas’ asset forfeiture laws.
Cops often resort to civil asset forfeiture in order to increase their personal budgets and take away property from innocents. A Nevada Highway Patrol Officer took a man’s savings and life during routine traffic stops earlier this year. even after Accepting that carrying currency is not an illegal act. The Georgia state agency that enforced tax crimes took more than $5M in seized funds from 2015 to 2020. Oklahoma’s district attorneys lived in free houses, paid off student loans, and used forfeitures to fund their private piggy banks.
Jennifer McDonald is a IJ employee and co-authored the report, “Jetway Robbery?” Homeland Security and Cash Seizures in Airports” There are reasonsThis Dallas case “is pretty typical” for forfeitures. IJ’s analysis shows that McDonald’s claims there is no evidence to suggest there was strong criminality in relation to the seizures. In most cases, nobody is even arrested…If somebody is truly laundering money, or trafficking drug proceeds, or whatever it is that law enforcement alleges, wouldn’t you think that there should at least be an arrest going on?”
Chicago’s 25-year old woman was not held and allowed to go on her way. She will need to return to Dallas and retain an attorney to prove her innocence in criminal activities in order to recover the funds. This means she must prove the negative and will be responsible for all costs. You have already lost more that $100,000
It is unacceptable that someone can take her property without any warning. It is absurd to think that she would have to prove her innocence in order to get her property back. Since Dallas police did not charge this traveler with a crime, they should give the money back—and then Texas legislators should rip out the state’s forfeiture laws by the roots.