Over $100,000 worth of cash was seized by the Dallas Police Department last week from an air traveler. According to the Dallas Police Department, the dog that detects drugs alerted the police to the passengers’ luggage. The bag contained blankets, two bubble envelopes, and $106,829 cash. While the officer did not arrest him, he did retain the cash and it was “subject” to civil asset forfeiture.
A member of the oversight board for the city is now demanding answers. “What are the rules?” I’d like to find out. Is this woman in violation of them? Brandon Friedman was a Dallas Community Police Oversight Board Member. He said, “It’s my business why someone is carrying $100,000 at an airport. Unless it’s illegal. And from what we have seen it doesn’t appear to be.”
Last week, a spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department told The Station that they had received a similar statement from them. Travelers cannot board planes with cash exceeding $10,000 without declaring the amount, even for domestic flights. That is not the law. Just because police can take cash and property without suspicion it is involved in criminal activity does not mean that the owner cannot sue the police. In Texas, police are only allowed to seize private property if there is a sufficient amount of evidence.
It may seem outrageous, but there is a silver lining to this story. Some Texas legislators including House Speaker Dade Phelan have responded to the incident. expressing a desire to reform the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws.