The City of Tenaha and Shelby County have agreed to implement a new “neutral” policy for traffic stops and pay attorney fees for shaking down mostly minority drivers with threats of “civil asset forfeiture.” In one year, drivers who allegedly “met the profile” of drug smugglers forked over $800,000 in exchange for leniency in criminal cases. The American Civil Liberties Union brought the class action suit. This is a disgusting abuse of governmental authority in general, not just civil asset forfeiture. You essentially had a local government operating a protection racket. I’ll be curious to see if the State Bar of Texas takes disciplinary action against Lynda Kaye Russell, the former District Attorney who presided over this scheme.
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