I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads I did ride
With sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five
But I am still alive…
- Highwayman, Jimmy Webb, popularized by the Highwaymen.
Highwayman: noun, plural highwaymen.
1. (formerly) a holdup man, especially one on horseback, who robbed travelers along a public road. (Dictionary.com)
It’s not “formerly”. Highwaymen still roam the roads of America looking to relieve people of their property. Some are known as the police, others as the Highway Patrol.
The pigs have a clever trick to rob you called “civil asset forfeiture”. There’s nothing civil about it; they just seize your property (usually cash) and, if you want it back, you have to jump through burdensome legal hoops. Most victims don’t bother. I’d say 90%+ of the cash stolen is forfeited to the criminal state – I’ve watched in court before (case after case of The State vs. $943.72 and so on). The same police who absolutely will not lift a finger to help violent crime victims are more than wiling to steal your cash.
Now it’s not just cash at risk. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is now using a card reader to steal money straight from bank accounts and credit/debit cards.
“We’re gonna look for different factors in the way that you’re acting,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent said. “We’re gonna look for if there’s a difference in your story. If there’s someway that we can prove that you’re falsifying information to us about your business.”
Troopers insist this isn’t just about seizing cash.
“I know that a lot of people are just going to focus on the seizing money. That’s a very small thing that’ s happening now. The largest part that we have found … the biggest benefit has been the identity theft,” Vincent said.
“If you can prove can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you. And we’ve done that in the past,” Vincent said about any money seized.
State Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, said that removes due process and the belief that a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty. He said we’ve already seen cases in Oklahoma where police are abusing the system.
Hats off to Sen. Loveless (you know the cops don’t love him) but the problem isn’t abuse of the system, it’s that the system itself is abusive. This system has to go. What’s the proper remedy? The old song tells us exactly. We need not wait until the spring of twenty-five to hang ’em – now would be a good time.