Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sheriff & Senator Fight Over Seized Assets- And Both Are Claiming to Defend Constitutional Liberties

Update: Senator Kyle Loveless will also be speaking at the Oath Keepers Summit. This may be the first time that he and Sheriff Edwards share a stage.

Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards, and Oklahoma Senator
 Kyle Loveless battle over Civil Asset Forfeiture and who gets the loot.
  On Sunday, August 2nd, Oath Keepers is calling all Oklahoma military and veterans to a summit, in Mustang, OK. The stated purpose is to assert the veteran's unexpired oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. Law enforcement personnel are also emphasized for their constitutional oath to defend constitutional rights.
 But the choice of speakers includes one controversial figure. Sheriff Randall Edwards of Canadian County is listed to speak, but his department has come under great criticism for his public defense of the federal 'civil forfeiture' policy.
His department (and several other law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma) are stepping up their practices of seizing citizens' assets under the standard of their own "preponderance of the evidence". Citizens have to undergo an arduous and expensive legal process to prove the asset is NOT connected to criminal activity, rather than the constitutional standard of guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Both Edwards & Loveless plan to attend
  In a recent report of the Daily Oklahoman, the two elected officials both claimed the other one is motivated by an attempt to grab money for their own designs, to be appropriated as they see see fit. They both seem to question the other's motivation and they both seem to think citizens will suffer if the other is successful in their efforts.
  It is possible that both are genuinely motivated by a concern for constitutional protections, as they understand the constitution.
 Senator Loveless believes that if local law enforcement is not enticed by getting their cut of the treasure, they won't be so over-eager to take private property. His bill says that seized assets must be turned over to the state of Oklahoma, rather than kept by the local law enforcement agency.
  Sheriff Edwards believes that he can better fight the war on drugs if he has the seized cash and other assets that his deputies come upon from folks who appear to be connected to drug activity.
  But it is also possible that both of them are making a less than complete commitment to defending the citizens' constitutional liberties. After all, neither of them has officially called for an end of this current practice of plundering private assets without establishing a connected crime. All they are doing is fighting over who gets to keep the treasures plundered.  Loveless may be planning further legislation to prevent federal agencies altogether from enticing local cops into these exploitations. I expect the senator to outline his full strategy to bring a final end to the behavior within the state borders.

“Don’t make any mistake about it, the only thing the proponents of this bill are fighting for is the money! Period! And they are disguising it as they are helping to protect the innocent!”- Sheriff Edwards
  I challenge both Senator Loveless and Sheriff Edwards to renew their oath to our constitution's mandates of individual liberty and specifically, due process prerequisite in order to have a judge determine if forfeiture is to be a part of sentencing for criminal activities. Assets should only be temporarily retained for documenting as evidence, until an arraignment is completed (within 48 hours). Otherwise, constitutional habeas corpus rights prevail and life, liberty, & property are to be a protected constitutional right.
 Oath Keepers (such as Loveless and Edwards) have a higher calling to protect our constitutional liberties, rather than plundering our possessions for either the state or county. 

David Van Risseghem

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