In a News Channel 5 story entitled: Man Loses $22,000 in New “Policing for Profit” Case, a Monterey, Tennessee police officer took $22,000 from a New Jersey professional insurance adjuster even though he had not committed a crime. George Reby had been stopped for speeding on I40 traveling west through Putnam County while on his way to a conference in Nashville, TN. Mr. Reby was asked by the police officer if he was carrying any large amounts of cash to which he replied: “approximately $20,000″. The officer then asked Mr. Reby for permission to search his vehicle where he found a bag containing $22,000.
The officer stated that because of the way that the money was rolled and placed in the bag, he suspected that it might be drug money. Despite the fact that there was no evidence supporting this suspicion and because Mr. Reby could not prove (at that time) that the funds were legitimate, the officer confiscated the money under Tennessee law.
When questioned by Channel 5 News as to why he did not arrest Mr. Reby, Officer Larry Bates replied: “Because he hadn’t committed a criminal law.” Bates is part of a system that, NewsChannel 5 Investigates has discovered, gives Tennessee police agencies the incentive to take cash off of out-of-state drivers. If they don’t come back to fight for their money, the agency gets to keep it all.
Wow, talk about an abuse of due process!