Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Public Prostitution

Jerry Stratton, September 12, 2007

Here’s a trivia question for you.

In 1982, Norma Jean Almodovar grew tired of the “corruption” and “immorality” of her job and quit to become a prostitute. Later, she became the chapter president of COYOTE, a prostitute’s rights group. What job did she find so immoral that she chose to become a prostitute instead?

The answer…

(Los Angeles) Police Officer, ten years.

Corruption, thy name is forfeiture. From Radley Balko, Good Samaritan Sex Offender:

The Chicago Sun-Times tells the story of Erasmo Palacios, who, after dropping off his six-year-old daughter at school, was with his wife Rocio and their 22-year-old daughter, all on their way to breakfast when they saw a woman waving her arms. Thinking she was in distress, they approached her in the car, at which point…

“…the woman approached their car, parked outside Manolo’s restaurant, leaned in to the passenger side where Rocio was sitting and asked Erasmo if he wanted oral sex for $20 or sex for $25.”

“The couple laughed, realizing this wasn’t a woman in distress after all.”

“But within seconds, Chicago police swarmed the family car, hauling Erasmo Palacios out in handcuffs. He was charged with solicitation of a prostitute.”

“Eight hours later, Palacios, who has no criminal record, was released from custody. And weeks later, charges against him were dropped.”

The punchline: Though the charges were dropped, the city seized the family’s car under laws allowing the forfeiture of automobiles used in the solicitation of prostitutes. The city won’t return the car until the Palacios pay $4,700 in towing and storage fees.

When police are allowed to take money and property without a trial they’ll make up whatever they can to get that booty. Afterwards they don’t have to prove that you committed a crime: you have to prove that your property was not involved in the commission of a crime. And when you do, you still have to pay them for the storage of your property, if it even still exists.

Balko adds that it “makes you wonder how many men have been wrongfully arrested for solicitation who didn’t have their wives and daughters nearby to vouch for them”.

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