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Wednesday, August 23, 2006 

The Strange Adventures of the Baltimore Police Department

If you go to Baltimore, don't "steal" your own car...
Spence, 28, said city police pulled him over in his 1993 red Cadillac Elderado coupe for a cracked rear window in February. Four officers dragged Spence and his two passengers from the car and said they were under arrest for stealing it, he said.

"I was listening to the radio from the back seat of the police car. It said a gray Cadillac sedan was stolen; mine is a red coupe. I guess the officer must have been color blind," he said.
Don't worry. It gets better...
Even though Spence had the title proving he owned the car, he said he was cleared of the charges because of the testimony of the owner of the stolen car.

"The whole courtroom fell out - even the judge laughed," Spence told The Examiner.
That had to be priceless. Unfortunately, it's not all comedy...
Still, police sold Spence's car at auction two months before his day in court.

Now Spence is without the car it took him a year to buy, and his lawyer, Roland Brown, said he is preparing to sue the city.

"Not only did the police violate my client's constitutional rights by selling his car before the trial, but the case demonstrates that young black males in this city are blindly targeted by the Baltimore City police," he said.

Brown said the case also points out problems with the city's management of stolen vehicles. "You have to question why a stolen car would be sold at all," he said.
That really sucks for Spence. He's got a long civil suit ahead of him. Suing a city is never fun. But Baltimore messed up here, big time. I have a feeling that Spence will be getting a very nice car at the end of this.

Steve, have they ever fixed the Asset Forfieture laws? You want a travesty waiting to happen, there you go.

Funny you should ask. I have an article bookmarked on my laptop at home concerning that.

I should have a post up about it by the weekend (after I finish reading all of it).

I look forward to that...

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  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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