Cops in Oklahoma have been given the go-ahead to seize money from members of the public via devices capable of confiscating money from debit and credit cards.
In an extension to the already harsh civil asset forfeiture laws, police agencies have now been equipped with ERADs (“Electronic Recovery and Access to Data” machines). ERADs are able to extract money from bank cards without a person’s knowledge – and its completely legal for the police to use them.
While Oklahoma officials are confident that the ERADs will be used responsibly, State Senator Kyle Loveless, who has tried to change Oklahoma’s civil forfeiture laws, isn’t so sure.
“Law enforcement’s going to say that there are good uses for it and that they use it on a limited basis, but this is deja vu all over again.
We heard that last year and we’ve seen innocent people’s stuff taken. We’ve seen how [law enforcement] spins it and it’s just not right.”
To top it all off, these devices are ridiculously expensive. There are now 16 ERADs in use in Oklahoma, each of which costs $5,000, plus $1,500 for training.
The manufacturer also receives 7.7% of all funds that are confiscated. With that much money in the hole, surely the police in Oklahoma will have an extra incentive to “make” the money back.