DOJ’s Stealth Nationalization of Local Police

Under a Department of Justice program known as “Equitable Sharing,” local police are being deputized as federal agents in order to participate in Joint Terrorism Task Forces, enabling them to bypass their state’s own forfeiture and surveillance laws so they can spy on individuals suspected of terrorism or other crimes falling under federal jurisdiction.

This is according to an online article written by the Tenth Amendment Center’s Director of Communications Michael Maharrey. In the article, entitled “Local Cops Skirt State Limits on Surveillance by Joining Federal Task Forces,” Maharrey writes:

It’s well-known that a federal program known as “Equitable Sharing” allows local prosecutors and police to bypass more restrictive state asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the federal government through a process known as adoption. A Department of Justice directive issued last summer by Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterates full support for the equitable sharing program, directs federal law enforcement agencies to aggressively utilize it, and sets the stage to expand it in the future.

In other words, local police and prosecutors are able to circumvent their own state’s anti-surveillance or forfeiture laws in order to conduct warrantless surveillance or seize private property.

Local police and prosecutors are able to justify this unconstitutional abuse of power merely by transferring the case over to the jurisdiction of the federal government. By doing so, the case is then designated as a “federal adoption,” according to the DOJ directive….

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