Oklahoma Backs Off

June 20, 2016

All Posts, News

Oklahoma Backs Off

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin tapped the brakes Friday on a controversial plan to equip Highway Patrolmen with open loop debit card readers.

The card readers, supplied by the ERAD Group, Inc., would allow traffic cops to seize the value of debit cards that are not associated with a bank account. Police routinely seize cash from motorists accused or suspected of criminally acquiring their money. The basis for these accusations is usually a policeman’s intuition or cruelty and Oklahoma has become notorious for stealing cash from citizens. This legalized theft is called “civil asset forfeiture.” Debit cards sold by retailers like Green Dot and Walmart are an alternative to carrying cash. The card readers allow police to determine the value of the cards and seize that value as if it were cash during traffic stops.


ERAD is an acronym for Electronic Recovery and Access to Data. The ERAD Group is owned by an entrepreneur named T. Jack Williams who is also the president of Paymentcard Services, Inc. About four years ago he began proposing the use of the card readers to the Department of Homeland Security. Williams has portrayed the cards as tools used  “to launder money or finance terrorists.”

The Oklahoma card readers are intended for use on the Interstate Highway 40 “forfeiture corridor.” A contract between Williams and Oklahoma stipulated that Williams will get 7.7 percent of the money seized using the card readers. Oklahoma’s proposed use of the card readers has been widely condemned.  Nick Sibillia, of the Institute for Justice, told Fox News the use of the card readers to seize money from motorists as they passed through the Sooner State was “blatantly unconstitutional.”

Radley Balko called the deal Williams made with Oklahoma “shady.”

Politician Speak

The rhetoric Oklahoma has used to justify issuing the card readers to police has been fatuous. In her press release last week, Governor Fallin said, “The readers are intended to apprehend those involved in identity theft or other illegal activities involving monetary transactions.” Prepaid cards must be “loaded” before they can be used and seizing the money pre-loaded on them has absolutely nothing to do with identify theft.

Last Friday Fallin “directed her Cabinet secretary of safety and security to delay the use of devices.” Fallin also said, “More than 25 states use the card-reading devices. Their use has been upheld by courts.” She did not name the states or the court cases.

She did say, “The Department of Public Safety needs to formulate a clear policy for using this new technology…. It can be a viable tool for law enforcement only if authorities are able to ensure Oklahoma motorists and others driving through our state that it will be used appropriately.”

“The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has enjoyed the trust of Oklahoma motorists for decades,’’ Fallin also claimed. “Taking time to develop policy for the use of these devices and to educate the public will help calm the fears of the motoring public.”


13 Responses to “Oklahoma Backs Off”

  1. bones_1973 Says:

    And i thought stop and frisk was fucked up…….now we got stop and fleece.wtf

  2. BMW Says:

    I used to look over legal documents on a daily basis. Competent lawyers and the corporations that hire competent lawyers will almost always refuse a poorly drafted contract, and I have never seen a competent attorney allow a contract to be considered if it even has spelling mistakes. The contract shown in the news flash above is headlined “contact” rather than contract! If this is the level of legal representation available to the state of Oklahoma, all I can say is WTF? If the first word is misspelled, what does the rest of the document say? According to the ACLU, (in the newsflash), the state police wanted to illegally access bank records and seize bank funds. They can do this, of course, after obtaining a court order. But they specifically wanted to circumvent that requirement (a significant Article in the Bill of Rights) by using these card readers to directly access both the records and the funds. What kind of wannabe crooks, uneducated LEO and politicians are “representing” the people of Oklahoma? Don’t they even require the Oklahoma LEO or state officials to graduate grade school? This crazy story could be the script for a comedy, if the actions by OK officials were not both criminal and treasonous! The state has already bought 14 of these?

    Of course, real criminals already know that they can transfer payoffs through various means, from direct bank transfers of millions of dollars, Western Union, or even WallMart’s system of cash transfers, which allow a person to pick up a payment at ANY WallMart, with the proper ID…WallMart’s system of cash payments is utilized EVERY DAY by the criminals perpetrating the “IRS payment demand” telephone scam and the “locked computer” ransom scam.

    Thanks for breaking the story, Rebel. Only regular people really carry money. Of course, the Oklahoma “asset seizure” scam targets regular folks, not criminals!


  3. david Says:

    See also: “Justice Sotomayor’s Ringing Dissent” @ theatlantic.com

  4. david Says:

    Well written short article at, armstrong economics.com, on a recent Sp.Ct. case ruling.

    “The Supreme Court Just Created a Full-Blown Police State – The End of the USA Cannot Be Far Behind”.

  5. panamaa Says:

    What the fuck is this country heading…

  6. Brad H Says:

    Asset forfeiture and seizures are a big deal to cops. Here in my home town, termination of the chief of police over sexual harassment charges has brought other dirty laundry to light. After being hired in 2012, he created a special pig unit exclusively for asset seizure. According to an internal audit, after a private citizen had $13,000 taken from him illegally, asset seizure jumped from $29,000 in 2012 to $212,000 in 2013, an increase of 600%! Fuck these assholes! The $13,000 had to be returned to the guy, thanks to a court ruling.

    The big problem is it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Seizures by leos has been around for a long time, dating back to the gangster days of the ’20s and ’30s. At that time, however, property was taken, mostly at the federal level, only after lengthy legal battles where the accused actually got his day in court first. Today, not so much. Folks have to sue to get their property and/or money returned to them, usually at their own expense. Presumption of innocence until proven guilty? Yeah right!


  7. DocHolliday Says:

    Thanks for the update Rebel

  8. Meh Says:

    People who live in bad neighborhoods often carry shit they care about separate from a throwaway wallet with plausible contents.

    Now all the US is a bad neighborhood.

    Fuck prepaid cards and debit cards in the first place. Never had nor do I want either. Pay off a credit card every month and carry that instead. I never carry any cash I can’t afford to lose, and anyone fucking with the credit card can go fight the wrath of Visa. Visa can afford better lawyers than I.

  9. Just Bob Says:

    This has made the police state legal. Our 4th Amendment rights are gone.


  10. TX_Biker Says:

    There is no crueler tyranny
    than that which is perpetuated under
    the shield of law and in the name of justice.

    Charles de Montesquieu

  11. Base Says:

    So in other words, the bill and use of these readers to steal money from citizens will still go forward and they are going to re-write the verbiage to better cover their collective ass’s.

  12. Cap'n Bill Says:

    I found this:

    While crossing the Canadian border recently, the border patrol asked me, ‘Do you have over $1,000 cash?’…’Why, no, I don’t’, sez me, the ol’ lady was freakin’…
    So, cash ain’t safe, cards aren’t safe, very little expectation of privacy, gas, etc. ain’t free…whaddafugg…

    As always, thanks Rebel!


  13. IronRider Says:

    Oh Please. this is nothing more than a PR ploy because OK was getting hit hard in the media over there new toy that their state Police can use to empty your wallet. If it wasn’t for the media blasting out story after story about this device and what it does, would this so called review even have been on the radar, hell no!

    I am sure the citizens of OK didn’t love the idea of the state police using this on them or anyone else who happens to travelling thru their state. The fact that asset forfeiture is being abused by all levels of law enforcement as a means of revenue generation under the guise of enforcement shows what a sorry mess law enforcement has become.

    Am I a law enforcement lover, fuck no…but it’s shit like this that makes me even more wary of them then I already was and apparently the public is starting to get wary of them as well, and the public should be wary of law enforcement.

    Bad enough when a person had to be worried about being robbed while out for a walk or at an ATM or in a parking lot and them sticking a gun, knife or beating you down to get at your cash, now you have law enforcement to worry about as well because asset forfeiture is the new revenue tool for their toys.

    It is really amazing to watch how much of a slide law enforcement has made from being a protector of the public to being just another criminal organisation out to break the law and violate your rights. I wonder when some poor joe or jane citizen has a crime committed against if they hesitate to call the cops or they just dont even bother to so they dont have the headaches that may come if they do call the cops.

    Law enforcement has lost it’s way a long, long time ago and your chances of getting a fair shake if you have an encounter with law enforcement are slim at best. Nowadays it seems breaking the law, violating peoples rights and outright unconscionable acts against those they have sworn to protect seem to be the norm.

    It is amazing to see how much distrust the citizens have with law enforcement nowadays and the scary thing is it is getting worse and worse as every day goes by.

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