In a Facebook post Saturday, State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada/Westminster) defended her comparison of police to Crips and Bloods.
Woods wrote that when some law enforcement officials confiscate property under Civil Asset Forfeiture laws, it’s a “direct violation of due process,” and she asks, “And what makes that any different than a gang member or a common street thug who takes something from you?” She also emphasized that she supports “law enforcement at every level.”
But she did not explain why the comparison of police to violent and murderous gang members was appropriate, especially for an elected official.
It’s one thing to criticize police appropriately, in an effort to improve things, and clearly asset-forfeiture abuse must be stopped, but Crips and Bloods? How does that comparison benefit Arvada?
Reporters should make an effort to find out why Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, thinks such an extreme comparison is justifiable.
Woods initially made the comparison on a talk radio show, affirmatively agreeing that police and Crips and Bloods are “no different” in some situations involving confiscation of property.
CALLER MIKE: Ok, so, Laura, these [police] are no different than the Bloods and the Crips that they’re constantly whining and crying about down in downtown Denver or Colorado Springs, or up in [Fort] Collins. I mean, how is law enforcement different from the people they’re fighting? I mean, if they can just take your stuff for no reason.
WOODS: Yeah, when they are taking stuff from innocent people with no conviction or no charges filed, they are no different.
CALLER MIKE: Yeah.
Here’s Woods’ statement on Facebook:
To be clear …
There is a facebook site titled “Citizens for a Better Arvada (CBA)” which posted an article about me that needs some clarification. I’ve asked to join that group, and if they refuse to let me join, I can neither comment or post on that page.
To be clear …
The interview they are referring to was about Civil Asset Forfeiture, which, under Federal Law allows law enforcement to take your stuff … your cars, your home, your cash, anything of value … without first filing charges and getting a conviction. It’s a direct violation of due process.
To be clear ….
In the interview I indicated that a lot of local law enforcement agencies doing asset forfeiture the right way .. they get the conviction, and THEN they take the assets that were acquired with ill-gotten gains of criminal activity.
To be clear …
If there is no due process, if you haven’t been charged or convicted of a crime, why is it okay for law enforcement to take something from you? And what makes that any different than a gang member or a common street thug who takes something from you?
Listen to the entire interview. You’ll hear it was the host who brought up the Crips and the Bloods, but you’ll also hear that we were talking about WHEN NO CONVICTION HAS BEEN HANDED DOWN AND NO DUE PROCESS HAS BEEN MET.
TO BE CLEAR …
I do support law enforcement at every level, and I always have.