DEA, Amtrak, and Civil-Asset Forfeiture – The Atlantic

So to avoid getting hassled by the state, don’t act nervous, but don’t act too calm either. Don’t stare straight ahead unless you’re on the telephone, in which case don’t look around. And disembark right amidst all the other passengers with lots of luggage.

An FOIA request by an ACLU staffer reported on the results of the request. Amtrak employees are instructed to report conduct “indicative of criminal activity” to law enforcement:

  • Unusual nervousness of traveler
  • Unusual calmness or straight ahead stare
  • Looking around while making telephone call(s)
  • Position among passengers disembarking (ahead of, or lagging behind passengers)
  • Carrying little or no luggage
  • Purchase of tickets in cash
  • Purchase tickets immediately prior to boarding

Source: DEA, Amtrak, and Civil-Asset Forfeiture – The Atlantic

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