July 23, 2014

On Tuesday night's Daily Show, correspondent Jordan Klepper explored a legal concept called "civil forfeiture," with some assistance from a few apparent victims of this form of legal highway quasi-robbery, an ACLU critic of the practice, NYPD cop Roy Richter, and some well-timed Law & Order chimes.

Richter explained that in a civil forfeiture action, police can seize cash and other assets from drivers if they suspect those assets are proceeds of a crime. The people whose cash the cops seized can get their money back, but they have to go to court and prove it was wrongly seized first. "So property is guilty until proven innocent?" Klepper asks Richter, and the answer is yes, kind of.

Vanita Gupta of the ACLU explained that it's often cheaper for innocent drivers to let the cops keep the money than to hire a lawyer to prove their innocence — and that both local and federal law enforcement agencies are counting on this stream of sketchy revenue to fund their departments. For the alleged victims of forfeiture abuse that Klepper interviews, this all feels like highway robbery, except that the robbers are the cops. And that seems a pretty plausible interpretation. --Peter Weber

11:07 p.m. ET
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FBI agents have surrounded the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in an attempt to get the last four armed occupiers to leave.

Armored vehicles have been placed around the refuge, The Oregonian reports, and the four occupiers all face arrest on a federal charge of conspiracy for their roles in the takeover. The FBI said in a statement that one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside of the camp at 4:30 p.m., but took off "at a high rate of speed" as FBI agents tried to approach him. As of 6 p.m., the FBI said "no shots have been fired," and negotiations are underway.

The refuge has been occupied since early last month. The group's leader, Ammon Bundy, and other occupiers were arrested in late January, the same day one of the protesters was shot and killed during a traffic stop. Catherine Garcia

10:29 p.m. ET
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The estate of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2014, was notified Wednesday that it owes the city $500 for "ambulance advance life support" and mileage for Rice's ambulance ride to a medical center.

The city's assistant law director filed the claim in Cuyahoga County Probate Court Wednesday. "The callousness, insensitivity, and poor judgement required for the city to send a bill — its own police officers having slain 12-year-old Tamir — is breathtaking," Rice family attorney Subodh Chandra said in a statement. "This adds insult to homicide."

Rice was shot by Officer Timothy Loehmann on Nov. 22, 2014, after he was spotted playing with a replica airsoft gun in a Cleveland park. The person who called 911 told the operator Rice looked to be a juvenile and the gun was possibly fake, but the information was not relayed to the officers. Loehmann shot and killed Rice within two seconds of arriving at the park, reports, and the Rice family has filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Cleveland arguing that Loehmann and Officer Frank Garmback showed no concern for Rice's welfare, standing around him for four minutes without offering any first aid. An FBI agent then arrived and gave him assistance. In December, a grand jury declined to indict the officers. Catherine Garcia

9:18 p.m. ET

Two sheriff's deputies were killed in Abingdon, Maryland, on Wednesday, after approaching a suspect inside a Panera Bread during the lunch hour.

Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler of the Harford County sheriff's department said in a statement that the deputies were at the restaurant for an investigation, and the suspect shot one deputy and then ran to a nearby apartment complex. A second deputy then "attempted to make contact with the suspect," and was also shot. At that point, at least two other deputies fired at the suspect, and he died at the scene, Gahler said. No customers inside the Panera Bread were injured, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The suspect has been identified as 67-year-old David Brian Evans, a white male. He had two outstanding warrants — one in Florida for assaulting a police officer and fleeing, and another in Harford County for a reason not disclosed by Gahler, USA Today reports. The names of the deceased deputies have not yet been released, but Gahler said one was a 30-year veteran of the department who worked in the Court Services Division, and the other was a 16-year veteran who worked with the Community Services Division. "Today is a sad day for the Harford County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Harford County who we are sworn to serve," Gahler said. Catherine Garcia

8:48 p.m. ET
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On Thursday, leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus will go to the Democratic National Committee to formally endorse Hillary Clinton for president through its political action committee.

The group plans to send African American lawmakers to targeted states, including South Carolina, where the Democratic primary will take place on Feb. 27. "It's one thing to endorse and do nothing," Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), chairman of the CBS PAC, told The Washington Post. "It's another thing to endorse and to go to work."

Meeks said that out of the 20 people on the PAC's board, 90 percent voted to endorse Clinton. None of the members voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), while some abstained because they have yet to endorse anyone. The lawmakers who will stump for Clinton are familiar with her, Meeks said, and "can actually testify [to] the work that Hillary Clinton has done." Catherine Garcia

7:56 p.m. ET
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Ben Carson didn't do very well in the New Hampshire primary — he came in second-to-last, beating just Jim Gilmore — but he said his backers aren't going to let him give up.

"I'm not getting any pressure from our millions of supporters" to exit the race, he told CNN Wednesday. "I'm getting a lot of pressure to make sure I stay in the race. They're reminding me that I'm here because I responded to their imploring me to get involved. And I respect that and I'm not just going to walk away from the millions of people who are supporting me."

Carson said he thinks he can win South Carolina, and will "be putting a lot of time, resources, and effort here." The campaign did not spent "nearly as much money in New Hampshire as many others," he added, because they "recognized there were certain things that were going to happen there. So you have to pick your battles very carefully. We're doing just fine, people will continue to support us, we will move forward." Catherine Garcia

7:35 p.m. ET
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Riding high from his win in New Hampshire, Donald Trump told an audience in Pendleton, South Carolina, on Wednesday that it's true, he does "love money," but has decided now to "be greedy for the United States."

"We want to bring money to the United States," he said to cheers. "I really do. To hell with the business stuff, my kids will take the business, my executives. They'll run it." Trump claimed that he's been turning away friends offering him money, regularly rejecting donations of "$5 million, $10 million" in order to finance his own campaign. "People would give me anything," he said.

Trump briefly spoke of his rivals, noting that the number is dwindling and announcing "the last thing we need is another Bush." He brought up the "beautiful spirits" of his supporters, and shared how dedicated his team is to the cause. "Three of my people" were in car accidents on the way to an event in New Hampshire, he said, during a storm. "One walked over about a mile in a blizzard to be there, and it turned out he had close to a broken leg," he told the crowd. "I said, 'you're fired for ruining my car.' No, I'm only kidding." Catherine Garcia

6:48 p.m. ET
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The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil rights lawsuit against Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday, with Attorney General Loretta Lynch saying the city's residents have "suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights — the rights guaranteed to all Americans — for decades. They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer."

The suit cites a "pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States" and alleges officials in Ferguson use illegal practices in conducting stops, searches, and arrests; by using excessive force; and in discriminating against African Americans. The Justice Department is calling on the federal court to force Ferguson "to adopt and implement policies, procedures, and mechanisms that identify, correct, and prevent the unlawful conduct."

On Tuesday, the Ferguson City Council approved a revised version of a consent decree that was intended to fix problems in the police department and municipal court found during an investigation following the fatal officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The Justice Department says the revisions to the consent decree will likely be challenged. Catherine Garcia

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