http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/1255818.htmlMore than 140 people reluctantly accepted that deal from June 2006 to June 2008, according to court records. Among them were a black grandmother from Akron, Ohio, who surrendered $4,000 in cash after Tenaha police pulled her over, and an interracial couple from Houston, who gave up more than $6,000 after police threatened to seize their children and put them into foster care, the court documents show. Neither the grandmother nor the couple were charged with or convicted of any crime.
Officials in Tenaha, situated along a heavily traveled state highway connecting Houston with several popular gambling destinations in Louisiana, say they are engaged in a battle against drug trafficking, and they call the search-and-seizure practice a legitimate use of the stateÃ¢Â€Â™s asset-forfeiture law.
While the province doesn't directly make money out of 172 seizures (towing companies and impound lots do), I can see 2 ways how it can be abused here.
1) While a great majority of police constables are completely clean, denying the existence of police corruption is an idiocy. If a constable receives kickbacks from the tow operators/impound lots, (s)he's more likely to charge someone of street racing. Kind of like that judge south of the border who received kickbacks from a private prison (and he had a 4x higher sentencing to incarceration rate compared to other judges in the area).
2) 172 can be used as an intimidation tool to force vehicle operators not to dispute less serious charges. That means more ticket revenue, especially these days when fewer people are driving and the vehicles are more fuel-efficient, so the money's getting tight.