From Common-Law to Today
What is Extortion
Extortion literally means to obtain. So historically the crime of extortion was known as extortion under the color of official right. Extortion is an anti-corruption crime.
It is extortion under the color of official right when a pubic official obtains property for non-government purposes by using official acts. Extortion is obtaining. Color is for non-government purposes. And official right is with official acts.
Official acts are coercive in that they alter or change people’s behavior. Think about how you will react when a police officer signals you to pull your car over and stop (stop is an arrest). You just changed your behavior, because generally you would not stop when a civilian signals you to pull over.
Also think about what would happen if you did not pull over. The police would eventually ram your car and once you were forcibly stopped the police would approach with their weapons drawn. So official acts are coercive in that they alter or change people’s behavior.