The new rules relax restrictions placed by Obama on the ability of local authorities to seize the assets and property of criminal suspects and share them with federal authorities; James Rosen reports for ‘Special Report’
Civil forfeiture laws pose some of the greatest threats to property rights in the nation today, too often making it easy and lucrative for law enforcement to take and keep property—regardless of the owner’s guilt or innocence. This updated and expanded second edition of Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture makes the case for reform, grading the civil forfeiture laws of each state and the federal government, documenting remarkable growth in forfeiture activity across the country, and highlighting a worrisome lack of transparency surrounding forfeiture activity and expenditures from forfeiture funds.
This is real. When will we say, okay, this is the last straw. When our government is legally able to confiscate all our possessions and no one does anything about it, we have entered into martial law! There is no other way to put this. They now have tanks in the street and soldiers are surrounding you who live in the inner cities. When will you admit, we are under martial law?
Arresting Your Cash: How Civil Forfeiture Turns Police Into Profiteers
Civil asset forfeiture is a law enforcement tool with a dark side. Meant to ensure that “crime does not pay,” civil forfeiture laws allow police to seize property suspected of being involved in criminal activity. But this tool often has low evidentiary standards, and in many states law enforcement can keep whatever they seize as profits – leading some agencies to treat civil forfeiture as a way to raise revenue, often at the expense of innocent property owners. As stories continue to surface of cops behaving more like robbers – seizing homes, money, and cars on dubious grounds – action is being taken. States have begun to reform their laws to protect their citizens’ property rights, and the issue has now reached Congress. What is the outlook on forfeiture reform, and where do we stand today?