Civil asset forfeiture is the legal practice that “allows police to seize — and then keep or sell — any property they allege is involved in a crime. Owners need not ever be arrested or convicted of a crime for their cash, cars, or even real estate to be taken away permanently by the government.”
Yes, you read that right. Law enforcement organizations can literally steal the private property, cash, vehicles, and homes of American citizens without having to worry about pesky things like due process or judicial oversight. The problem has gotten so far out of hand that the Washington Post reported that “law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did in 2014.”
What was originally implemented to cut off the funds and resources of organized crime families is now being used to fund police holiday parties, the D.A.’s personal home security system and fancy steak dinners, as well as prop up police budgets and further militarize local police.
The list of abuses of this unconstitutional and arbitrary practice continues to grow, prompting police and police unions across the country to defend their thieving ways in typical law enforcement style: by first denying any problem exists, then shifting any remaining blame to the public, i.e. victims, due to the fictitious “war on cops.”
Like many issues, President Trump is a wildcard, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes no mistake about his love for the practice. so one would expect that to be the stance of the administration.
Recent polling data shows that Session’s stance is wildly out of favor among the public, though. A full 84% of Americans oppose civil asset forfeiture, and with state and federal bi-partisan efforts to limit (or outright ban) the practice, there’s hope that soon this outrageous legalized theft will end.