Sunday, December 07, 2014

Local D.C. Lawmakers Vote In Favor Of Overhauling City Forfeiture Laws In Effort To Crack Down On "Policing For Profit;" Some Law Enforcement Agencies View Legal Loopholes In Law Allowing Asset Seizures As Handy Source Of Slush Funds

In Washington, D.C., Forbes reports (via Public Citizen Consumer Law & Policy Blog):
  • The Council of the District of Columbia voted unanimously [last week] in favor of overhauling the city’s civil forfeiture laws, which lets police seize property from people never charged with a crime. Law enforcement can then pocket all of the proceeds gained from forfeiture.

    The Civil Asset Forfeiture Amendment Act of 2014 stabs at the heart of what makes civil forfeiture so potentially corrupting: Letting cops and prosecutors keep what they forfeit creates “at best, the appearance of a conflict of interest, and at worst, an unchecked incentive for slush funds,” remarked Councilman Tommy Wells, who authored the reform.

    If the bill becomes law, Washington, D.C. would join just eight states that ban policing for profit. Rather than padding law enforcement budgets, any revenue generated with civil forfeiture instead would be deposited into the general fund.
For more, see Washington, D.C. Council Votes to Reform City's Civil Forfeiture Laws, Ban Policing for Profit.

See also:
Go here for some earlier posts on civil forfeiture. forfeiture feds

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