WHAT THE POLICE’S ATTORNEYS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT CIVIL FORFEITURE
A city attorney in New Mexico explains how the police can take people’s houses away, even if they didn’t commit any crime under state law:
Scary stuff. What he’s describing is known as “equitable sharing.” A state police department teams up with a federal law enforcement agency and can then seize property for a violation of federal law. Even though a state has made selling marijuana legal under state law, it’s still illegal under federal law.
What’s more concerning about the video is the flippant attitude towards seizing property of people who have only been charged with a crime.
What if the police find money but no drugs?
No drugs, no problem:
What if the owner wasn’t involved in any crime?
In many cases, the seized property belongs to someone not involved in criminal activity. Here’s how the police departments and city attorneys get around that “snag.”
You would hope that the police and the city attorneys would take their obligation to serve the public seriously, and not let their unchecked power intoxicate them… but…
I think that says it all.