Can Police Take Your Money and Spend it on Themselves?
Sadly, yes. And they don’t need a warrant to do it.
The Mississippi city of Richland has a new $4.1 million police station, a top-level training center and a fleet of black-and-white Dodge Charger police cars.
All of it was paid for through civil forfeitures of property and cash seized during traffic stops of what police say were suspected drug runners on Interstate 20.
Civil libertarians question the constitutionality of civil forfeiture, which has become a key part of revenue for state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide. Under the laws of many states, citizens can be deprived of their property or even cash if police merely suspect the owners to be involved in criminal activity.
No officer of the law should be able to take an individuals property without a warrant, based on the “suspicion” of a crime. That is so subjective that it could mean anything in the eye of the beholder.
Our justice system is grounded in the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” not the other way around.