Eric Holder Just Ended the Program That Let Police Stop and Rob You
Over the last three decades, local and state police have seized roughly $3 billion from motorists merely suspected of a crime — no proof, no conviction.
Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday announced the end of the civil asset forfeiture program known as “Equitable Sharing” (called that because local authorities had to give 20 percent of their take to the feds). The program allowed law enforcement to stop motorists and seize their cash and cars. To get their property back, suspects had to prove they obtained the stuff legally. Civil rights groups across the political spectrum have objected to the warantless searches, which have helped police fund their departments and make wild purchases.
Crucially, police will still be able to seize material considered an imminent threat to the public, such as firearms, explosives and child pornography.
As The Verge points out, some jurisdictions will still allow civil forfeiture under state and local law.
— Posted by Peter Z. ScheerWait, before you go…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig