Civil asset forfeiture is a legal practice that allows law enforcement to take possession of private property—cash, vehicles, real estate, etc.—if it is suspected of being connected to criminal activity. In many states, an individual doesn’t even need to be charged with a crime before their property is taken.
According to documents filed by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, police are seeking to forfeit a 1997 GMC 2500 truck owned by Correy A. Ingram of Diamond.
According to a record sourced from the Michigan State Police, police seized almost $15 million in property and cash from more than 6,000 individuals in 2018. About $13.4 million of the seized cash went to police budgets, sources allege.
Since 1978, Michigan Police has been using a legal instrument called civil asset forfeiture law that allows them to seize property which has been linked to certain criminal activity. The owner of the seized property does not even need to be guilty or convicted for the law enforcement to take over their valuables.
In February of this year, after an eight-month investigation conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies (including several law enforcement agencies from Orange County to Palm Beach together with the IRS and Homeland Security), six women were charged for their part in an alleged prostitution ring which operated in massage parlors in the area. Around 100 men have also been arrested for allegedly visiting the massage parlors.
The Wyoming state legislature has passed a bill outlawing a process where law enforcement in the state would encourage people to sign away the rights to their property during roadside searches.
The bill passed with bipartisan support in both chambers of the Wyoming legislature and has now been signed into law. It will come into effect on July 1 and is designed to stop abuses of civil asset forfeiture law. Continue reading