Asset Forfeiture Abuse

Across the country, law enforcement agents stop motorists – predominantly people of color – and seize the money in their possession simply by asserting that they believe the money is connected to some illegal activity, even without ever pursuing criminal charges. Under federal law and the laws of most states, they are entitled to keep the money they seize, which goes to fill police department coffers, pay salaries, buy new equipment, and fund other perks for the officers.

Settlement Means No More Highway Robbery in Tenaha, Texas

Settlement Means No More Highway Robbery in Tenaha, Texas

By Elora Mukherjee, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:22am
On Friday, the ACLU settled a class action lawsuit, pending court approval, against officials in the East Texas town of Tenaha and Shelby County over the rampant practice of stopping and searching drivers, almost always Black or Latino, and often seizing their cash and other valuable property. The money seized by officers during these stops went directly into department coffers. It was highway robbery, targeting those who could least afford to challenge the officers’ abuse of power, under the guise of a so-called “drug interdiction” program and made possible by Texas’s permissive civil asset forfeiture laws. 

End Policing for Profit

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 5:18pm

(Originally posted on Huffington Post.)

Imagine a police officer pulls you over and tells you he believes the cash you're carrying was used to in some illegal activity and — based only on that hunch — he is going to take it…

Easy Money: Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse by Police

By Chloe Cockburn, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 1:16pm

On November 18, 2009, Shukree Simmons, who is African-American, was driving with his business partner on the highway from Macon, Georgia, back to Atlanta after selling his cherished Chevy Silverado truck to a restaurant owner in Macon for $3,700…

Texas Statute Paves Way for Highway Robbery

By Chloe Cockburn, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 4:24pm

Last Friday, the ACLU and the ACLU of Texas submitted a brief to the Texas Attorney General's office arguing that a District Attorney in East Texas should be barred from using money unfairly taken from motorists under Texas's asset forfeiture law …

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