Despite reform efforts, state and local police are still teaming up with federal law enforcement to seize millions
In recent years many states have begun to to reform civil asset forfeiture, by either reducing the percentage of money police are allowed to keep, or reducing the number of situations in which assets are allowed to be seized. While some of these efforts have been more successful than others, a practice called Equitable Sharing continues to undercut these efforts and keep the worst excesses of police seizure alive.
This week there have been some great examples of the impact public records requests can have, including how a three-year fight for records ended up overturning a murder conviction, while another long-running transparency effort is leading to reforms in civil asset forfeiture in Illinois.
Using the annotation tool provided by the folks at Genius, MuckRock’s added a few of our own notes to Killer Mike’s 2012 lyrical takedown of the prison-industrial complex, “Reagan.”
Over the years, we’ve looked at how asset forfeiture programs can be used as major revenue streams for law enforcement, detailing how agencies work around restrictions meant to safeguard due process and finding surprising big ticket items that were seized. Now, working with Lucy Parsons Labs, we’re looking at how one city has used asset forfeiture to fund a surge in domestic surveillance spending.