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.
If the money or property seized by the DEA is particularly valuable, it is recorded in a High Value Seized or Recovered Monies (HVSRM) ledger. Muckrock recently obtained copies of these ledgers for the New York, Los Angeles, New England, Miami, and Houston division offices going back as far as 2011 in some cases.
What started as an attempt to re-create a Pulitzer-winning investigation into racial bias and asset forfeiture became a crash course in just how differently agencies can do the same thing,