This spring, New Mexico’s Legislature found something it could unanimously agree on – eliminating “civil asset forfeiture,” a fancy term for cops taking things without due process to fund their departments.
Real criminals still forfeit ill-gotten assets, after they are convicted, as it should be.
Of course, the cops are pouting that they might just seize less stuff if there’s nothing in it for them. They also say there might be fewer catnip busts.
Gee, what’s the problem? The only way this gets better is if cops threaten to stop lying on witness stands and acting like an occupying military army. (I know, bushels and bad apples, blah blah. Good cops trying for better PR don’t need this politician-driven stuff.)
In Oklahoma, a hearing uncovered that an assistant district attorney lived rent-free for five years in a house confiscated by police. He didn’t even pay for utilities. They came out of his office account.
In Arizona, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit about this very subject.
Every legislature should use New Mexico’s reform law as a model.
No hope at the federal level, of course.
But voters should demand action at the grass roots. Sadly, they won’t.
In honor of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker: The stupid, it burns.