New report: In tough times, police start seizing a lot more stuff from people
In tough times, police start seizing a lot more stuff from people
One possible explanation for the recent rise is that "the years 2008 to 2014 were some lean economic years," said report co-author Dick Carpenter in an interview. "Forfeiture is an attractive way to keep revenue streams flowing when budgets are tight."
Law enforcement officers generally acknowledged this factor, according a Washington Post investigation last year: "All of our home towns are sitting on a tax-liberating gold mine,” Deputy Ron Hain of Kane County, Ill., wrote in a self-published book in 2011.
Critics of the system also say that the increase in forfeiture activity is due largely to the profit motive created by laws which allow police to keep some or all of the assets they seize.