I am impressed.
Attorney General Holder today announced he was ending the Federal Government's "Equitable Sharing" program, otherwise known as civil forfeiture. Under this program
... local and state police routinely pulled over drivers for minor traffic infractions, pressed them to agree to warrantless searches and seized large amounts of cash without evidence of wrongdoing. The law allows such seizures and forces the owners to prove their property was legally acquired in order to get it back.
Police spent the seizure proceeds with little oversight, in some cases buying luxury cars, high-powered weapons and military-grade gear such as armored cars, according to an analysis of Justice Department data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.
The whole concept should never have existed; the laws enabling civil forfeiture should have been ruled unconstitutional under any plausible interpretation of the Constitution and due process. But no, the Supreme Court upheld them.
News of Holder’s decision stunned advocates who have for a long time unsuccessfully sought to reverse civil asset forfeiture laws, arguing that they undermine core American values, such as property rights and due process.
Yes, I too am stunned. Finally a significant reversal of our police state.
A Justice official... said Holder "also believes that the new policy will eliminate any possibility that the adoption process might unintentionally incentivize unnecessary stops and seizures."
Mr. Holder, praise. Now... there's about a bazillion police officers who need to be indicted on federal civil rights charges...
10:50 AM PT: Hmmm...
11:04 AM PT: Simple explanation via Vox:
The Department of Justice on Friday curtailed a federal program that allowed police to seize and keep cash, cars, and other private property without evidence of a crime, the Washington Post reported.
Police will no longer be able to seize private assets through the federal program unless they're directly linked to public safety concerns. Items that can still be seized include illegal firearms, ammunition, explosives, and property associated with child pornography.
Police have been heavily criticized for using the program to seize people's assets without evidence of a crime and pocketing the proceeds to fund their own departments