Police need to have a high level of moral and ethical standards to be trusted with the great authority we the people convey on them. Having the police steal from the citizens through Civil Asset Forfeiture to fund their department is greatly immoral and unethical.
Certain very unconstitutional laws in the category called Civil Asset Forfeiture allow police officers to confiscate money or property from citizens, just by an assumption or possibility that the money or property was acquired illegally. Without an arrest, a trial or conviction, money and property is taken by police, and that money often ends up funding regular police department business.
A citizen that has their money or property taken by police could spend many thousands of dollars suing the government to try to recover what was taken. The bar is usually set very high to win that suit and often the citizen would have to open up their entire lives to the government and prosecutors. The Fourth Amendment protects a citizen’s private papers from the government, however, having government take your stuff, then requiring you to show all your papers in order for you recover your stuff, is clearly wrong.
Civil means without a criminal conviction. Assets means anything of worth. Forfeiture means that the government through the police take your assets. There is no complaint if a court of law hands down a conviction that the money or property was stolen, the money or property would need to be returned to the rightful owners.
The American people see minorities in urban cities rising up in protests and riots when they think (rightfully or wrongly) theirs or their friends’ rights are denied. Many people do not trust the police, and that is a major problem. If the people entrust into the police the authority to use force to protect rights and punish infringers of rights, they need to be held to very high levels of ethical standards. Government empowering and requiring police to steal to fund their department encourages very unethical behavior, thus compromising government and the rule of law.
Asset forfeiture without a conviction could be cash, cars, houses, boats or any other assets. This is clearly wrong. Many people have done great research on this injustice, unfortunately, this has not been fixed. Major reforms are needed to protect people’s property. While crimes need to be punished, we need to abide by the Fourth Amendment. Nothing should be taken without a conviction.