Police took $4.1 million from motorists and built a police station: Watchdog covers civil asset forfeiture
At first glance, residents of Richland, Mississippi were probably thankful for their new $4.1 million police station, but that all changed when Mississippi Watchdog found the funds came from property and cash seized from motorists on the mere suspicion that they had committed a crime.
A Note From Our President
One of the most troubling trends that Watchdog.org has been exposing is the egregious abuse of civil asset forfeiture by local government officials - a practice that allows law enforcement to seize cash and property from citizens if they merely suspect them of committing a crime. Given that the agencies seizing property are allowed to keep the proceeds from it, the system is ripe for abuse - as we saw recently with a Mississippi police department that funded a new $4.1 million station entirely from civil forfeiture revenue.
That's only the beginning of the bigger story, however. As we report on civil forfeiture abuse everywhere from Pennsylvania to New Mexico, the national narrative has begun to change. Citizens are outraged, states have begun to implement reforms, and as always, Watchdog journalists and citizens will be there to cover the abuse and ensure that Americans have the facts to make their cities and communities more fair and just.