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Russ Caswell’s experience with civil asset forfeiture was “nothing more than an extortion plot.” The Tewksbury Police Department seized Motel Caswell, which his father built in 1955, because the property allegedly had a “substantial connection” to drug activity.
Accountability in law enforcement is one of the things that separates a free society from a police state in which the citizens live at the mercy of their government. Police are given unique powers unavailable to the rest of society, including the ability to wield deadly force. Anyone at all concerned about liberty should at least be able to agree that such authority bears watching.
Jason Pye, Director of Justice Reform, represented FreedomWorks at a panel discussion called "Civil Asset Forfeiture: Undue Process and Overdue Reforms" on June 26 at Americans for Tax Reform in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, the D.C. Council unanimously endorsed a bill that aims to seriously reform the practice of civil asset forfeiture by the Metropolitan Police Department. The second and final vote on the measure will take place December 2.
The Institute for Justice is leading a class-action lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia and its’ civil forfeiture practices. This litigation comes in light of the city seizing a family’s home because unbeknownst to the parents, their son made a drug deal on the property worth $40.