Did you know police can take your stuff without even arresting — let alone convicting — you for a crime, sell it, and keep the money? They can, and it’s legal. The practice is called “civil asset forfeiture,” and the Institute for Justice is actively litigating against this gross abuse of property rights. IJ describes civil forfeiture this way:
Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. With civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your property and use it to fund their budgets—all without charging you with a crime. Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but with civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent—and law enforcement has a huge incentive to police for profit, not justice.