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It can be difficult and burdensome for a person to fight the necessary legal battle to regain possession of their property, even if that person is innocent. Moreover, law enforcement agencies may profit from seized assets, allowing them to raise revenue at the expense of innocent citizens.
Comedian John Oliver recently discussed civil asset forfeiture on his program Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, highlighting some of the consequences of the current law in various cases.
Part 1: Stop and seize: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes - After Sept. 11, 2001, a cottage industry of private police trainers emerged to teach aggressive techniques of highway interdiction to thousands of local and state police.
Part 2: Police intelligence targets cash: Reports on drivers, training by firm fueled law enforcement agressiveness - One training firm started a private intelligence-sharing network and helped shape law enforcement nationwide.
Part 3: They found the law. Who won?: Many drivers faced a long ordeal in court to try to get their money back from police - Motorists caught up in the seizures talk about the experience and the legal battles that could take over a year.
Part 4: Asset seizures fuel police spending - Police agencies nationwide routinely buy vehicles and weapons with money and property seized under federal civil forfeiture law from people who were not charged with a crime.
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