Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department plans to implement a law that approves the seizure of property,”especially ill-gotten gains from drug dealers.” While at the National District Attorney’s Association meeting this week, Sessions proclaimed that, “no criminal should be able to keep the proceeds of their illegal activity.”

On Wednesday (July 19), the Justice Department announced a new federal policy that reverses a rule brought on, after incidents of police abuse, by the Obama administration. The policy plans to help state and local police take cash and property from people suspected of a crime, even without a criminal charge.

Police departments will be required to submit written details to the Justice Department about probable cause for seizures. Federal officials will have to expeditiously notify property owners (within 45 days) about their rights and the status of the seizures. Officers will also be required to participate in more training courses on asset forfeiture laws.

Since 2008, thousands of police departments had made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion under a Justice Department civil asset forfeiture program, which allowed local and state police to make seizures and then share the proceeds with federal agencies.

In 2014, a Washington Post investigation found that state and local police had seized almost $2.5 billion from motorists and others without search warrants or indictments since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. However, in 2015, then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. barred state and local police from using federal law to seize cash and other property without criminal charges or warrants.

Several Senate members and organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are raging against this new policy.

“The problem is that we are not talking about criminals. We are talking about Americans who have had their homes, cars, money and other property taken through civil forfeiture, which requires only mere suspicion that the property is connected to a crime,” ACLU’s legislative counsel member Kanya Bennett.

Source: Washington Post