In-state cops seize millions by 'policing for profit'
Texas law enforcement are continuing to enrich themselves using a little-known legal doctrine known as civil forfeiture, according to a new series of investigative reports. Under civil forfeiture, property can be forfeited even if its owner has never been charged with a crime. In these proceedings, accused criminals have more rights than innocent owners, and the government sues the property, not its owner.
These cases can be so baffling, one Texas Supreme Court Justice recently compared civil forfeiture to "Alice in Wonderland" and the works of Franz Kafka. But civil forfeiture isn't just a quirky curiosity; it's a powerful incentive for law enforcement to take millions.
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