|For Immediate Release|
July 19, 2017
Asset Forfeiture Changes Are a Step Back on Individual Rights
(Washington, D.C.) – Today the Department of Justice announced a series of reforms to federal policies on Civil Asset Forfeiture. These changes expand the ability of law enforcement agencies to seize the assets of suspected criminals regardless of whether they are convicted of a crime, and to keep the proceeds from their sale by sharing cases with the Department of Justice.
Daniel Garza, President of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“It’s the duty of law enforcement to protect the rights of innocent Americans and to apprehend lawbreakers. Before an American has been convicted of a crime – or even charged with a crime – the government should be forbidden from seizing their private property. Experience has shown all too clearly that when law enforcement agencies are allowed to seize private property without charging or convicting the owner of a crime, it is innocent people who suffer. The changes announced today go too far, including allowing local agencies to go around their own state laws by seizing assets and transferring them to the federal government. These changes are likely to have a disproportionate impact on the Hispanic community and undermine the rights of all Americans, not protect them – and they threaten the most vulnerable in our society more than any others.”