It looks like Oklahoma might take a step toward reining in the growing American police state by limiting civil asset forfeiture. According to the Daily Signal,
Last week, State Senator Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, introduced the latest version of the Personal Asset Protection Act, a sweeping overhaul of Oklahoma’s civil asset forfeiture laws.
Civil asset forfeiture is the practice of law enforcement officers taking away money and other assets from people who are never convicted of a crime. Then they keep these assets for their agency. In some cases they keep them for personal use!
In Beaver County, one assistant district attorney decided that a house his office had forfeited would make the perfect residence. He lived in it, rent-free, for five years—even billing the DA’s office for the utilities. Another assistant district attorney used $5,000 in forfeited assets to make student loan payments, a clear violation of state law that the DA’s office nevertheless defended.
In the video below, I was flabbergasted to hear a District Attorney condemn “the nature of the idea that you have to have a crime in connection with seized property” as “dangerous” (at the 59-second mark).
No! The idea that police have the right to seize property and take it for themselves, without giving the suspect his day in court, is dangerous. Nullifying the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty is dangerous.
Advocates of this police state corruption claim that critics of civil asset forfeiture are protecting drug traffickers. Here’s a news flash: no constitutionalist could possibly care! The same accusation could be made against the Fourth Amendment. Gun control is pushed along the same lines: We must violate people’s rights in order to stop criminals.
Don’t be intimidated. Fight for the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.