87 percent of federal forfeitures were civil, not criminal, so the government didn’t have to charge or convict anyone to take property.
Welcome to KyCAF.org and thank you for stopping by. This site was created and is maintained by a group of citizens concerned with government overreach in Kentucky.
Civil forfeiture threatens the constitutional rights of all Americans. Using civil forfeiture, the government can take your home, business, cash, car or other property on the mere suspicion that it is somehow connected to criminal activity—and without ever convicting or even charging you with a crime. Most people unfamiliar with this process would find it hard to believe that such a power exists in a country that is supposed to recognize and hold dear rights to private property and due process of law.
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Drones, Guns And Light Bills: How Kentucky Police Spend Seized Cash
By JACOB RYAN, March 4, 2019 — This story is part of a collaborative reporting initiative supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. See all the stories at taken.pulitzercenter.org.
The Jeffersontown Police say they probably wouldn’t be able to have a 12-officer Special Operations Group without the money they seize from suspected drug traffickers.
They use asset forfeiture money to reimburse the police department for overtime when the special-operations team is called out to a scene. The seizures paid for body armor, medical supplies and a retirement plaque for an outgoing officer.
The suspected drug money also bought the department a sports car, a submachine gun and a drone.
“We go into this looking at the interest of, how are we going to keep our community safe?” said Maj. Brittney Garrett, who oversees the agency’s budget. “We want to do that with the right personnel and the right equipment.”
Kentucky law dictates that agencies seizing money and assets from suspected drug traffickers use it for direct law enforcement purposes. A KyCIR review of $3.7 million in spending records from 17 law-enforcement agencies in Kentucky shows that officials take varied interpretations of that rule, buying a sniper rifle with a silencer, a vacuum, gym equipment or a lunch at Hooters with seized funds.
Policing for Profit
Using civil forfeiture, the government can take your home, business, cash, car or other property on the mere suspicion that it is somehow connected to criminal activity
A Cash Cow
Over the 10 years ending in September 2016, about 8 percent of all property owners who had cash seized from them by the DEA had it returned.