The hearing for Assembly Bill 639 to reform asset forfeiture in California
has fortunately been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 5th. This bill, while not perfect, is an attempt to prevent California law enforcement authorities from using federal authority to perform asset forfeitures. Cutting off this loophole is important; the federal Equitable Sharing program allows state and local law enforcement to ignore state law about the process and disposition of forfeitures. Most dangerously, Equitable Sharing allows state and local law enforcement to directly retain forfeiture proceeds (in other words, policing for profit).
This bill should be particularly important for Drug War reformers; much of Drug War enforcement is paid for by federal forfeiture dollars that get spent by state and local police on military equipment, drug task salaries and bonuses, and the organization infrastructure that allows the existence of the Drug War. California state and local law enforcement now receive upwards of $70 million a year through Equitable Sharing forfeiture dollars alone.
I am working with Christina Walsh of the Institute for Justice to solicit
testimony from forfeiture victims to submit to the California Senate Public
Safety Committee on Tuesday, July 5th. Please contact me if you are
interested in submitting testimony (we can help you draft such testimony).
You can reach me at Eapen@ForfeitureReform.com.
Executive Director, Americans for Forfeiture Reform
3630 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO, 64109
Email: Eapen@ForfeitureReform.com or Eapen.Thampy@gmail.com
Web: http://www.forfeiturereform.com and