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Beach Police Seized $358k – Not Enough for Body Cams?
Last night Virginia Beach city council heard an earful after local residents questioned the use of monies seized during a process known as Civil Asset Forfeiture. Over $358k has been confiscated over the past year during stops by police who believe the cash to be ‘dirty money’ either through the drug trade or other illegal activity.
Local pastor Andrew Jackson, who attended to speak in favor of a disparity study, mentioned the asset seizure in his opening words. He then immediately pivoted to question why the money has not been used on body cameras, as it would benefit community relations.
“No city can make a claim to be the greatest city when those who run the city are not great to those who live in it,” said Jackson.
The disparity study is an issue that had been presented to council three years in a row, with no avail. Similar studies have been conducted in other cities such as Richmond and Raleigh, and are said to promote commerce and talent retention for the local business community.
In terms of Civil Asset Forfeiture, which is becoming a draconian assault on our 4th amendment rights, people of color are twice as likely to be the victims of this policing practice. Virginia took a step in the right direction passing a bill last year tightening the burden of proof needed to confiscate cash.
However, not enough has been done. Two policy experts who originated the measure while in the DOJ during the 1980s now say it should be abolished. More discussion can be found: HERE. The original purpose was to cut money from the drug trade, but that has festered into a policing for profit mentality.
President Trump and AG Sessions have supported the policy and continue to endorse its effectiveness. You can read more: Here. I hope we as conservatives can taper our drunken enthusiasm from last November’s victories and sober up to constitutional reverence. Illegal seizures are un-American.
Virginia has been declared one of the worst states for questionable asset forfeiture by Institute for Justice: HERE. Journalists and activists are taking notice, and tourists can always take their tax dollars to another state.