“Rep. Mark Baker is advocating for the reinstatement of administrative asset forfeiture. His efforts to boost civil forfeiture are part of an agenda to bring back the failed and racist War on Drugs, where this and other ineffective, unjust practices were widely used. While civil forfeiture falls on communities of color that may subject to over policing, we are not talking about people who have committed crimes. We are talking about everyday people who have had their homes, cars, money, and other property taken through civil forfeiture, which requires only mere suspicion that the property is connected to a crime.
“The civil forfeiture system undermines constitutional policing, violating due process rights and property rights and is fundamentally unjust. Once their property has been seized, ordinary people must navigate a civil legal system that is stacked against them without the guarantee of an attorney. And property owners must prove they are “not guilty,” turning the fundamental presumption of innocence on its head.
“We all still strive to achieve the American dream, to own and be secure in our homes and property. Civil asset forfeiture puts this dream at risk and is very simply un-American.”