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12 More Ridiculous Things Police Bought With Forfeiture Money

Under "civil forfeiture" laws, cops don't need to convict you, or even accuse you of breaking the law, to take your stuff!

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Many states let police and prosecutors keep at least a portion of the proceeds from forfeiture. So that means they have a huge incentive to police for profit.

It's not limited to states either. The feds have a civil forfeiture program called "equitable sharing," where 81 percent of the property taken was from people who were never charged with a crime.

So thanks to forfeiture, law enforcement has been on a spending spree, buying all sorts of ridiculous things like:

4. A GoCart

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Police in Norcross, Ga. spent $9,750 in equitable sharing funds on a GoCart.

3. Hawaiian Vacation

Via commons.wikimedia.org

Six members of the Metro Gang Strike Force in Minnesota spent almost $17,000 to flee that frozen tundra and head to a six-day conference in Hawaii. According to the Star Tribune, “the trip was paid for with forfeited money seized by the strike force.” The state later shut down the force. And now Minnesota requires a criminal conviction before the government can take people’s property using civil forfeiture.

2. Political Campaigns

Via s3.amazonaws.com

Down in Webb County, Tex., the sheriff’s office used over $33,000 in forfeiture funds to buy newsletters and TV commercials, “which were criticized as re-election tools,” according to NPR. And a former DA in Brooklyn has been accused of spending more than $1 million of state asset forfeiture funds on a political consultant.

Bonus: See even more ridiculous things cops bought with asset forfeiture in this video:

View this video on YouTube

Institute for Justice / Via youtube.com

You can even see if police in your hometown have been spending (and maybe even misusing) federal forfeiture money. As part of its investigative reporting, The Washington Post has published more than 43,000 equitable sharing forms online in a searchable database.

Let us know what you find in the comments below!

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