It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Jolie McCullough, criminal justice reporter for the The Texas Tribune.
Civil asset forfeiture, a practice that some have described as de facto robbery by police, allows Texas law enforcement officers to seize money and property with little oversight or transparency. The Tribune released a study Friday, which analyzed 560 cases from four counties to shine a light on the controversial practice.
McCullough says police can take money and property without convicting or even charging anyone of a crime, and almost 60% of people whose belongings were seized did not fight to get them back.
“Police are often seizing low-cash seizures under $3,000,” McCullough says.“It goes through the civil courts, not the criminal courts, so you don’t have the right to an attorney.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– How civil asset forfeiture is used in different parts of Texas
– Why Texas police take money and property even when someone isn’t charged with a crime
– Why people don’t fight to get their money back
Written by Hayden Baggett.