Mass Incarceration. The New Jim Crow. The War on Drugs. Thanks to Professor Michelle Alexander these phrases are now intimately linked in the minds of social justice advocates and faith leaders as we begin a critical struggle for fairness, justice and human rights in the criminal courts, police precincts and prisons of America. The Next Movement is convinced that America can do better, and that the majority of Americans would want us to do better, if they knew the truth. The truth ─ about systemic incarceration, structural second class status, completely uneven law enforcement practices, oppressive and selectively enforced laws ─ that is filling the prisons of America.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Action Taken on Excessive Police Powers
Hmm, went to post a new blog today and discovered that this one was never published! Still, good thing that Eric Holder did. Now let's see what the new AG has in store for us . . .
From Jan 16th . . .
Few people realize that police departments across this country can confiscate property - homes, cars, cash - without a criminal conviction, plea bargain, or even evidence of a crime.
That's right! You could be driving from your home with cash collected to put a down payment on a home, and the police can stop you, search your car (if you give permission, which most people are afraid not to . . . even though it is YOUR RIGHT), and if they found your $5,000 in an envelope, could assume it was from criminal activity and confiscate it.
"Innocent until proven guilty" means nothing in these situations. It is your responsibility to prove to the police that your property was in your possession legally.
On Friday, January 16, 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder issued an order barring local and state police from using federal law to confiscate property without proving that a crime occurred (see entire article by clicking here).
Since 2008 state and local police departments have confiscated cash and property worth over $3 billion (THREE BILLION DOLLARS), in more than 55,000 seizures.
The federal program, called Equitable Sharing, allowed the local agencies to keep 80% of the proceeds, and balance going to federal agencies.
As we work to end mass incarceration in America, this type of program that provides incentives for police to behave inappropriately must be closed down!
This was a great decision by A.G. Holder and a victory to be celebrated.
A luta continua,