Let’s end policing for profit in South Carolina!
Civil asset forfeiture allows the government to take and keep your property without even charging you with a crime.
This practice was sold to the public as a tool for taking the ill-gotten gains of drug kingpins, but it has strayed far from its alleged purpose. In practice, civil asset forfeiture too often targets innocent South Carolinians.
How can this be?
It is all about the money. Civil asset forfeiture incentivizes the pursuit of profit over the fair administration of justice. Under South Carolina law, law enforcement and solicitors keep 95 percent of the proceeds from forfeited property.
We’re not talking about pocket change. South Carolina law enforcement took and kept more than $17 million between 2014 – 2016 alone.
Some South Carolina law enforcement leaders even project in their budget how much money they plan to take from people the following year.
This is policing for profit, plain and simple.
It gets worse. Like most police practices in South Carolina, civil asset forfeiture disproportionately harms Black and poor people. For example, The Greenville News found that 65 percent of the civil asset forfeiture cases between 2014 – 2016 impacted Black people despite the fact that Black people make up just 27 percent of South Carolina’s population.
We can end this abusive practice!
Email your state legislator now and demand that they abolish civil asset forfeiture in South Carolina.
Your State Representative