Minnesota Poised to Pass Policing Bill That Would Restrict Asset Forfeiture and No-Knock Raids
Minnesota lawmakers reached a tentative deal over the weekend on a package of criminal justice and policing reforms, including new restrictions on civil asset forfeiture and no-knock raids.
Minnesota Public Radio reports that the large compromise bill would require, among other things, more justifications and oversight of no-knock warrants and stricter rules for when law enforcement can use confidential informants and jailhouse snitches. It would also limit when police can seize vehicles and create protections for innocent owners whose cars are seized under asset forfeiture, a practice that allows law enforcement to seize property suspected of being connected to criminal activity.
Minnesota would join other states that have passed policing reforms in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Police reform legislation collapsed in the Minnesota legislature last year amid a partisan standoff between the Democrat-led House and Republican-led Senate. State lawmakers have until late Wednesday to pass a public safety package and avoid a partial government shutdown.
Because of prior reforms, Minnesota already requires a criminal conviction before assets can be forfeited in civil court, but supporters of the legislation say it will further protect owners. The legislation would also restrict cash seizures under $1,500.
“Including forfeiture reforms in the public safety and judiciary agreement is just what the numbers call for,” Minnesota State Audit
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