Michigan Rolls Back Reforms of Civil Asset Forfeiture
From 2015 to 2019, in response to complaints that greedy cops were indiscriminately grabbing property they claimed was connected to criminal activity, Michigan legislators repeatedly amended the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws. This year they partly reversed those reforms, making it easier to confiscate travelers’ cash in the name of cracking down on drug trafficking.
Michigan previously required a criminal conviction prior to completion of forfeitures involving cash or other property worth $50,000 or less. A pair of bills that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law on May 26 lowered that ceiling to $20,000 for assets seized at airports. “Drug trafficking will not be tolerated in Michigan,” declared state Rep. Graham Filler (R–DeWitt), who sponsored one of the bills. “The men and women who keep our airports secure need to have the proper authority to keep drugs and drug money out of our state—and this reform gives them the tools they need.” Rep. Alex Garza (D–Taylor) claimed his related bill made Michigan “a safer place,” because “drug traffickers will now think twice before trying to profit off the
Article from Reason.com