Police Stole Her Car, Then Called It "Civil Asset Forfeiture"

Money and handcuffs on American flag
William Anderson
September 1, 2021

Ever wonder what happens when police take a bunch of stuff from someone during a search and seizure? Well, sometimes they keep it for themselves – or sell it! It’s called “civil asset forfeiture,” and it’s essentially legalized robbery.

That’s exactly what happened to Melisa Ingram.

50-year-old Ingram needed her car to get to and from work in Detroit, Michigan. But when police “suspected” the vehicle was being used for “illegal activity,” they seized it – even though she wasn’t even charged with a crime! 

But when she asked for her car, they gave it back to her, right?

No. In June 2019, the Vehicle Seizure Unit in her area told Ingram she needed to pay $1,800 to get the car that THEY stole returned to her! She didn’t have the money, so she never got it back. 

And it’s not just her.

In 2014, U.S. police officers took more property from people than burglars did! Authorities deposited BILLIONS in their forfeiture funds, which they amassed by taking things from people.

The truth is: police abuse their state-sponsored power trips to steal our things – simply because they want them, and they know they can. We cannot afford to keep paying for policing both with our lives AND with our own possessions.

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