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Alabama Law Enforcement Wants to Make Profit From People Who Aren’t Convicted of Crimes

Photo Credit: Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals

If there’s any margin of work where the distinction ground should play as little role as possible, it’s police work. Police officers swing an enormous volume of energy over the people, and when they are incentivized to lift out their work some-more aggressively and some-more extensively than they differently would, abuse and indignity are firm to proliferate.

But preserving financial incentives in policing is accurately what Sheriff of Coffee County Dave Sutton and Calhoun County District Attorney Brian McVeigh disagree for in a new op-ed.

Writing for AL.com, they shielded the disturbing use of polite item forfeiture.


This use allows cops to seize income and other valuables from people they trust to be criminals. But many of the people who have their income or security seized have never been and never will be convicted of a crime. The Alabama legislature is deliberation amending the law so that polite item damage can only be used against people who have been convicted of a crime, a pierce Sutton and McVeigh oppose.

They also conflict putting any supports perceived by the use into the state’s ubiquitous accounts. Instead, they consider it should go back to the law coercion agencies that seized the supports in the first place.

“[S]ending the deduction of damage to the state’s General Fund would outcome in fewer busts of drug and stolen skill rings,” write. “What inducement would internal police and sheriffs have to deposit manpower, resources and time in these operations if they don’t accept deduction to cover their costs?” 

Police should have copiousness of inducement to make the law sincerely and evenly. Allowing them to take supports from people who may never be proven to have committed a crime is the quintessential case of a impolite inducement that will capacitate abuse.

In 2015, about 25 percent of cases of polite item damage never even resulted in charges being filed against the ostensible criminals, according to a study by the Southern Poverty Law Center. More than 40 percent of cases were marijuana-related.

But polite item damage is big income for Alabama. The state done some-more than $2 million from the practice, the core found. No consternation law coercion wants to keep polite item damage around. 

Cody Fenwick is a contributor and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.

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