Sorry, local law enforcement: Eric Holder just reined you in big time. The outgoing attorney general (he will step down whenever his successor is confirmed) prohibitedEquitable Sharing, a program that allowed local police departments to use federal law to seize cash and other assets in the name of justice. Now they will be forced to produce actual evidence that a crime has occurred before taking your stuff, further highlighting just how absurd it is that they were able to take it willy-nilly just yesterday.
This practice of seizing items they think could be used in law-breaking activity, called civil forfeiture, has really resulted in wide-ranging seizure of questionable morality. For starters, the practice raises alarms not only because you don’t actually get due process (oh hey, 5th and 14th amendments, thanks for stopping by), but because police departments often then get to keep whatever they confiscated. Yes, including money, which they sometimes ask about while pulling someone over. John Oliver explained it best: