The Cash Machine

Number 25613
Subject Police
Source Philadelphia City Paper
State Pennsylvania
Year 2012
Publication Date 11/29/2012
Summary An investigation reveals that the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office seizes millions every year in small amounts of cash seized from individuals stopped by police— but not necessarily arrested, and often never convicted of a crime. Through the use of "civil asset forfeiture," the Philadelphia D.A. has created a kind of forfeiture assembly line, pursuing cases for small amounts of cash by the thousands via a system which proceeds without regard to guilt or innocence and which places a tremendous burden of proof on the property owner. This investigation is one of the first quantitative looks into a big-city forfeiture operation and includes statistics compiled from reviews of thousands of court records as well as data compiled by hand.
Category Contest Entry
Keywords Philadelphia; police scandal; civil asset forfeiture
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