The police practice has received added attention in recent days, as police militarization and other forms of law enforcement abuse make headlines. But the nominee for U.S. Attorney General to replace embattled incumbent Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, appears to have used the practice often.
Under Lynch’s watch in 2013 as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, her office seized $904 million using civil asset forfeiture, something she announced herself.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported in January of 2014 that Lynch announced “the Eastern District of New York, working collaboratively with other offices as well as on its own, collected over $904 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013.”
Of this total amount, $725,564,627.70 resulted from cases handled in conjunction with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice. Collections from criminal and civil actions handled solely by the Eastern District of New York totaled $178,848,788.63.”
It’s not clear how many of the forfeitures affected innocent people, but that’s essentially the problem with civil asset forfeiture.
An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal termed the practice as “a form of policing for profit.”