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A GOOD FIRST STEP. Asset Forfeiture Reform heads to Governor Rauner

June 28, 2017

Image via The Economist.

Illinois continues to lose residents left and right.  Try to rent a U-Haul one-way out of Illinois and you'll pay a king's ransom.  Conversely, if you're foolish enough to want to rent one coming to Illinois, they'll practically pay you to do so!  

In news that might give folks a reason to stay in Illinois for a change, the Illinois General Assembly sent Governor Rauner a comprehensive asset forfeiture reform bill in recent days – HB303.  By nearly unanimous votes, legislators seek to tighten civil asset forfeiture rules.  The programs have shown that the program hits the poor the hardest.  That's not surprising, as most Americans of any class don't have money to hire legal representation to fight one of these cases.

Reason Magazine has the details.

The Illinois legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill Friday tightening the state's civil asset forfeiture laws and shifting the burden of proof onto the government to show why it should be allowed to keep seized property.

The vote came on the heels of an investigative report from Reasonearlier this month showing lower-income neighborhoods of Chicago were hit hardest by asset forfeiture.

Reason's report, analyzing more than 23,000 property seizures over the last five years, was cited by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx in a letter to the Chicago Tribune Saturday urging Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the bill into law. Foxx wrote that civil asset forfeiture's disproportionate impact on poor and minority communities was an "injustice."

11 Responses to A GOOD FIRST STEP. Asset Forfeiture Reform heads to Governor Rauner

  1. d on June 28, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    What Ms. Fox fails to also inform the public is that these poor minorities who have their assests seized, while receiving welfare benefits, are having luxury cars seized.  Cars that the working middle class can't afford and yet somehow they can while demonstrating no means of income.  The trick they use is that the cars are in their aunt's or mother's name, neither who could viably afford such a vehicle.  Again Ms. Fox is portraying criminals as victims.  Her agenda, no matter how carefully hidden to the sheep in this county, is to empower the black criminal elements at every level.  She is stripping away penalties for violent crime and property crime perpetrated by predominantly black offenders.  All the while the media sucks it up without even questioning the veracity of her statements or intentions.  Fox is leading a dangerous shift here in Cook county, she is decriminalizing black crime.  The ramifications are already being felt all over the metropolitan area, as the incidence of black crime is exploding.  For the race baiters out there, this isn't racism, it a cold hard fact born of statistical analysis.  Prepare yourselves, because this element is coming to a neighborhood near you.  Hopefully you survive.  We need to remove racist politicians like Prickwrinkle and Fox.  They are the cause of so many deaths in this county it's sickening.

    • Ebby123 on July 6, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      "…while receiving welfare benefits, are having luxury cars seized.  Cars that the working middle class can't afford and yet somehow they can while demonstrating no means of income"

      Wholly and completely irrelivant. 

      This is a free country. Having nice things makes you guilty of nothing.

      If you'd like to reform the welfare system I'll be the first in line to help – but what you're suggesting is some serious "a n****er can't own a nice car – must have stollen it" mentality. 

      Society doesn't OWN a person because they receive welfare benefits. Period. Full stop.
      They don't lose their rights to privacy, and against warrantless searches and seizures.

  2. Matt on June 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Asset forfeiture is wrong. If you aren't guilty of a crime, you shouldn't have your property seized. Even worse is the fact that technology is being to allow police to drain gift cards and debit cards of their balances, all without a warrant. Agencies will claim that if you can prove your property and cash are legitimate, they'll give it back. The trick is that doing so costs money. Money which may be more than the value of the items seized or money that poor people don't have (especially if their bank account was just drained by a cop's skimmer). Additionally, why should someone have to prove their innocence? It's on the system to prove guilt!


    Asset forfeiture is just a legalized shakedown without any accountability.

    • d on June 29, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      Are you another purveyor of fake news or do you actually believe what you wrote?  The police cannot drain gift cards or debit cards, that is pure fiction.  As far as seizures of assets, so you believe a drug dealer who has millions of dollars in assets in the form of real estate and vehicles acquired through the use of drug money should be allowed to keep it all? So if if decide to sell drugs and I have never had a job or any source of income to show that I paid for any of my assets  with clean money, I should still be able to keep everything I gained through illegal means?  Are you Kim Fox's brother? Or are you just so out of touch with what the criminal element is doing around here?  Please Matt, come to the west side of Chicago this summer and walk around one night and let everyone know that you are against seizures.  I am certain they will show you how grateful they are for your support.  Or the simple way, get a scanner and listen to City Wide 1 in Chicago.  One night will open even your eyes.

      • Matt on June 30, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        My comment didn't go through possibly because of the links I copied. So here is the comment with the links broken:

        Before accusing me of "fake news" maybe actually do some research. Here, I'll even provide links from websites that conservatives will trust. Fox News shows that the devices to drain debit and credit cards exist and are currently being used:

        foxnews .com/tech/2016/06/17/oklahomas-use-card-readers-to-freeze-seize-funds-comes-under-fire.html

        As for your claim about drug kingpins. here's an article from Reason showing that asset forfeiture is being used against the poor the most and there isn't any real evidence that it's against big time criminals. The cops are seizing XBox controllers for goodness sakes.

        reason .com/blog/2017/06/13/poor-neighborhoods-hit-hardest-by-asset

        You can bury your head in the sand all you want, but we aren't targetting "millionaire drug dealers." Read the reason article, they went through all 23,065 seizures that occured between 2012 to now. Here's a quote:

        "For example, roughly 11,000 seizures in Cook County over the five-year period were for amounts lower than $1,000. Nearly 1,500 were for amounts under $100."

        That's saying that over 50% of forfeitures for for petty amounts. Hardly the stuff to take down kingpin millionaires.

        We have a 4th Amendment for a reason. It's to keep tyranny in check. If you are so blase that you are willing to give up your rights, then go for it. Tyrants love their toadies. I won't be a bootlicker though.

      • d on July 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        The 11000 seizures under 1k would be the street level drug dealers, it was common practice to take the money when they were arrested for a drug offense pending the outcome of their trial.   If found not guilty they go to the evidence room and get their money back.  That practice of taking their money stopped many years ago.  The main bulk of seizures now are vehicles used in the commission of felony crimes, which also have to fit a set of criteria before it can be seized pending a trial.  Are you advocating that drug dealers should be able to keep their drug proceeds?  And yes most are "poor" but where do you think that the drug markets are, gold coast?  No they are in the poor neighborhoods, and while you are searching for stats to support criminals look up the amount of money generated each day in Chicago by the sale illegal narcotics.  The numbers are staggering.  That's why you see drug dealers who have never had a job and are receiving welfare benefits driving Mercedes and land rovers.  But sure let them keep their drug money.  Look what lowering penalties for violent crime has done for the city, thanks Kim.  I get so confused when people act in support of criminals, have you no been paying attention.  The city is a war zone. But hey keeping fighting the fight for them, I will be leaving this cesspool of a state for a place that makes sense, where working for a living and respecting life and the rules of common decency prevail.  Good luck, it's all yours.

      • Ebby123 on July 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm


        You were TOLD they were drug dealers – but that is NOT the same thing as a conviction in a court of law, or a search warrant. 

        We have a legal system, and it applies to repeat offenders the same as it applies to you.


        It is NOT up to beat cops to decide if someone "SHOULD" own something. Period. Full Stop. 

        The state cannot legally compell you to justify why you legal own something you legally own. Period. Full stop. 

        Civil asset forfeture is wrong on every level. 

  3. Richard P. on June 29, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    We aren't talking about drug dealers with millions in assets. 

    We're talking about people like me with $750 in cash in my wallet getting hassled by podunk PD and them wanting to seize my cash because their dog "hit" on my car/wallet.

    If you've got a case for drug kingpins, make it in court.

    Don't seize money without a trial.  That's unconstitutional.  But for some reason, we put up with it.

  4. d on June 30, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Why do you think there isn't a trial?  The police can't just seize money because a dog hit on it.  There are a list of criteria that has to be met before it can be done in conjunction with a postive hit by a dog.  In my entire life I and all the normal people I know have never had their money  sniffed by a narcotics dog.  You make it sound like they just snatch people, sniff their money  and seize it.  Again with the fiction.  But please keep making excuses for the drug dealers, like Obama who said drug offenders are non violent and let a bunch go free.  Because drug dealers have never been known to commit violent crime.  Please post your address so we can send these poor victims of police theivery to your neighborhood.  People have their money and assets seized for a reason, even the poor guy with 750 in his wallet driving a Mercedes while also having a LINK card in the same wallet.  That is reality, that is why Obama increased welfare to over a trillion dollars a year when he became the president.  That is why over a third of your pay check disappears every month.  But please continue to blame the police, see how well that is going for this country.  And please take the next police test, right all the wrongs.  Work on the west side and see how long you survive. 

    • Ebby123 on July 6, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      "The police can't just seize money because a dog hit on it. "

      Yes, they can, and they do. Google is your freind.

      "In my entire life I and all the normal people I know have never had their money  sniffed by a narcotics dog."

      The only thing worth less than anecdotal evidence is a LACK of anecdotal evidence to support an arguement. This statement is 100% irrelivent. 

      "People have their money and assets seized for a reason, even the poor guy with 750 in his wallet driving a Mercedes while also having a LINK card in the same wallet."

      Ah, the old "Ni***rs can't own a nice car" mentality. That's pure horseshit. There is absolutely NO REASON IN A FREE COUNTRY that someone can't have a nice car and be on government assistance. The fact that you don't like it is beyond irrelivant. 

      " But please continue to blame the police, see how well that is going for this country."

      Civil Asset Forfeture is unconstitutional. Please see the U.S. Constitution, Ammendmant 4.

  5. d on July 11, 2017 at 3:12 am

    And of course, you say provide evidence then you provide none but say it is so.  Then of course you fall into the typical the black man is the victim bullshit.  When did we start the race argument, as Don Lemon said that's another conversation, that he'll never have.  And, hell yes I do have a problem with anyone receiving welfare and then having a car that most middle class people can't afford, and then buying 5000 dollar rims for it.  What that means is you shouldn't be getting my money that I worked for.  If you can afford a nice car you can afford to pay your own way, and take care of your kids, and have a job, and not be a criminal piece.of shit.  What you want is the decriminalization of black crime, because the black man is the victim.  Then how come the black male accounts for the majority of the violent crime in this nation?  How long does America have to be the victim of the poor.black man?  Take responsibility for your life, get a job, stop being a criminal.  It's quite simple.  Oh and Google it, you'll find this is all true.  See you at the next BLM riot.