The letter by Randall Ward concerning forfeitures by government bodies is right on. I believe Barack Obama was the greatest abuser of this practice, but I note that our new attorney general also likes it.
It has been abused by law enforcement at every level for decades. We will never know just how much money and property has been taken from people whose only crime was having more money on their person than the police think proper. Many of these “takings” were simply legalized theft. One of the side benefits for government bodies, usually law enforcement people, is that some, all, or most of what is taken ends up in the coffers of the arresting police agency or some other government office.
We will never know how much money is simply taken from citizens and non-citizens alike, and the money just disappears. Just having an amount of cash on your person that the arresting agent thinks is suspicious gives them a reason to simply impound it and put the owner through months and years of litigation just to recover their own property.
The first reform should be that whatever is taken from anyone, whether money or property, cannot be used by any official agency, federal, state, county, or city; and next, to require that all such takings be authorized only after a public trial.
Mr. Ward is to be commended for bringing this official shakedown to the attention of the public and, hopefully, the public will demand that any and all seizures be made public. This is in part one of the English practices that prompted our founders to decide to break away from England. Disgraceful! WALTER SKELTON Little Rock