Trump's Quip Brings Asset Forfeiture Into the Spotlight

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Last week, at White House gathering of sheriffs, President Trump joked about destroying the career of a Texas legislator who wanted to curtail the ability of law enforcement to seize property suspected of being used in a crime.

Asset forfeiture is a critical tool in law enforcement's fight against drug dealers while lawmakers with more Libertarian leanings argue that allowing police to seize suspects' property before they've been convicted of a crime has led to widespread property rights violations nationwide.

Maurice Chammah, a reporter at the Marshall Project, says this issue is one that crosses the usual left-right divide. Police say they need the proceeds from taking cash, automobiles, and other assets to fund law enforcement. But some of Trump's libertarian supporters have misgivings about asset forfeiture, which technically involves seizing the property of innocent people.