Bills Introduced To Rein In Police Cash, Property Seizures

Kansas lawmakers are considering two proposals that would make it harder for police to seize and keep cash and property from people suspected – not charged or convicted – of crimes.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that one bill would require law enforcement to get a criminal conviction before seizing assets.

A second bill would create a new process for criminal forfeiture of property worth less than $100,000.

Currently, law enforcement can go to civil court to get approval to take property officers believe is linked to a crime. Supporters of the process say it serves as a deterrent to crime and provides important funding for law enforcement.

Jon Lueth with the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity said police shouldn’t be able to claim property until after someone is convicted of a crime.

He noted that a substantial portion of the seizures never result in a criminal conviction, or even criminal charges.