Friday, January 17, 2014

NYPD Seized an Innocent Man’s Cash, Used It to Pad Their Pensions

NYPD Seized an Innocent Man’s Cash, Used It to Pad Their Pensions

Without a warrant, the New York Police Department (NYPD) burst into the home of Gerald Bryan in a nighttime raid in March of 2012. Police punched through walls, tore out light fixtures and seized $4,800 in cash. Gerald was suspected of distributing drugs and taken into custody. One year later, the case against him was dropped. But when Gerald tried to get his money back, he found that it had been deposited into the pension fund for the NYPD.

Under civil forfeiture, someone does not have to be convicted, or even charged, with a crime, to have their property confiscated. Plus, under New York state forfeiture law, the burden of proof is placed on the property owner. In other words, owners have to prove their innocence in court.