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State Senate passes bill on civil asset forfeiture

Mark Brush
Michigan Radio
The Michigan State Police have data extraction devices that can strip information out of a cell phone, but they say they don't keep records on how often they're used.

The state Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would make major changes to civil asset forfeitures. That's when police are allowed to take property from people.

State Senator Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) sponsored the bill. He says he thinks this bill will have the biggest impact on low-income people who forfeit property in exchange for better plea deals. 

“Mostly the poor I think. It’s also going to affect those who have been wronged by the taking of property, now, this will strengthen their avenue to fight for justice, and more importantly, it will give a better optic for all police because we shouldn’t be policing for profit,” he said.

In 2017, the Michigan State Police reported more than 6,500 forfeitures that netted more than thirteen million dollars. The MSP did not respond to a request for comment on the legislation.

Under the proposed legislation, police would not have been allowed to make over half of those seizures, and they wouldn’t be able to take assets without a conviction.

The bill will now go to the state House.

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