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I'm a Grandmother, Not a Drug Lord. Why Can Police Take My Property?

March 10, 2021

Six years ago, police showed up at my home at night in Massachusetts, demanded the keys to my car and threatened damage to it if I didn’t comply. They confiscated my car, but I’m not a criminal. In fact, I wasn’t even accused of a crime. So why have I been treated like one? Don’t I have any rights?

Turns out I’m not alone. I’m one of countless Americans who have had their property taken away under civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow police to take property if they suspect it was used in a crime. It adds up. There are so many of us that billions of dollars of property are seized every year. Unlike so many other victims, I decided to fight the government to get my property back.

Read the rest of the op-ed at USA Today.

Stephen Silverman is a senior attorney at the Goldwater Institute. 

Malinda Harris is a grandmother in Massachusetts.



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