In Baltimore, two former police detectives are on trial for their participation in stealing drugs and guns from drug dealers and selling them for cash along with a slew of other charges. These officers were part of an elite squad known as The Gun Trace Task Force whose job it was to get drugs and guns off the street, but instead they were committing multiple crimes themselves and further endangering the community. This story has garnered a lot of press due to the federal trial and all the salacious details that have been unearthed during it, but what is really going on? Is this the action of a few bad apples or is this part of a larger problem that is occurring in our fight in the War on Drugs across the United States? To examine these questions, one must analyze Civil Asset Forfeiture and how it allows police to legally take property and cash from drug dealers to fund their fight against the War on Drugs.
In the article below, Dr. Peter Kraska discusses the history of Civil Asset Forfeiture as well as its impact on the poor and the expansion of the War on Drugs. This article was originally published on Alternet on 2/4/18 and can be accessed through the following link: