Nassir Geiger’s story is all too common in Philadelphia—a routine roadside arrest turns into a money grab by law enforcement. Nassir has lived in Philadelphia his entire life where he works full time as a sanitation worker for the City of Philadelphia. After Nassir’s friend was arrested for drug possession, police seized Nassir’s car and $580 in cash, even though they found no drugs inside. The police arrested Nassir and gave him a property receipt for only $465—despite seizing $580. When Nassir went down the rabbit hole of Courtroom 478, trying to get his property back, the prosecutor told him that he was responsible for $1,800 in storage fees for his vehicle. Because he needed his car for his job, Nassir was forced to buy a new one, thus incurring a huge personal expense. Even after paying $500 to get his car back, Nassir has never been compensated for the cash taken from him. Like too many property owners, Nassir was never convicted of any crime connected with this incident.
Fighting the Philadelphia Forfeiture Machine: Philadelphia Deprives People of Their Rights While Trying to Forfeit and Profit from Their Property
Police and prosecutors use civil forfeiture to strip thousands of Americans of their rights and property. Nowhere is the problem more rampant than in Philadelphia.