“In Indiana, policing for profit isn’t just wrong; it’s unconstitutional, and that’s because the Indiana constitution could not be clearer that all forfeitures go to schools not law enforcement.”
That’s what Institute for Justice Attorney Sam Gedge told FOX 59 in Indianapolis regarding IJ’s latest lawsuit, filed yesterday. The lawsuit seeks to put an end to policing for profit in Indiana. According to Indiana’s state constitution “all forfeiture” proceeds must go to the public school fund.
But according to Gedge:
“In Indianapolis police and prosecutors are actually keeping 100 percent of forfeiture proceeds for themselves giving zero dollars to schools for at least the last half decades.”
This is dangerous because gives law enforcement, a “direct financial stake in the laws they enforce.”
IJ clients Jeana and Jack Horner know the dangers of civil forfeiture all too well. They lent two vehicles to their son, who was in a work release program. “It all started when my son got pulled over driving a Jeep that we own,” Jeana Horner told FOX 59, “I believe they found some marijuana.” Their son was arrested for marijuana possession and police seized both vehicles using civil forfeiture. Even though Jeana and Jack had done nothing wrong, it took them nine months to reclaim their property.
“We didn’t know where they took them, we didn’t know why they took them, and I could not get anyone to give me any answers,” Horner added.
Police eventually returned the two vehicles to Jack and Jeana, and the case against their son fell apart. Now Jeana and Jack, along with other concerned Indiana citizens, have joined with the Institute for Justice to put an end to policing for profit in Indiana, and ensure that fewer Indianans have to go through what they endured.