Why can Kansas police seize cash and property from people?
A process called civil asset forfeiture allows Kansas police to take money, cars and other property from citizens — even if they're never convicted of a crime. Police say it stops criminals, but opponents say law enforcement takes too much, without enough oversight.
Between 2019 and 2022, Kansas police seized an average of $17,000 a day in property and cash. But 79% of those whose property was confiscated were not convicted of a crime.
Civil asset forfeiture is a tool to disrupt criminal activity, but once the property is seized, the onus is then put on citizens to get their property back and prove that there’s no reason to keep it.
Blaise Mesa of the Kansas News Service spoke with Steve Kraske on KCUR's Up To Date about the process and of victims who are still trying to recover property years it was taken by police.
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