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Blockbuster indictment “is a perfect example of why Tennessee needs to move from civil asset forfeiture to criminal asset forfeiture.”
KNOXVILLE, TN — Americans for Prosperity – Tennessee (AFP-TN) today renewed calls for the State Legislature to pass SB2545/HB2525, to end the current civil asset forfeiture process and instead require all forfeiture cases to be conducted in a court of record.
On Thursday, WBIR reported that the former supervisor of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office’s narcotics division has been indicted for spending seized drug fund money on personal purchases including electronics, Yeti coolers, and lounge chairs. The drug fund consists of cash seizures and is to be used for narcotics operations.
AFP-TN State Director Tori Venable released the following statement:
“This troubling indictment is a perfect example of why Tennessee needs to move from civil asset forfeiture to criminal asset forfeiture. Such a move would curtail corruption, provide more transparency into police budgets, and protect taxpayers. Our law enforcement should not rely upon a process that threatens Tennesseans’ property to fund their budgets, and we urge the legislature to swiftly pass reforms.”
Right now, Tennessee law enforcement can seize and keep the property of its citizens, without conviction of a crime, and keep 100% of the proceeds. SB2545/HB2525 would allow the property of convicted criminals to have their property forfeited, but would protect all Tennesseans’ basic right to due process.