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Thu Jan 10, 2019, 05:13 AM

Michigan dems and repubs work together to end police property grabs

Michigan House takes aim at police property forfeitures

The Michigan House is taking aim at the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws with a new bipartisan plan that would require a conviction in most cases before police can permanently confiscate cash, cars or other property from residents.

Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield of Levering, formally elected to the leadership post by his peers on Wednesday, announced the renewed reform push as the 100th Legislature convened for the first time. He was joined at a press conference by Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel.

"We can work together, and we will work together,"Chatfield said, referencing the Republican-led Legislature and Democratic officials like Nessel and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "This is a step in the right direction for the people of our state and for law enforcement."

Current Michigan law allows police to take property from suspected criminals even if charges are never filed. The legislation would require a conviction to forfeit property worth less than $50,000 and raise the standard of evidence to permanently confiscate more valuable property.


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