On July 19, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions through the Justice Department reinstated the right to seize cash and property from citizen suspected of a crime. Eric Holder had barred state and local police from using the federal law to seize cash and property without criminal charges or warrants. Since 2008, police agencies had seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion. For example one year in upstate New York the police seized $8.5 million in cash and property without having to prove a crime was committed. People will argue this law has been in place for years and the wide spread usage of the law took place after 9/11 under the premise to circumvent terrorism. When looking at the citizen affected by this law only a small percentage had anything to do with terrorism or suspected of terrorism. My concern is with the increase on police shooting and misconduct how the reinstatement of this law will affect the black community.
We all know laws disproportionately affect the minority community, recently the world has been viewing how police have been assaulting and killing black people impunity. As a result of these killings and no justice for the victims more people are becoming self-aware and we as a people are starting to band together and try to make a change. There is push by people like Angela Rye and Killer Mike to bank black along with the efforts of Boyce Watkins for black people to become entrepreneurs. If a vast majority of black people follow their lead and become entrepreneurs and use black banks this will have a huge impact on the economy. This impact will result in independence, wealth, and power; the examples of Tulsa, Oklahoma (Black Wall Street) and Rosewood are illustrations of how they respond to our independence and wealth. In the state of Oklahoma, it was reported that two-thirds of asset seizure of cash and properties were from minorities. The police department’s states this is an effective tool in the war against drugs but no charges are brought and many of the people are law abiding citizens. Many of the people have fought for the return of their property or cash but as you can tell by the numbers most people do not win. During their fight for the return of their property people have lost their businesses and homes.
When I look at the track records of this administration and the climate they have created in America I am fearful that this law will be used to further subjugate the black community. We as people are going to have to be careful, do not carry large sums of cash. I know being careful will not change anything if you are being targeted by the police but what other option are there.