Thompson says it is easier for police to seize assets from a black person than a white person
"TAKEN: How police departments make millions by seizing property" - USA Today. 2/3/2019.
In a joint investigation, the Greenville News and Anderson Independent mail looked at every South Carolina civil asset forfeiture case from 2014 to 2016.
"...the scope of action taken by law enforcement and the justice system against black Americans throughout U.S. history makes it easier for an officer to take from a black person than a white person, said Heather Ann Thompson, a criminal justice and African-American history professor at the University of Michigan and author of “Blood in the Water."
It's the same reason black people are prosecuted more harshly, are incarcerated more often and for longer sentences and face civil fines and penalties more often than whites. They’re just not as likely to be able to marshal resources to fight back against the justice system, she said.
“It has everything to do with who has access to good defense lawyers and who’s getting pulled over to begin with,” said Thompson, who’s a leading voice in criminal justice reform.
The racial disparity may begin with traffic stops, but it extends well beyond them in South Carolina."
Additional Media Coverage:
"Report: more than half of the money and property seized by S.C. police in civil forfeitures is from Black men" - The Philadelphia Tribune. 1/31/2019.
"SC police make millions by seizing cash and property. Most of it comes from black people" - TCPalm. 2/1/2019.
"The Greenville News" - Taken. 1/27/2019.
"65% of cash seized by SC police comes from black men. Experts blame racism." - Black News and Information. 1/28/2019.