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-Across Georgia, a shroud of mystery has descended. The very law enforcement agencies entrusted with
upholding the laws of the state are instead
ignoring the law and keeping the public in the dark.
But Truth and his partner, Justice, are now demanding law enforcement follow the law
and inform the public. -So what did you find?
-Georgia police and prosecutors use a power
called "civil forfeiture" to seize homes, cars and cash often without even charging
people with a crime! They use that to fund their agency budgets! -How much do they collect?
And how do they spend it all? -There's no way to know for sure.
Georgia law requires law enforcement agencies to report forfeiture income and spending to elected officials as part of their budget requests
and spending to elected officials as part of their budget requests but many, probably most, don't.
Local governments say they never receive these reports and police departments admit they don't produce them.
-Well, it's time we shine the light of truth and justice on this abuse of power and lack of accountability.
It's time we let the public know.
What's happening? -It's the agencies! They're stonewalling.
They don't want us raising these questions in the public's mind. What should we do? -Nothing is more powerful than Truth and Justice. -Powers unite!
-It's time to shed light on this scandal in the court of public opinion!
-Georgia's forfeiture law is so bad that it earned a D- in the national Policing for Profit report.
Georgia law enforcement keeps all forfeiture money, giving them
a financial incentive to abuse their power.
-And that's why IJ filed a lawsuit in
Georgia state court. Refusing to report their forfeiture budgets-which easily
top 38 million dollars-and how they spend that money
violates public duty, and betrays Georgia taxpayers. -Are you saying that forfeiture
funds become slush funds for law enforcement agencies? -Quite possibly.
If forfeiture reporting and budgets were transparent you couldn't have secretive, unaccountable
funds. -What about the Georgia sheriff who spent $90,000
-in forfeiture funds to purchase a Dodge Viper that puts the "Bat Mobile"
That's the kind of abuse Georgia's forfeiture scheme encourages through perverse
incentives and official secrecy. -Uh, oh! The agencies don't like being questioned!
-Don't worry. Reporters are asking questions
and demanding facts
and the courts are, too.
-Georgia and many other states refuse to provide this kind of information to the public.
This must change.
Will city and county law enforcement officials across Georgia finally
obey the laws they are sworn to uphold? Or will the public continue to be kept in the dark
until the abuses that inevitably come from a lack of accountability finally surface?
Tune in next time to watch the adventures of Truth and Justice!