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Continued: Drug war asset forfeitures draw scrutiny

  • Article by: LIBOR JANY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 26, 2014 - 2:40 PM

She said there also needs to be more transparency in how the forfeiture mon­ey is allocated. She is particularly concerned that the mon­ey will be spent to buy military-style weapons and vehi­cles such as those used by police of­fic­ers in Ferguson, Mo., in a series of at­tempts to quell the rioting that arose af­ter the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer on Aug. 9.

Authorities argue that most of the military gear is being acquired with federal grant mon­ey, rath­er than proceeds of forfeitures. Without the military-transfer program, many departments couldn’t otherwise afford the crime-fighting equipment required of policing in the 21st century, they say.

“I wish the public wouldn’t be scared or intimidated by this equipment but under­stand that they’re necessary tools we need to do our jobs safely and to help protect both the police and the community,” Gabriel said.

 

Libor Jany • 651-925-5033

Twitter:@StribJany

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