The top agency using forfeiture last year was the Minnesota State Patrol, with 1,007 incidents that netted the agency more than $1 million, far ahead of the next busiest forfeiture user, the Minneapolis Police Department (311). That reflects the origin of most forfeitures: 91 percent last year stemmed from DWI and controlled substance cases.
The State Patrol's forfeitures included 844 vehicles, 21 motorcycles, a motorhome, a trailer and 11 firearms. Four-hundred-twenty of the forfeitures earned nothing for the agency, because the property was returned to the owner, encumbered by liens or had no value.
I will be very interested to see whether next year's report shows a drop in forfeitures. A newer, tougher threshold for forfeiture kicks in Aug. 1 that requires a criminal conviction or admission of guilt.
It's lights, camera, action on Thursday for the Woody Harrelson movie "Wilson," on location at the state prison in Stillwater. But the Department of Corrections' ban on cameras means the film crew won't be allowed inside.
It takes a certain sort of magic for a presidential debate to shift a race, it seems, some weird alchemy combining ingredients like viewership and mistakes and perceptions and medium. It's almost never about policy.