New data showing where Las Vegas police seized property through civil asset forfeiture reveals they were most likely to strike in low-income and minority neighborhoods.
A report from the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) of public records sheds light on how much and from where law enforcement are taking in Las Vegas. The report finds:
- Las Vegas Metro Police Department brought in $19 million in civil asset forfeiture in 2016, two-thirds of those seizures occurred in zip codes with higher-than-average rates of poverty and large minority populations.
- The 12 Las Vegas zip codes most targeted by civil asset forfeiture have an average poverty rate of 27 percent, compared to 12 percent in the remaining 36 zip codes
- The 12 most targeted zip codes have an average nonwhite population of 42 percent, compared to 36 percent in the other remaining zip does
Sadly, this isn’t entirely surprising, but it should be alarming to have empirical data showing that forfeitures disproportionately target neighborhoods with relatively high levels of minorities and low income residents.
Generation Opportunity recently joined a coalition condemning the Department of Justice’s directive to expand federal civil forfeiture programs, and urging Congress to pass civil asset forfeiture reform legislation that will fix the broken civil asset forfeiture system and restore the rights of the American people.
Click here to tell your Congressman it’s time to pass civil asset forfeiture reform.