Letter: Forfeiture policy can feed corruption

Kelly Gordon was killed on the Upper East

Kelly Gordon was killed on the Upper East Side when she was struck by two separate cabs, police said. (Credit: iStock)

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The article "Seized assets boost LI cops" [News, July 14] was long overdue. It goes to the heart of all that is wrong with government in general.

Policing today is not about helping people or protecting the public. It's about government enriching itself at the expense of the taxpayer. The asset forfeiture laws allow cops to be judge and jury. There is no due process and no return of property if the person targeted is innocent of wrongdoing.

What's to prevent a corrupt officer from planting drugs on someone just to have an excuse to seize property? The article proves that even law-abiding citizens have much to be concerned about. This problem won't be solved by politicians. No politician dares to run without being endorsed by the police unions and accepting their campaign funds.

The pressure is going to have to come from the people. One thing we can do is push for an end to the drug war. There is a wonderful organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. It's an organization of criminal justice professionals who believe that the war on drugs is costly, ineffective and destructive. It undermines civil liberties and hurts too many innocent people.

Estelle Edwards, Riverhead

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