Mississippi to begin tracking assets seized by police groups

 

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi will begin tracking money and assets seized by police agencies.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 812 Monday requiring the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to maintain a public website that tracks all such forfeitures taken through civil court proceedings.

The measure also calls for a judge to approve a seizure warrant within 72 hours of a police agency taking property, and for either the local district attorney of the Bureau of Narcotics to handle the forfeiture case in court.

Libertarians and civil liberties groups have raised concerns that it’s too easy to take money or property even if people aren’t convicted of a crime.

Supporters of the bill say tracking forfeitures publicly and ensuring someone else besides the police agency handles forfeiture court cases will guard against abuses.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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