It sounds like it should be illegal, but it isn’t. Laws allow police to seize property, including cash and cars, from people suspected of committing crimes. But as it turns out, they are seizing assets primarily from those who were never found guilty of any crime, and in many cases weren’t even charged with committing one. The numbers are staggering. In Minnesota last year, police agencies seized and kept more than $3 million in cash, cars and other property, all from people never convicted of criminal wrongdoing. Some agencies, like a drug task force in the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, saw only 6% of forfeitures came in cases where there was a conviction. Minnesota also profits from partnering with federal agencies. Last year, Minnesota law enforcement agencies received $1.9 million from joint federal investigations. But almost all of that came from investigations which never led to a conviction. Not all of this is wads of hundreds. In one case the Minnesota State Patrol seized $59. This system sounds ripe for abuse. People shouldn’t have to worry about losing their car or cash or their home if they haven’t broken any laws. This practice may not be illegal, but it certainly is not right, or fair.