With somewhere in the neighborhood of 43-45 million Americans reliant on food stamps and budget deficits continuing to stifle significant growth, law enforcement is targeting the most vulnerable to support the state.

Based on laws that originated from the War on Drugs in the 1980s, police departments around the country are utilizing civil forfeiture to seize a person’s cash and property without charging them with a crime.

VICE explained that,

“Civil forfeiture laws were created as a tool to cripple suspected criminals and drug rings, but police departments nationwide have been using this cash and property to fund their operations or even pay policemen directly.

The problem, is that in the vast majority of assets seizures, the individual is not charged with a crime. And once their cash and property are seized, getting it back is a prohibitively lengthy and expensive process.”

As police forces fight to justify their own existence amidst shrinking tax pools, many are clearly taking things into their own hands by creating, in some respects, their own slush funds.