Urge Gov. Brown: End Asset Forfeiture Abuse

End Asset Forfeiture Abuse

A long hard effort by over 300 organizations, including Justice Not Jails, has now succeeded in passing SB 443–Sen. Holly Mitchell’s bill that would curb abuses of civil asset forfeiture by police agencies–through both chambers of the legislature.

Just as a reminder why SB 443 is necessary: the police currently have the power to take anyone’s assets (cash, car, boat, home) merely on suspicion and with no due process or conviction of wrongdoing. Most victims of this abuse are low-income people of color, not powerful drug kingpins.

Now it’s up to Gov. Brown to add his signature to SB 443. We THINK he will sign it, but the bill’s managers in Sacramento say that it’s very important for him to hear from leaders and members of faith communities on this one. Time is of the essence. The governor has until September 30 to sign or veto legislation, and the clock is ticking.

peter laarmanWe have a letter template that makes it easy to write your own letter. The governor’s email address and fax number are shown on the template. So that we can track letters, however, we also ask that you send a copy to Elise Gyore (elise.gyore@sen.ca.gov) who works for Sen. Mitchell an also to Jessica Farris here in LA (jfarris@aclusocal.org).

Please write today!!

Peter Laarman

About Peter Laarman

Rev. Peter Laarman serves on the Justice Not Jails steering committee. He formerly directed Progressive Christians Uniting, the LA-based network of activist individuals and congregations that first launched Justice Not Jails in 2012 as a multifaith initiative. He served as the senior minister of New York’s Judson Memorial Church from 1994 to 2004. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Peter spent 15 years as a labor movement strategist and communications specialist prior to training for ministry.