Civil asset forfeiture allows police to seize property as long as they believe that the assets in question were somehow connected to criminal activity. “As long as they believe” — that’s the key part. Authorities don’t have to actually prove the person was guilty of a crime. They don’t have to even file charges. The presumption of innocence is thrown to the wayside. It’s an egregious violation of the 4th Amendment, but that’s not even the most glaring problem with the system. Under current law, most states allow police departments to absorb up to 100% of the value of the confiscated property — whether it’s cash, cars, houses or guns — and use the proceeds to pad their budgets. It’s an obvious conflict of interest — and boy, is it profitable for law enforcement agencies.