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Police Seize $17M In 3 Years; Black People Targeted Most

Greenville County (SC) Sheriff's Office

An investigation by two South Carolina newspapers found law enforcement agencies over three years seized $17 million from people in South Carolina they thought got the money through illegal means.

The project by The Greenville News and Anderson Independent Mail found 65 percent of the people targeted for civil asset forfeiture from 2014 to 2016 were black males in a state where African-American men make up just 13 percent of the population.

The newspapers "Taken" investigation found nearly 20 percent of the more than 4,000 people who had money or items seized over three years were never charged with a crime and another one in five were found not guilty or had charges dismissed.

The newspapers gathered court records on civil forfeiture from all 46 counties in South Carolina.