Will Keller ever end civil asset forfeiture?
Here's the question: will Mayor Tim Keller stick to one of his campaign pledges, or will he ignore it like he did the pledge about sending all proposed tax increases to city voters?
Last August, then-mayoral candidate Keller said this about the city's civil asset forfeiture program, better known as DWI vehicle seizure:
“While every case should be weighed individually, the city’s policy on civil asset forfeiture should be in line with the state’s, only upon conviction, and we should not be seizing assets to help balance the budget.”
Four months into his administration, Keller still hasn't ended the program that allows the city to take your vehicle even though you've never been convicted of drunken driving.
A couple of hours ago I posted a story (it's at the bottom of this post) that a federal court judge recently said that the city's DWI vehicle seizure program violates people's federal due process rights and that it violates state law that forbids governments from taking your property without first obtaining a criminal conviction against you. To put it bluntly, the judge shredded the city's program.
It would take only a quick executive order and a two-second swirl of the pen and Keller's signature to end this program that reverses centuries of law that constitutes one of the bedrocks of human liberties.
Keller hasn't yet ended it. Why not?
Does he believe that you're innocent until the state proves you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – yes, that bedrock of human rights and human liberties applies even to DWI cases - or does he believe that you're now guilty until you prove yourself innocent?
Does he believe in human liberty, or does he believe that the power of the state/city this slim thread of dignity and freedom that hundreds of millions have died for? Is he willing to continue pushing for the reversal of rights that we've fought for forever?