Not only is Asset Forfeiture a back door method of violating individuals’ civil rights, it is also promoting a corrupt culture among police. Police are now focusing not on crime prevention or enforcement, but on crimes where the police can seize valuable assets. An example is drug enforcement: rather than seizing illegal drugs, which have no value to the police, they focus on the assets of the drug dealers. Actual drugs and drug dealing are essentially ignored making drugs readily available, and only the money, cars, etc. are targeted.
Just looking at the numbers and reading the anecdotes, it is clear that law enforcement authorities are often tempted to prioritize their enforcement efforts where it is most profitable—but thanks to the Institute for Justice and The New York Times, we now know that this is not the result of a few rogue officers.
Instead, targeting expensive, easily liquidated property is how departments are trained.