The NYPD’s Civil Forfeiture System Has Taken Millions From Low-Income New Yorkers

By: MAX RIVLIN-NADLER

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On the afternoon of May 16 in the South Bronx, NYPD officers stormed into an apartment filled with young men, looking for a parolee. They quickly found their guy and placed him under arrest. Then they began going through the rest of the apartment. Nate Ortiz, 27, who had lived there with his mother and two sisters for his entire life, began to protest. If the parolee, a friend of his, didn’t live in the apartment, why were they searching it? He began to ask if the police had a warrant, and under what justification they were going through the rooms. The police just laughed at him at first, but when Ortiz persisted in asking about the legality of the search, they arrested him and everyone else in the apartment.

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