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Candidate Forum Question #1: Civil Asset Forfeiture

Candidate Forum Question #1: Civil Asset Forfeiture

Would you end the practice of civil asset forfeiture?

ABQ Free Press this morning began its rolling mayoral candidate forum by email. We sent the candidates a question about civil asset forfeiture and will publish their answers tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.

In the meantime, we want your answers to these questions because it’s your city and your opinions that matter. And as taxpaying residents of this city, you will be the bosses of whoever becomes mayor.

Here’s the question we emailed the candidates. Let us know your answers!

Dear mayoral candidates,

Here’s the first question in the ABQ Free Press’ rolling candidate forum by email. It has to do with civil asset forfeiture.

In 2015, New Mexico banned civil asset forfeiture on the state level. It means that law enforcement agencies can’t seize someone’s property or assets without first getting a criminal conviction.

But many cities, including Albuquerque, have found ways around the law that Gov. Susana Martinez signed.

The city of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Police Department continue to seize the vehicles of people arrested for, but not yet convicted of, drunk driving. The city then sells the vehicles and the proceeds go to APD.

Question: As mayor would you end the practice of civil asset forfeiture by the city of Albuquerque and APD? Would you stop APD from seizing the vehicles of people arrested for DWI, but not yet convicted of it? If so, why? If not, why not?

Please respond by 7 p.m. today.

We will publish your answers Friday morning at 7 a.m.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.