In last night’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver guides us through the uncomfortably murky practice of civil forfeiture — a completely legal procedure that allows police to seize one’s money and property without ever charging said person with any wrongdoing.
Oliver’s segment cites a recent Washington Post investigation into the shady practice, which is used by law enforcement agencies throughout the country and is reportedly on the rise. As Ezekiel Edwards of the Criminal Law Reform Project succinctly labels in Oliver’s segment, yes, civil forfeiture sounds an awful lot like “legalized robbery by law enforcement.”
Pretty disturbing, no? Thankfully, Oliver’s report includes a helpful “Law & Order” parody featuring Jeff Goldblum to walk us through the absurdity that is civil forfeiture.