The federal government is trying to deter California from reforming its laws governing how police can seize cash and property.

The reforms to the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws could mean the loss of millions of dollars from a program run by the federal government.

Documents obtained by the Institute for Justice show that the California District Attorneys Association has been circulating emails from the Justice and Treasury Departments confirming that the current reforms proposed to California’s civil asset forfeiture laws would make the state ineligible to receive millions of dollars through the federal government’s Equitable Sharing Program.

“This is a desperate and cynical attempt to derail civil forfeiture reform in California,” Lee McGrath, the Institute for Justice’s legislative counsel, said in a statement. “Discussions of dollars and cents have no place in the debate about criminal justice reform, nor do ‘desire’ or technical incapability on the part of the federal government.”

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