Facing intense opposition from law enforcement groups, a measure to limit police seizures of cash, cars and other property from people not convicted of a crime fell flat in the Assembly on Thursday.
The measure, by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), would curb the use of a 1980s drug war-era U.S. law, which allows local agencies that work with federal officials to keep such assets if there's suspicion they were used in a crime or are the proceeds of illegal activity.
"I don't like being on the opposite side of a bill from our law enforcement professionals ... but it is a core principle of American justice that each person has his or her day in court before his or her property is taken," said Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Manhattan Beach), co-author of the measure.
The bill was opposed by Republicans and some Democrats, and failed on a 24-41 vote in the Assembly. It could be revived on the floor in the future, but the deadline to pass bills this year is Friday.