State and local police in the United States will no longer be able to use federal laws to justify seizing property without evidence of a crime, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday.

Under the official law, the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, local police departments can keep 80% of the stuff seized during drug raids and other investigations.

The practice of local police taking property, including cash and cars, from people that they stop, and of handing it over to federal authorities, became common during the country’s war on drugs in the 1980s.

Since then, the practice, commonly known “civil forfeiture,” has allowed the police to seize cash or property that they suspect is tied to a crime even if the owner isn’t charged with one.

Since 2008, thousands of local and state police agencies have made $3 billion worth of seizures of cash and property, the Washington Post reports.
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