In August 2010, while searching for an officer’s stolen handgun, Harrisburg police seized tens of thousands of dollars in cash from Antoine Black’s home on Logan Street.
Black is claiming in a federal lawsuit that the cops should have left that money alone, especially since they didn’t find the missing gun in his house or charge him with a crime.
He is arguing that the seizure of the cash, which authorities unsuccessfully sought to forfeit by attempting to link it to drug dealing, violated his constitutional rights.
The 42-year-old Black also claims authorities didn’t return all the money they took after an arbitration board appointed by Dauphin County Court rebuffed the forfeiture request in March. He contends that nearly $43,000 was seized and that he received only $28,980 back.
City spokesman Robert Philbin declined to discuss Black’s U.S. Middle District Court case.
District Attorney Edward M. Marsico Jr., whose office lost the forfeiture action against Black’s money, insisted that officers had solid legal grounds to confiscate the cash.
Evidence of drug activity found in the home justified the seizure, even though criminal charges weren’t filed against Black after the August 2010 search, Marsico said.
County court records show that at the time of the search, Black was facing an unrelated drug possession charge filed by city police in connection with a June 2010 traffic stop.