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  • LAPD New Tow Policy

    Under criticism that it was unfairly targeting undocumented immigrants, the Los Angeles Police Department on Friday announced changes to its rules for impounding cars of unlicensed drivers at sobriety checkpoints.

    Previously, LAPD officers at such checkpoints followed stringent protocols that called for them to impound a car whenever the driver was found not to have a valid license, regardless of whether the driver had been drinking.

    Those rules have drawn the ire of immigration advocacy groups that said they disproportionately targeted undocumented immigrants, who are not able to obtain licenses legally in nearly all U.S. states. Once a vehicle is impounded, law enforcement agencies often require it to remain locked up for at least a month and charge the owner hefty fees to release it.

    The new LAPD guidelines soften the department's stance somewhat. Police will be required to make an attempt to contact the registered owner of the stopped vehicle. If the owner is a licensed driver and can respond to the checkpoint in "a reasonable period of time," the officers will release the car to him or her. If the owner is unlicensed, officers will permit another person who is a licensed driver to take the car.

    If no one with a license is available, police will impound a vehicle. In any case, police will issue a citation to the unlicensed driver.

    Police Chief Charlie Beck said that since he took over the department more than a year ago, the checkpoint policy had "stuck in my craw as one of the things we weren't doing the right way." Beck said he decided to make the change after immigration rights advocates raised the issue with him anew in meetings this week.

    "I'm tired of casting the net so wide," he said. "This is the right thing to do. There is a fairness issue here … and we're trying to balance the needs of all segments of our community and keep the roads safe."

    The new rules, Beck said, were an attempt to mitigate somewhat "the current reality, which is that for a vast number of people, who are a valuable asset to our community and who have very limited resources, their ability to live and work in L.A. is severely limited by their immigration status."

    The change, which the department announced in a news release late Friday afternoon, is likely to anger groups that support strict enforcement of immigration laws. Efforts to contact representatives of several of those groups for comment were unsuccessful.

    The issue of impounds has become a controversial topic in recent years. Police in the small cities of Bell and Maywood have been accused of systematically targeting undocumented immigrants when impounding cars in an effort to boost municipal revenues.

    Ron Gochez, a member of the steering committee for the Southern California Immigration Coalition, expressed limited praise for the LAPD's change but questioned why the department needed to impound a car if the driver had not been drinking.

    "It's a step in the right direction, but it still falls short of what we're asking for," he said. "We're not against checkpoints. We want checkpoints to happen, we want drunk drivers off our streets. We just don't want people to be losing their cars who aren't drunk."

    What is the Chief sipping on?

  • #2
    the killers of the USC student and who injured another ped ,weren't drunk drivers- they were illegal ALIENS( not "immigrants") who carelessly hit those students, then callously pushed the bodies off the unregistered mini van( who'd have guess that was they're vehicle of choice, huh?!?) and LEFT the location. a little boy- the 1st generation of his family and a 2nd grader at 66th street school was run down and killed in my old neghborhood by an unlicensed driver- same driver fled the country to avoid prosecution.

    this shouldn't be an "immigrants rights issue" anyway- its a common decency and rule of law issue! I have personally "allowed" people who have displayed fairly legit looking foreign national licenses to drive vehicles away, but for people who obviously DON'T have one to escape the legal reach of the law? Maybe Beck needs one of his kids or friends run down to get it that "he is the chief of police to ENFORCE the law" in this city- too bad Mr Ron Gochez doesn't know the law, nor respect it either. Maybe IF he asked one of the unlicensed "immigrants", he'd know that driving in their home country unlicensed is an ARRESTABLE offense, just like it is here...........
    Last edited by DOAcop38; 03-12-2011, 09:33 PM.
    "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...


    • #3
      Looks like Beck is following his buddy Gascon. We had this stupid policy in place for about a year now. We have to wait 20 minutes for a licensed driver to show up to retrieve the unlicensed driver's vehicle. The unlicensed driver signs a "hold harmeless" form and we conduct a dmv check on the new driver. We cannot cite/release an unlicensed driver if he/she does not have acceptable form of identification.


      • #4
        This is what the Democrats demand. They even passed a bill allowing illegals to get drivers licenses that did not show their illegal status.
        Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
        Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein


        • #5
          SF also issues city ID cards to undocumented immigrants. Companies doing business in the city are required to accept the city ID's as a legitimate form of identification. How does the city verify their true identities, I have no idea.

          A Board of Stupidvisor member even placed on a ballot measure recommending that undocumented immigrants to afforded the right to vote in city elections.

          There is no other city in the nation more crazy than SF.
          Last edited by CA Cop; 03-12-2011, 08:52 PM.


          • #6
            Originally posted by DAL View Post
            This is what the Democrats demand. They even passed a bill allowing illegals to get drivers licenses that did not show their illegal status.
            whoa, now DAL- I'm a democrat- but more and more I'm begining to rethink the "liberal" , as it seems "liberal" is beginning to mean allow all kinds of BS !!! I am all for making people get a state issued license, even the illegals- at least we can then fingerprint and ID them, but the euphemistically named "immigrants rights groups" don't want that- they want NO regulation of "their" people, until the new batch of "immigrants " comes along and puts pressure on their own folks in the jobs,schools, and housing markets.
            "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...


            • #7
              It is what the Democrat politicians demand. The police unions don't support it, but the Democrats buy their votes with salary and benefits.

              If they had identity cards and drivers licenses showing that they were not citizens or legal resident aliens, then I would not object. But that is not what they want.
              Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
              Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein


              • #8
                I love when i get a legal immigrant at an immigration checkpoint who doesn't have their documentation on them and they try and hand me a CA drives license/state ID. They always get ****ed when I laugh and tell them that it doesn't count since its from California and to show me another form of ID.

                I got a group of illegals one day, and in that group was a family of five. All were from Oaxaca, Mexico (mountainous region with a large indigenous hobbit-like population), two of whom didn't even speak Spanish, but hidden in their shoes were CA state benefits cards.


                • #9
                  How about the hispanic truck drivers with valid commercial DL's that dont speak even one word of english. Explain that one to me. *rolls eyes*

                  From my friends at Oxnard PD and Oxnard Tow, they have it pretty bad. Oxnard PD doesn't tow 12500's, they cite and wait up to 30-45 minutes for another driver to come pick that person and vehicle up. And during DUI/CDL checkpoints, car loads of illegal immigrants will come through, get asked to pull over and get issued a cite (which the driver never takes care of, go figure) and then wait for a driver to come take their car. Its gotten so bad that individuals with valid CDL's will camp out at Oxnard PD checkpoints and offer to drive those 12500's away for a small fee. RIDICULOUS.

                  And by the way, Oxnard's hit and run stats are way too high. Imagine that.


                  • #10
                    One day these cities are going to get sued, and lose badly, because they didn't tow a car. We pretty much have to tow cars because of the liability. Allegedly a La Mesa PD cop got sued pretty bad some years ago because he didn't tow a 12500 vehicle.


                    • #11
                      There is no liability for a city not towing a car if the driver subsequently hits someone. There is liability when:
                      -The injured person was in custody.
                      -The police created the situation. If the police told the unlicensed driver to drive, then that would be the case. But failing to tow the car does not create the situation; it existed previous to government intervention. And as you know, law enforcement is not required to enforce every law and has no obligation to protect individuals from criminal acts.
                      -The police made a promise to protect the injured person. ("If you call 911, I promise we'll be right over there and protect you before he can do anything to hurt you.")
                      Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                      I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq


                      • #12
                        I've discovered that my area seems to be the hit and run capital of California. Who would've guessed that about 99.9% of our hit and runs are committed by who?...........wait for it..........wait for it.........12500 drivers. We tow for 30 days as much as possible. I have a habit of having the driver call the owner to respond. I'll usually tell them that if the owner gets there within 10 minutes the car wont be towed. The owner shows up, gets a cite for 14604 and the car gets towed. At checkpoints, it's an automatic tow. We actually had protests because BP was at some of the checkpoints.
                        God made perfect cops.......The rest he put in cars.


                        • #13
                          In Mexico, hit and run is standard practice for both drivers. Otherwise, you have to bribe the police not to arrest you.
                          Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                          Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein


                          • #14

                            Since the topic was brought up, I just wanted to include this to the discussion.

                            Rest In Peace, Dan.


                            • #15
                              Police chief hears issues
                              New impound policy to begin
                              Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
                              Posted: 03/12/2011 06:53:08 PM PST

                              COLTON - Police Chief Bob Miller may not speak the language, but he got the message loud and clear.
                              Miller and Detective Eric Campa held a meeting with Latino Unidos de Colton on Saturday to discuss race relations and vehicle impound policy. Members of the group asked Miller questions or presented specific incidents where they felt they were treated unfairly.

                              Through translators, Miller listened to each question and responded to each scenario given to him.

                              Saturday's meeting marked the second time Latino Unidos de Colton - which represents Colton's Latino population - has met with the police chief to talk about Latino-specific issues relating to law enforcement. The meetings are an effort toward a positive relationship and the city's Latino residents, said organizer Maribel Nunez.

                              "We want to build a bridge between the Latino community and the Police Department," she said.

                              Members of the group are concerned about racial profiling by the city's police, Nunez said. They also feel the department has discriminated against them when impounding cars.

                              "There's a sense that police in some ways are targeting Latinos," Nunez said.

                              Latino drivers whose vehicles have been impounded feel that the department hasn't been sensitive to the dangers of leaving families on the side of the road without a way to get home.

                              Miller and Campa outlined a new impound policy during the meeting. The policy includes a direction to officers to transport drivers and passengers to a safe place if needed. "The goal is to not leave someone on the side of the curb with their kids and families," Miller said. "We are going to get them a ride and do whatever we can to make sure they're safe."

                              Marquez Equilibria, a community relations specialist from the Department of Justice, said it's the dialogue - an ongoing conversation from both sides - that's important.

                              "And this doesn't have to end today," he said. "There's an opportunity to keep the conversation going."

                              Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_17602956#ixzz1GXsOYmZN


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