Re: New Procedure on Car Impoundments
Dear Chief Beck and Assistant Chief Moore:
We, the undersigned, thank you for your leadership to pursue a Special Order that will establish incremental, but significant changes, to LAPD’s vehicle impound procedures. In addition, we commend the Los Angeles Police Commission for approving this protocol change.
Your commitment to this measure represents a stand on the side of fairness and justice for the immigrant community of Los Angeles. Undocumented immigrants in our city represent a significant portion of the labor force and almost two-thirds of U.S. born children have immigrant parents; it is essential, therefore, to protect public safety and ensure strong relationship between the LAPD and immigrant communities.
We are hopeful that this change will mean fewer impounded cars. The loss of a car for 30 days and the resulting impoundment fees of up to $2,000 can be financially crippling, particularly for many immigrant families struggling in today’s economy.
The proposed measure recognizes that a 30-day impound is a harsh penalty that is not warranted in all circumstances.The changes are in line with a similar protocol adopted last year regarding impounds following stops of non-intoxicated unlicensed drivers at DUI checkpoints.
As Chief Beck recently stressed, the crux of this matter is that Angelenos who are unable to get a driver's license due to state law, are being unreasonably penalized just for going about their daily business of driving children to school or heading to work. Angelenos will also save valuable tax dollars by having our men and women in blue focus on critical issues of public safety rather than impounding the vehicles of community members.
If you have any questions, you may contact Joseph Villela at 213-353-1782(CHIRLA), Michael Kaufman (ACLU) at 213-977-9500, or Wendy Braitman (LA Voice) at (323) 803-0376.
American Civil Liberties Union-Southern California (ACLU-SC)
California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC)
Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
LA Voice PICO
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
UCLA Labor Center
Download the ACLU's letter to Chief Beck.