Checkpoint = CashCow

February 15, 2010

From Mother Jones:

 

“Sobriety checkpoints in California are increasingly turning into profitable operations for local police departments—operations that are far more likely to seize cars from unlicensed motorists than catch drunk drivers. An investigation by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley with California Watch has found that impounds at checkpoints in 2009 generated an estimated $40 million in towing fees and police fines—revenue that cities divide with towing firms. In addition, police officers received about $30 million in overtime pay for the DUI crackdowns, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety.

 

 

Sobriety checkpoints frequently screen traffic within, or near, Hispanic neighborhoods. Cities where Hispanics are a majority of the population are seizing cars at three times the rate of cities with small minority populations. In South Gate, a Los Angeles County city where Hispanics make up 92 percent of the population, police confiscated an average of 86 vehicles per operation last fiscal year.”

 

*****

 

These things are specifically designed to steal people’s (specifically immigrants’) cars and to channel cash into the pockets of tow companies and cops.  More interesting: people at the UC can stop it!

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