The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents Los Angeles police officers, today announced that it is suing the city and the LAPD over Police Chief Charlie Beck’s new plan involving the impound policy for unlicensed drivers.
The lawsuit is the latest move in a complicated situation involving a city with a significant number of unlicensed drivers and a police department attempting to be sensitive to the rights of undocumented residents. The heart of the issue is the length of impound of vehicles for drivers apprehended without driver’s licenses.
Chief Beck’s plan shortened the length of impound from 30 days to one day in order to curtail discrimination towards Los Angeles’ large immigrant population, many of whom do not have legal identification.
According the police officers’ union, Chief Beck’s plan leaves LAPD officers susceptible to civil liability if an officer impounds an unlicensed driver’s car, and that driver then goes on to cause injury or death after a one-day impound of their vehicle. The lawsuit also states that the new one-day impound policy is in violation of state statutes, which mandates a 30-day impoundment of a vehicle operated by an unlicensed driver.
What is the best way to protect licensed drivers, police officers and the rights of undocumented residents? What kinds of changes might the lawsuit bring about?
Tyler Izen, president, Los Angeles Police Protective League
Frank Stoltze, KPCC’s political reporter