LAPD Special Order 7 Ruled Unlawful, Shot Down In Court
WESTLAKE VILLAGE (CBSLA.com) — A Superior Court judge has ruled that he will not table his decision to wipe out Chief Charlie Beck’s Special Order 7, which had added certain conditions for the impounding of vehicles.
Los Angeles Superior Cout Judge Terry Greene is expected to sign a judgement which will declare Special Order 7, or SO7, unlawful.
SO 7 allowed unlicensed drivers to avoid a 30-day impoundment if they had identification, insurance and registration with no prior convictions of misdemeanors.
Before Special Order 7, community members, specifically low-income residents and undocumented immigrants, complained that they were having their cars impounded disproportionately and unfairly.
“We are confident that the Court of Appeal will agree with the Attorney General and the City of Los Angeles, and find SO 7 to be an ordinary, lawful exercise in LAPD’s supervision of its officers,” Michael Kaufman, staff attorney of the ACLU of Southern California, said. “We will seek a stay of the trial court’s orders to ensure that SO 7’s protections remain in effect while the case is on appeal. In the interim, we will keep a watchful eye on the LAPD to ensure that the arbitrary use of draconian impoundment that existed prior to SO 7 does not return.”
CHIRLA communications director Jorge-Mario Cabrera says that the overturning of the order will hurt Angelinos that don’t deserve punishment.
“It is really inhumane to send a mom, and a child, and a grandma out into the streets because one of them doesn’t have a license,” Cabrera said.
Don Roseberg, whose son was killed by an unlicensed driver who was living in the country illegally, has a different point of view.
“Unlicensed drivers are killing over 7,000 people a year in the United States,” Rosenberg said. “About 4,000 of those deaths are illegal aliens that are causing them. So, I don’t see it as some minor offense.”
Special Order 7 was originally approved by the Los Angeles Police Commission in February 2012. The Police Protective League challenged it, along with Hard Sturgeon, a taxpayer represented by the group Judicial Watch. CHIRLA and LA Voice, meanwhile, represented ACLU SoCal and intervened in the case to defend SO 7’s legality.
Until a stay is granted by the Court of Appeal, Judge Greene’s ruling will erase SO 7 and will eliminate its protection against arbitrary and unjust impoundments.