The San Francisco Board of
Supervisors has resoundingly defeated a motion by Supervisor Amos Brown
that would have allowed police to confiscate the cars of drug buyers and
johns, even if they were never later convicted of a crime.
Brown hoped to follow the
example of cross-bay neighbor Oakland, which has such a law on the books.
That law is under challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU has lost at the superior court and appeals court levels, but has
appealed to the Supreme Court. It had also vowed to sue San Francisco
if it approved Brown's measure.
The bill's backers argued
that it would be a useful tool in cracking down on rampant drug dealing
and prostitution in San Francisco neighborhoods.
But opponents cited due process
and fairness concerns. Supervisor Leslie Katz told the San Francisco
Examiner, "I have heard in countless communities the stories of mothers
having to walk their kids to school through a gauntlet of dealers, prostitutes,
and their customers... Unfortunately, this vehicle seizure ordinance is
just not a method we should embrace."
"In this ordinance," Katz
continued, "the forfeiting of vehicles runs the risk of forfeiting those
rights we hold dear, and that is my primary concern."
Katz' position prevailed,
-- END --
Issue #153, 10/2/00
Bolivia: Coca Growers Battle Government Troops as Banzer Regime Totters | Drug-Related Cases On Supreme Court Fall Docket, Tattered Fourth Amendment Again at Issue | More than 100 Leading Medical Professionals Urge US Surgeon General to Protect Doctor-Patient Relationship at Risk in Upcoming Supreme Court Case | Follow That Story: Texas Border DAs Again Tell Feds to Pay Up or They Won't Prosecute | Elections 2000:00:00 Voter Initiatives Address Medical Marijuana, Marijuana Legalization, Sentencing Reform and Asset Forfeiture | Lies, Damn Lies, and Congressman Mica: Funny Numbers on Drug Deaths and Murder | Newsbrief: Colombian Rebels Issue Threat to US Troops | Newsbrief: San Francisco Rejects Seizing Drug Buyers' Cars | Coalition for Jubilee Clemency | Media Scan -- Salon.com Scoop Charges LA Police Chief Had Evidence of Rampart Corruption a Year Before Expose, Arianna Huffington on Drug War in "Jim Crow, the Sequel" Column | Job Opportunities with Santa Cruz Needle Exchange Program | The Reformer's Calendar
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