It should be possible to get a temporary restraining order against the city in cases like this within days of the first contested case. It should be easy to demonstrate there is no imminent harm of telling the city, you have to stop doing this until we decide it's OK or not, and quite the opposite, cars are an essential and significant asset, and this policy placed a potentially massive burden on the citizens it effected.
In one of the examples, by the time the victim prevailed against the illegal seizure backed by zero evidence or investigation of any kind, they had already sold off his car, and offered nothing in return. A pretty large part of the population doesn't have a spare $2,000 in cash to get their own car back while the city makes them prove in front of a Kangaroo Court that they were driving their own family to the airport... Missing from the article -- is there any hope of any kind of restitution? Can the victims now pursue a civil case against the city?
Now the replies will go like "but the US has an adversarial justice system!". Yeah. Except for that whole three decades old secret FISA court that is in charge of spying. No adversary there.
Historically, and across pretty much every nation that has ever existed, governments have routinely chosen to disobey their own laws, do terrible things in secret, and so on.
I also fail to see how a constitutional court prevents FISA from existing if you have executive orders and national security doctrine (the two things that made FISA and the NSA spying possible). You'd need to throw out a lot of things to make a constitutional court work. As it is, national security doctrine would simply bypass a constitutional court check when it comes to creating FISA. You would have to try to elevate it above all possible counter considerations, and good luck with that.
City DA: No they're not.
What's your recourse here? Call the FBI or federal prosecutor and report an organized crime syndicate being run by corrupt law enforcement professionals? Because... isn't that what this is?
Is there any onus, or even incentive, for them to listen and investigate? Is the only way to redress the problems a civil lawsuit against the City citing Bivens and various appellate court principles like malicious prosecution? Because grand theft auto, extortion, racketeering, and fabrication of evidence / perjury are not civil offenses, and conservative readings of the concept of 'standing', as I understand it, make it rather difficult to challenge the authors of a failed / withdrawn prosecution in order to get at the legal principles which triggered it.
Concepts like this one, as well as things like civil asset forfeiture, are so clearly in direct violation of the Constitution that at some point, it's not legitimate to shelter enforcers under cover of "just following orders". We still have laws (Constitutional and common), and Peabody, Minnesota doesn't have the right to do things like put all the gay residents to death by legislative fiat & judicial compliance; If you found this occurring, you wouldn't need to file a lawsuit alleging that a constitutional overreach has been committed and demanding merely that the policy cease to be in effect. Instead, you would get some overriding authority, like the state police or the FBI, to run in with SWAT teams and arrest and prosecute every last person peripherally attached to the Peabody legislature or judiciary or law enforcement. For murder.
No amount of 'adopting selective prosecution based on what we can win, since the courts recognized a valid affirmative defence' or 'changing training programs to be more in line with civil rights' or 'firing/reprimanding the officers involved and settling a civil suit' makes killing the gay population of Peabody less of a crime, and no amount of lawsuit would be required to get that recognized.
The name of a thing is important, and calling it exactly 'grand theft auto, extortion, racketeering, and fabrication of evidence / perjury' versus something like 'civil asset forfeiture' or in this case, not even that, it's a glorified falsified parking ticket!
I mean, how did this actually play out in court? "So, Your Honor, you're not going to believe what happened. I was going to drop my niece at the airport and these thugs pulled me out of the car, showed me a badge, impounded my car, and now want me to sign a document and pay them a stack of cash to get it back." Prosecutor, "Actually, we employ 170 people to do this, and we've done it 21,000 times".
The article they quote saying it's a corrupt money-making scheme for the city was an interesting read: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140724/long-island-city/ta...
His superiors pressured him to steal a car by threatening to fire him, and to fabricate evidence, perjure himself, and file false police reports in order to hold it for ransom without legal basis. It shouldn't make a difference whether he's in the traffic enforcement business or the puppy breeding business, the same actions are a clear crime regardless of his background; He wasn't even under duress by the definition of that word used in the courts, though perhaps whistleblower protections apply (if they still exist).
Dude's just confessed, before a judge, to a massive profit-seeking criminal conspiracy over and above what was authorized by local legislature. Arrest somebody.
> City DA: No they're not.
> What's your recourse here?
File a civil lawsuit for the violation of Constitutional rights, to wit, the right against being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process.
Report to the State and federal government for potential public civil and criminal action by those governments against the local government/officials involved.
Work to organize members of the public for political action against the responsible local government/officials.
> Concepts like this one, as well as things like civil asset forfeiture, are so clearly in direct violation of the Constitution
Civil asset forfeiture in general is not in direct violation of the Constitution. There may be a valid argument that some of the ways it is currently employed are in violation of the Constitution, though even that is a weaker case than that some of the ways it is employed are just bad policy.
> We still have laws (Constitutional and common), and Peabody, Minnesota doesn't have the right to do things like put all the gay residents to death by legislative fiat & judicial compliance; If you found this occurring, you wouldn't need to file a lawsuit alleging that a constitutional overreach has been committed and demanding merely that the policy cease to be in effect. Instead, you would get some overriding authority, like the state police or the FBI, to run in with SWAT teams and arrest and prosecute every last person peripherally attached to the Peabody legislature or judiciary or law enforcement. For murder.
Or, not. Law enforcement agencies have the power to enforce the laws, but they generally have no obligation to enforce them, and quite often real and significant violations are fought with civil lawsuits by those affected rather than direct intervention and criminal prosecution by enforcement agencies. Even in cases where the general problem is one that enforcement agencies are interested in -- the civil rights movement provides numerous examples, where all kinds of serious violations by local and state officials were addressed, some by higher (particularly federal) law enforcement action, some by private civil lawsuits, some by political mobilizing and action, and many by combinations of those methods.
Does that apply to civil forfeiture as well? Sounds like it should.
Are you saying that all gun owners are also supporters of civil forfeiture?... Or have I misunderstood?
There was also a brief period between 1789-1791 where it wasn't explicitly clear that it was illegal, but that was resolved by amending the constitution.
If I copy & paste the link to a new tab, then it worked for me.
It worked because you opened it the second time. First time you open it, it places a cookie on your machine so it doesn't show you a redirection second time you open a link on Forbes.
So the solution is to just open it in tabs twice... and close the first tab.
They are probably trying to dissuade ad blocking. It might work better for them if they told you what was happening (instead of just sending you to a blank page).
The problem with what NYC did, however, was that a driver could be found not guilty of DWI and still have his car seized. There were many complaints regarding due process, uneven applications, etc., and eventually the city abandoned this policy.
I mention this not because I sympathize with drunk drivers (I don't), but because it's not the first time the city has done something like this.
Who knows. It does seem like an easy way to get away with such a crime. In the past it may have been a legit safety concern.
Now with uber it seems safe. Police can track the location of the car, driver and passenger.
Probably has something to do with collecting tax money too. Licensed means it is easier to track taxes. Uber doesn't need the traditional licenses for reporting taxes
They should take a page out of London's book and allow minicabs to operate.
To be honest, I had never heard the term until recently when I heard it used on a TV show.
Although, I also find it interesting that, apparently, in English law it refers to a nomadic person regardless of race or origin. Which is a use of "gypsy" that I was familiar with.
Uber, Lyft, et al are just central dispatch for gypsy cabs. I don't see any reason they shouldn't get massive fines or seized vehicles in all locales they operate.
True fact: Every single Uber and Lyft vehicle which I've ridden in, in New York City, has a Taxi and Limo Commission plate on it in the T123456C format. The so-called "gypsy cab"+ market consists of the vehicles without those plates.
(+complete with casual old-fashioned ethnic slur)
It's not a slur. Why does everything need to be so PC these days? The term may have originated in NYC, home of much colorful language.
Here's a Village Voice article that provides a lot of background and that quotes illegal cab drivers referring to themselves that way:
once a gypsy, always a gypsy
Apply this logic to any other ethnic slur and see how well it works out for you.
Pulitzer Prize winning columnist William Safire, perhaps best known as a long-time syndicated political columnist for the New York Times and the author of "On Language" in the New York Times Magazine, a column on popular etymology, new or unusual usages, and other language-related topics, explains in the NY Times:
Just because some people take offense
at a word, however, does not automatically
banish the word from the English language.
it is hypersensitive to take it as a slur
Here the NY Times mentions that a politician was a former driver: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/16/nyregion/16rivera.html
This makes your argument worse, not better. The term "gypsy cab" derives from a racist stereotype of the Romani. How can a term with a racist etymology not be racist?
Imagine any group of people appropriating traditionally-derogatory ethnic slurs for another group to describe themselves. How is that okay?
As for the Pullitzer Prize winner, that article is from 1986, more than a bit out-dated. Bizarrely, the author even defends the verb "to gyp" as not being racist because it's only one syllable. Imagine the sheer outrage if the verb "to nig" came into popular usage and referred to a negative stereotypical activity.
Why am I even arguing this? The fact that the term "gypsy cab" uses the name of an ethnic group to refer to a stereotypically negative trait of that group should completely and utterly speak for itself.
It's not "too PC".
Because you don't agree with Safire, who stated quite clearly:
Egyptians, from whose name the word gypsy
erroneously originated, are usually unaware
of the etymology and are not offended.
(Gypsy cab, which uses both syllables,
stresses the ''wandering'' meaning of gypsy,
which is descriptive and not derogatory.)
“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in
rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what
I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
The fact is, taxi lobbies are just protection rackets. I don't like Uber at all due to the way they treat their customers and drivers, but ridesharing is the future and the taxi mob is desperate to stop them from growing. If that means paying off the local law enforcement and city officials to illegally and unconstitutionally seize law abiding citizens' vehicles (including regular folks dropping off or picking up family and friends, which boggles the mind), they will do it.
The taxi lobby will also say that it's all for your own safety, even as unlicensed taxi drivers in licensed cabs proliferate. (fun story: I've had colleagues whose luggage was held hostage while driven to an ATM because the driver didn't want card payment because he wasn't driving the cab legally. good luck pursuing recourse for that.)
Force him to decide to either take their payment or write off the loss from the ride because he can't get any other fares while they're occupying the seat. What's he going to do? Call the police and tell on himself?
> As I asked elsewhere, how is this term racist and derogatory?
Gypsy is a racially problematic term.
Using that term to refer to unlicensed cabs links travellers (who may or may not be Roma) to crime and dangerousness.
If you care about this kind of stuff it's probably a good idea to move to phrases like "unlicensed cabs". You get some benefit it's more useful for an international audience.
The term itself is derived from Egyptian, which just goes to show how little people care about actual facts when labeling outsider groups.
And if you really want to be politically neutral as well as culturally neutral, "unofficial", "non-medallioned", "hackney", or "jitney" would be better than "unlicensed" or "illegal".
When did I ever say that? I said the taxi industry is a protection racket. The person I replied to is spouting racist commentary.
Are you trying to make a cogent argument? because all I see is a nasty insult.
Ignore any flak you get about this. It is the best one-sentence description I've ever read about Uber.
I tried checking the "Warn me when websites try to redirect or reload the page" box in Firefox, but it doesn't appear to be stopping it.
Presumably too many people are starting to use things like "Google Sent Me".
Hmm, I wonder if this is connected to this in the NY Times- http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/uber-is-taking-millions-...
It's not a great situation but I don't think the alternative would be better for HN.
If I visit a link, I don't want them to be able to arbitrarily forward me to another link without my permission, thanks.
I think you want the word "affected" in your second paragraph. Effects are the result of causation, whereas affect refers to the causation. The citizens were affected by the effects of this policy.
(As often happens, the root comment wasn't so bad, but the subthread is terrible.)
I believe it's even possible to affect affects by effecting an affect effect, in effect. English is weird.
(Linguistic tangents are best tangents!)
I never liked the verb sense of effect. It always seemed to me to be too much like a managementspeak verbizating torturement of the ordinary noun sense of effect. Obviously, the verb sense means "to produce an effect", but are you really gonna diss the perfectly cromulent already-existing word that has meant that for longer--"affect"? ~
In condimentarius scriptor apostrophe delenda est.
And yes, we can all find grammatical mistakes. Now, producing something worth reading is another story?
Good grammar never gets old. In fact, it boosts your income: http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/03/11/rep...
> Now, producing something worth reading is another story?
I've become less of a grammar nazi over the years (falling in love with a dyslexic woman will just... force you to do that lol), but I see it as kind of like colorblindness... If everyone is telling you your colors don't match, and you don't see it, it doesn't mean it doesn't bother them (or that you shouldn't care). Or if you're deaf and make random noises that you don't hear, but they bother others... perhaps you should figure out how to stop. That sort of thing. It's a discord thing.
The fact that it got upvoted too just illustrates the commentariat are more interested in style over substance.