Posts Tagged ‘Howard Chan’
A jury awarded a pair of Los Angeles police officers $2 million Monday after determining that LAPD supervisors had retaliated against the officers for complaining about alleged traffic ticket quotas.
Howard Chan and David Benioff, both veteran motorcycle officers with the department’s West Traffic Division, sued the department in 2009, alleging that they had been punished with bogus performance reviews, threats of reassignment and other forms of harassment after objecting to demands from commanding officers that they write a certain number of tickets each day, according to the suit.
Ticket quotas are illegal under state law, since they can pressure police to write spurious tickets to meet the goal. The line between setting a quota and pushing officers to increase their productivity is a delicate one for field supervisors, who are often under pressure themselves to generate more citations.
“We’re very hopeful that this will put an end to fleecing motorists on the west side of Los Angeles,” said Benioff’s attorney, Gregory Smith. “Quotas are a direct violation of the vehicle code, and this case was about these officers being asked to break the law…”
Chan and Benioff said that supervisors ranked them against other officers based on the number of tickets they wrote and cars they impounded, which is also a violation of state law…
“You can’t violate the law to enforce the law,” Councilman Dennis Zine said. “You can’t mandate the number of tickets.
Illicit, illegal policies by police departments are all too common. Hardly any driver in the U.S. is ignorant of some local speed trap – or something like my favorite sleazy local practice of bumping up demands for tickets at the end of the fiscal year to balance the budget.
Here are a couple of conscientious coppers who lead a dangerous life as it is on the streets of L.A. – with the integrity to refuse to spend their time harassing ordinary motorists over comparatively minor offenses. So, they get their chops busted by desk jockeys.