Demand Ontario CA Give Back Homeless People's Vehicles and Property sign now

Open Letter To The City Of Ontario, California In regard To It's Treament of The Growing Homeless Population
By Martin Hill

To: The Ontario, CA Mayor, City Council, Police Chief, State and Federal Representatives

The L.A. Times ran an article March 18 titled 'Ontario residents only' at Tent City. The article reports "Even before the large-scale action Monday, police last week moved out parolees and towed about 20 dilapidated motor homes". The article, as well as other local media coverage, has been reporting on some of the other pratcices put in place at the 'tent city'.

Aside from the degrading and Orwellian practice of branding people with mandatory 'marks' or wristbands as if they were Nazi prisoners, the city leaderhsip, using the police department as it's enforcement arm, have mistreated and abused people who are already disadvantaged and struggling to improve themselves. I am speaking of those who have encountered a series of misfortunes and found themselves on the fringe of society. Mistakenly hoping that government would help them get back on their feet, they learned the cold truth from the city of Ontario. The city has abused their trust and used local government mechanisms to oppress them even further; stealing their automobiles, the only possessions many of them have. They will now be required, without even having a place to sleep and no transportation, to aquire liability insurance and retrieve their vehicles from the impound yard within 30 days or have it sold at auction, with the City of Ontario reaping the profit from the homeless.

State and federal courts have already ruled against automatic seizures in driver's license and DUI cases in the interest of justice and due process. [1a] [2]. State Senator Gil Cedillo remarked on the rulings, stating "if a car is legally parked and does not impede traffic or create a public safety hazard, it may be unreasonable seizure of property." While the officer retains discretion, they should keep the community caretaker doctrine in mind.[3]

What is the City of Ontario going to do with all the funds they and their wicked cadre garner from this theft? Perhaps they will build more 'helpful camps' for the masses of growing unemployed and displaced people so that they can steal more cars, have CPS take their kids, and have animal control take their pets, as also outlined in the news reports?

I would also like to know what specific Califoria vehicle Code violation was used as the pretext to take these 20 motor homes. [4] What is the specific code, and was there any notice legally required to be posted on the vehicles before they were seized? Or was it a local Ontario ordinance which they used as a pretext to take the vehicles? Is the 'camp' located public or private property? (as varying towing laws apply to each.) Was the registration of these twenty vehicles suspended prior to their tow? Were they towed for being uninsured? What was the purported probable cause to stop or seize the vehicles? [5] [6]
[See [7] below, Community Caretaker Doctrine and Parked Cars].
Should these homeless people file a Section 1983 action [8] as the Miranda family did successful in their case, Miranda v. City of Corneliu? [9] [In that case, The Ninth Circuit held that it was unconstitutional for a police officer to seize a vehicle under the community caretaker doctrine]

You should be asahmed of yourselves. You, the mayor, police chief, Ontario code enforcement department, City Attorney, and CA Insurance commissioner should put an immediate stop to the oppression and state-sponsored theft from society's most vulnerable. I plead with you to show mercy to the poor and immediately return their property.

We the understand that one city alone cannot accomidate everyone in need. However, we urge the city of Ontario to treat people with the dignity and respect they deserve. We hereby request that the homeless people's vehicles, children and pets, if taken, be returned to them at no cost and that the city give them time to find other accomidations.

In conclusion, I will close with the Sacred words of our Lord Jesus Christ:

"Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
Matthew 25:40-43 [11]

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