After a mechanic took it on an unauthorized ride, Chicago impounded her car. And then….

Her car was in the shop for work when a mechanic drove it on an expired license. What the city of Chicago did to her then shouldn’t happen to anyone [Elliott Ramos, WBEZ/ProPublica, Institute for Justice on its suit representing Veronica Walker-Davis and Jerome Davis, earlier]

An especially outrageous angle from an earlier Ramos/WBEZ story, quoted in our earlier coverage: “Chicago has impounded and sold off nearly 50,000 cars for unpaid tickets since 2011. Not a dime of the sales went toward the ticket debt; instead, the city and its towing contractor pocketed millions.”


  • With every story like this, a little bit of water drips out of the reservoir or our freedom.

    What is remarkable is that a program like this requires lawyers to make it run. In the story cited, the City was represented by a lawyer. Why does that person still have a law license? A person who had their car converted by a body shop is, by definition, an innocent owner, and the Constitution if it protects anything, protects their property interest. The lawyer is either too dumb or too dishonest to be a lawyer. Either way, the legal profession is sullied by his or her membership in it.

    How many judges have come into contact with this out and out theft and have done nothing? Where are federal prosecutors in the Northern District–certainly, there are federal criminal laws being broken here. The plaintiffs here will almost certainly win, and people will talk about how it was a win for justice blah blah blah. The truth is that the City of Chicago will have basically gotten away with this theft, and no one will see the inside of a prison cell.

  • Given Chicago’s population (not metro), this represents about a 1.4% chance of losing your car. Most of the people are probably too poor to get a lawyer to help them get their car back. To make it worse, I have heard that Chicago will routinely deny that they have your car. One guy only could find it because he had a GPS in it.

    It is straight-out gangster government.

    • What do you think the Mafia did after they lost control of most of the organized crime in this country to the Mexican drug cartels, the South American drug cartels, the Russian Mob, the Yakuza….