L.A. Proposes to Scan ALL Cars, Send Letter of Shame For Driving Through a “Prostitution Area”

license-plate-scannersBy Matt Agorist

A Los Angeles city councilwoman just proposed one of the most chilling uses of license plate scanners ever.

As an ostensible means of deterring prostitution, Nury Martinez of the L.A. city council wants to scan every single license plate, make a list, and mail out a shame letter to every person who drives through an arbitrary area deemed a prostitution zone.

You read that right. For merely driving through a designated area, Martinez proposes publicly shaming any and every motorist by scanning their license plate.

Martinez told CBS Los Angeles,

If you aren’t soliciting, you have no reason to worry about finding one of these letters in your mailbox. But if you are, these letters will discourage you from returning. Soliciting for sex in our neighborhoods is not OK.

The idea is so Orwellian, so fascist even, that the police themselves have deemed it unconstitutional.

Law enforcement technologist, and working police detective, Nick Selby writes, 

This scheme makes, literally, a state issue out of legal travel to arbitrary places deemed by some — but not by a court, and without due process — to be “related” to crime in general, not to any specific crime.

There isn’t “potential” for abuse here, this is a legislated abuse of technology that is already controversial when it’s used by police for the purpose of seeking stolen vehicles, tracking down fugitives and solving specific crimes.

The process would automate reasonable suspicion, by arbitrarily deeming EVERYONE a ‘John.’ As Selby points out, “Guilt by association would be a higher standard.”

To make matters even worse, all the data collected in the process would be a matter of public record under the Freedom of Information Act. Anyone could walk down to the city council, request a report and publish a list of those who got the letter — due process and actual guilt be damned.

Aside from the public shaming of completely innocent individuals, the domestic problems it would create, have an equally ominous potential. Imagine a married couple whose already rocky relationship is under repair getting one of these letters. The wife’s first thought would most likely not be, “well he must just be a victim of automated reasonable suspicion.”

In his article for Medium, Selby concludes,

Far from serving as, in the words of one proponent, a private “wake-up call,” these letters will surely be the basis of insurance, medical, employment and other decisions, and such a list can be re-sold to public records companies, advertising mailing list companies… To paraphrase @MosheYudkowsky, there would be a chilling effect on commerce in the highlighted area, because who in their right mind would do business at any company located in that area? The list of unintended consequences is long.

This wrong-headed law has, out of the gate, a chilling effect on association and transport.

No non-fascist state should ever allow this to happen.

You can email Nury Martinez at councilmember.martinez@lacity.org, or call her one of the locations below to voice your concern with her negligent abuse of power.

City Hall

200 N Spring St, Ste 425
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7006

Van Nuys

14410 Sylvan St, Ste 215
Van Nuys, CA 91401
(818) 778-4999

Sun Valley

9300 Laurel Canyon Blvd, 2nd Floor
Sun Valley, CA 91331
(818) 771-0236

Matt Agorist writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com

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8 Comments on "L.A. Proposes to Scan ALL Cars, Send Letter of Shame For Driving Through a “Prostitution Area”"

  1. Sovereign_Citizen | November 28, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Reply

    This will quickly stop when they see how many government license plates are snapped:)

  2. Do you have your permit to be on the internet today?

  3. Nury needs to pay for this herself. It’s this attitude that our tax dollars grow on trees that kills critical thinking in our politicians

  4. they don’t like the public entering their red light space.

    BTW: Colorado should legalize this oldest profession as w did cannabis.

  5. I guess when you drive past the home of an elected big buiness prostitute plates will be snapped too!

  6. American Patriot | November 29, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Reply

    Start filming every city vehicle that stops in that area, and immediately post video on Youtube.
    The end of this ‘shaming’ will come from seeing so many people working for the city parking their taxpayer owned vehicles, as well as their private vehicles showing up on Youtube videos plastered so ALL can see the proof. Active participation by the people to shame the city into stopping this illegal use of OUR money must be made a priority, or things will get worse.
    WE THE PEOPLE must become deeply involved in every aspect of ‘city life’ so as to make them all aware that WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE, and WHERE YOU LIVE, and WHERE YOU GO!
    Post videos of banks they go to, stores they go to, addresses of their post office, EVERYTHING you can film, must be made PUBLIC so as to put REAL FEAR into their minds about them now being under OUR MICROSCOPE!

  7. michael lawless | November 30, 2015 at 5:22 am | Reply

    maybe if this council member could control her neighborhoods this wouldnt be a problem
    no hoes in my hood

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