Police Told Drivers Picking Up Fares to “Beat It,” Seized Licenses
July 1, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS – In a class action lawsuit filed today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and private attorneys are representing taxi cab drivers whose taxi licenses were seized and who were prevented by police from picking up passengers they had dropped off at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Indy 500 Race Day.
Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana Legal Director, said, “The Constitution prohibits the government from seizing our property without cause and without any sort of process. Both of these principles appeared to have been violated in this case.”
As many as 80 cab drivers, according to the Speedway Police Department, had their licenses seized on Race Day, May 26. Diedra Warren, Brian Thompson and Charlie Key, all licensed taxi cab drivers who are plaintiffs in the suit, had driven a number of people to the track on race day and arranged to pick them up on Main Street in Speedway following the race. But when they returned to the spot where they had arranged the pick-up, officers seized their operators’ licenses and told them to leave the area.
When the drivers went to the Speedway Police Department to pick up their licenses, they were also penalized with parking tickets costing $50. The actions of the police department violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, because seizure of the licenses was not warranted, justified or reasonable, and violated due process.
The ACLU of Indiana is requesting a jury trial and damages for the plaintiffs’ missed work time.