Police continue towing low-income San Diegans’ cars months after audit raised concerns

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“Last November, an audit raised alarms about the San Diego Police Department’s vehicle towing program disproportionately hurting low-income and unhoused people. Officers routinely order vehicles to be hauled away for what researchers have called ‘poverty tows’ — which include expired registration, 72-hour parking violations and unpaid tickets — even when there is no risk to public safety, the city audit said. Owners may lose their vehicles, jobs, access to education or medical care and, sometimes, their homes. And the city is set to lose at least $1.5 million this year on these tows because the owners often can’t afford to pay impound fees. The audit recommended city officials consider other options.”

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