Fake Hooker: Fail the Smell Test, Lose Your Car

|

The Contra Costa Times serves up a fellatial profile of a scrappy, hard-nosed, tough-talkin' ersatz hooker, an undercover cop just trying to make the streets of L.A. safe for "hardworking families." In the course of admiring the LAPD's enthusiasm for busting Johns, the author reports:

Since the city attorney initiated the vehicle seizure program in 2003, more than 500 cars have been impounded. The city has made $325,000 in buybacks, though the city attorney's office emphasizes that the program is meant to deter solicitation, not earn money.

Ah, OK then. As driving journal The Newspaper notes, "a December 2002 municipal ordinance… allows police to seize the vehicle of anyone accused—not convicted—of soliciting." And what's the standard for accusing someone of trying to pay for a blow job? Well, fake hooker Heather has one answer:

"You just know," Heather says of the would-be johns who pull over to make a deal. "You look. You see. You smell it."

Via Nobody's Business.

NEXT: The Hit & Run B Team Breaks Out

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. As driving journal The Newspaper notes, “a December 2002 municipal ordinance… allows police to seize the vehicle of anyone accused — not convicted — of soliciting.”

    WTF? So I assume they give it back to you if found not guilty, right? Right?!?!

  2. look, drop it, Chalupa. Drop it.

    (sorry. couldn’t resist)

    (yeah – had figured you’ve heard that one before, too)

  3. Yeah, I never understood that part either. Can someone explain how that doesn’t violate due process?

  4. AC,

    It probably does. But how many alleged ‘johns’ are going to go after their day in court rather than make the whole thing disappear?

  5. AC- Because the siezure is an in rem, not an in personam proceedure. In other words, the action is actually taken against the property. The paperwork would read something like City of LA vs. one 1983 Pinto. So, the action is taken against an inamimate object, not a person with legal rights.

  6. Right?!?!

    Wrong. Unlike people, seized property is “presumed guilty”. Thus, a not-guilty person has to prove the vehicle wasn’t used in the crime he didn’t commit.

  7. “You just know,” Heather says of the would-be johns who pull over to make a deal. “You look. You see. You smell it.”

    Does it smell like fish?

  8. The way she can smell it is easy. If he hasn’t showered in a few weeks, then he’s likely to be paying for sex.

    It’s utter bullshit that property is presumed guilty if no crime is committed.

  9. Hopefully, it smells like latex and lubricant.

  10. You see, this is why you should always walk to meet your hooker.

  11. first they’ll come for the cars, then they’ll come for the nikes.

  12. I have heard that “guilty property” argument before. Is that common law or real law? I assume if this goes on, it’s gone to the Supreme Court? Does anyone know any cases involving this? Forgive my ignorance.

  13. I know of at least one other policy that is similar, the federal One-Strike policy for public housing residents (arrest for drugs or guns of anyone on the lease anywhere, or visitors when in or near your apartment is grounds for eviction at the discretion of the landlord, management company, or housing authority). That one is defended via contract law, and SCOTUS upheld it in HUD v. Rucker. In any event, such policies are indefensible from any rational perspective of fairness or justice, whatever the courts think.

    Also, not having ever solicited a prostitute, I don’t really know, but wouldn’t your typical john be relatively discrete and/or coded during the solicitation process? Were I on a jury, I’d be wanting either a direct solicitation (“Can I pay you to have sex with me?”), money changing hands, or the initiation of an actual sex act.

    Policies like this provide ample cover and justification for a wide variety of bad police tactics, and there’s a strong argument to be made that this is their real function and goal.

  14. Uh, folks, this is the LAPD, the biggest criminal gang in the west, they got guns and dope, and apparently hookers too.

  15. Look, fake or not, if a hooker fails the smell test, she has to leave my car.

    That’s just common sense.

  16. Smells like Teen Spirit to me.

  17. Although some debate whether prostitution is a victimless crime, Heather and residents in high-impact areas argue it’s the residents who are often affected. Used syringes and condoms litter side streets and curbs where children play. Women of all ages are solicited as they make their way down some Valley streets or wait for buses.

    No way this could be a problem with criminalization, rather than prostitution itself.

    Heather became a police officer 11 years ago. She grew up in the Valley and had worked as a waitress for eight years. When she attended a seminar and listened to a female LAPD officer talk about the job, she just about signed up on the spot

    Oh, NOW I see why prostitution needs to be illegal–so stupid bimbos like Heather will have the opportunity to find a job that pays better than waitressing.

  18. “the city attorney’s office emphasizes that the program is meant to deter solicitation, not earn money”

    That’s not exactly “earning” it.

  19. She does it, she said, to help protect hard-working families who are just trying to make ends meet, who instead are subjected to this seedy environment.

    Oh, for Chrissakes! Get over yourself, bitch…

  20. The worst part of the property seizure scam is the requirement to post a bond equal in value to the seized property in order to be granted a hearing in which you can attempt to get the property back. In a lot of cases involving seized property, criminal charges will not even be filed if the person accused of the crime will agree not to attempt to get the property back. Given the choice between a good chance at jail time versus the slim chance of a rigged hearing awarding you your property, most people choose to say goodbye to the car, boat or house. If any other armed group of thugs did this to you they would call it organized crime, but since it is the police it is called getting tough on crime.

  21. Of course this is just one of those onerous amendments but:

    “…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
    …”

  22. I find this sickening and I take peoples property for a living (tax collector).

  23. the tax man: “I find this sickening and I take peoples property for a living (tax collector).”

    Maybe you can answer me this:

    My theory: The American Dream, home ownership, is a myth. Why? Say you have fully paid your mortage, you think it is yours. Now, stop paying taxes on it and you will find out who really owns it. Americans are just paying eternal tax rent.

  24. The Scent of a Ruthless’ Manhood:
    mildew

  25. I love the smell of blow jobs in the front seat. You know, one time I strolled a red light district for 12 hours. When it was all over, I looked up. I didn’t see one of ’em, not one stinkin’ late model luxury sedan or sports car on the street. The smell, you know that impounding-lot, Christmas bonus cash smell, the whole lot. Smelled like… victory.

  26. The Supreme Court case to look up is Bennis v. Michigan.

  27. Just another way for the cops to steal, kiddies. Please don’t tell me that any of you are surprised. This crap started with confiscating any large chunks of cash a suspect might be carrying. Cash? must be drug money. Just try getting it back.

  28. If watching COPS has taught me anything, the person has to agree to a price for a service before a bust can be made. (I think that was the rule for going after either party in the transaction.) I don’t remember any smelling going on, but this certainly does stink!

  29. “You just know,” Heather says of the would-be johns who pull over to make a deal. “You look. You see. You smell it.”

    What about taste, touch and hear?

  30. I wonder how much Heather charges for just a smell?

    Gimme some nose, baby. Ooooh, yes…

  31. This in rem crap has been around for a long time. Bennis may not apply, as it is about a co-owner trying to avoid confiscation because the (alleged) criminal activity was going on without her knowledge.

    The trial of physical objects that don’t have rights seems like a slimey way to avoid the 8th Amendment prohibition on excessive fines, which seems to cause the Supremes’ eyes to glaze over when they read their copy of the Constitution.

    None of the ill-effects the cops ascribe to streetwalking would pertain if the authorities would legalize brothels, I’m thinking.

    Kevin

  32. “Does it smell like fish?”

    I think it probably smells like money. Does Officer Heather work on commission?

  33. Does it smell like fish?

    Yes, but it tastes like chicken.

  34. I smell sex and candy … here …

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.