I wouldn’t call myself an aficionado of Street Vendors. I’ve never bought anything from them, nor plan to in the future.
Still, they’re a part of life out here in Los Angeles, and like any good neighbor, I don’t want to see Street Vendors harassed or harmed in any way.
So, it’s a little disturbing to see (according to a story in the Times) that the LAPD maybe…and this somewhat brazen…seizing their goods like they are, and then…not so much with the receipt.
And let’s make it clear. The Cops have every right to seize these goods. It’s actually their duty. It’s part of the law. You get caught selling stuff without a license, you can lose that stuff.
But to do it without providing a receipt of some kind? That ain’t good.
As city leaders wrestle with whether to legalize vending along Los Angeles’ sidewalks and in its parks, it remains a crime punishable by as much as $1,000 in fines, according to the Bureau of Street Services.But police are supposed to provide receipts when ordinary goods are taken away and booked into evidence.
Los Angeles police have challenged some of the allegations made by street vendors, which are under investigation. For example, a sergeant said he had no record of anything being confiscated or destroyed when Aguilar was cited twice in April.
But the story that Aguilar tells is echoed by other vendors along Alvarado Street, where fresh fruit, toys, secondhand clothing and a dizzying array of other goods arepitchedto passersby. At a December news conference near MacArthur Park, a handful of street vendors pleaded in Spanish to be able to keep or at least reclaim their goods.
“You even lose the chair that you sit on,” said Aureliano Santiago, who sells hot dogs and frozen treats.
The question of whether to legalize vending has divided local lawmakers and pitted the economic hopes of thousands of Angelenos who ply their trade on city sidewalks against businesses and neighborhood groups that worry about trash, public health and unfair competition with licensed brick-and-mortar establishments.
You can read the rest at the Los Angeles Times.