BLUMENFIELD MOVES TO EXPAND PROTECTIONS FOR STREET VENDORS FOLLOWING VICIOUS ATTACK IN WOODLAND HILLS
LOS ANGELES, CA– Following a vicious attack against a street Vendor in Woodland Hills, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today introduced legislation aimed at expanding protections for street vendors as well as exploring increased penalties against this sort of vigilante violence. On August 14, 2022, an individual attacked a sidewalk vendor and his property at the intersection of Canoga Avenue and Dumetz Road in Woodland Hills with an axe. It has been reported that the same individual attacked another vendor in May 2022.
"Any attack against a street vendor is abhorrent and everyone who sees this video should be deeply disturbed,” said Blumenfield. “Violent vigilante behavior is illegal and immoral- this individual will be held accountable. Such an attack is clearly an attempt to intimidate both his victim and other street vendors and cannot be tolerated.”
There have been reports of increasing numbers of similar attacks in other parts of Los Angeles and Southern California. These incidents often are not directed solely at the vending activity, but are accompanied by anti-Latino and anti-immigrant language. While these attacks clearly violate existing laws, it is also clear that they target a vulnerable population and Blumenfield will continue working with city departments to help make LA safer for street vendors.
Blumenfield’s legislation specifically directs the Chief Legislative Analyst, with the assistance of the Bureau of Street Services, the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department, the City Attorney and the Los Angeles Police Department, to report within 30 days on:
Existing laws and policies that apply to actual or threatened violence, or intimidating behavior or language, aimed at sidewalk vendors
Recommendations for additional laws or policies, including enhanced penalties, to deter and punish attacks on sidewalk vendors
Strategies for effective enforcement of existing or new laws or policies to protect sidewalk vendors.
Blumenfield concluded, “Vigilante attacks have no place in LA and it’s imperative we send a clear message to this perpetrator and any would be future perpetrators: violence and intimidation will not be tolerated, especially under the false pretense that you are enforcing laws you neither have the authority to enforce nor apparently the wisdom to fully understand.”
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