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Street Vending

Activist Edin Enamorado Raided at 4 AM and Arrested By San Bernardino Sheriffs, Along With Seven Others

“For me, it’s clear it’s First Amendment retaliation and a violation of their constitutional rights, and it’s just sad how these law enforcement agencies, especially The San Bernardino’s Sheriff’s Department, is treating individuals like Edin,” said civil rights attorney Christian Contreras, who has been in contact with Enamorado.  

Photo by: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.

Early Thursday morning, activist and street vendor advocate Edin Alex Enamorado and his partner, Wendy Lujan, were arrested by The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, along with six other known activists.

The arrest comes hours after Enamorado, and other activists from across Southern California protested a law enforcement officer from the Seaside Police Department who was caught on camera arresting the wrong person and placing his knee on the neck of a minor. 

This morning, posts circulating on social media alerted the public about the possible arrest of these activists at their homes. The Sheriff’s Department confirmed on Facebook that a group of people were arrested.

In the post, they said a press conference would be held where they would speak about the details involving the group's arrest, including activist Enamorado. At the time L.A. TACO could not find a single link to view the press conference. 

However, The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department did eventually post their 7-minute press conference to their YouTube in which they further explained the details behind the arrests. They added that Enamorado along with the rest of the group was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation for an incident that occurred in Victorville on September 24th. 

The operation is being called “Operation Accountability,” and the departments involved besides San Bernardino are, Pomona PD, Fontana PD, Upland PD, and Victorville PD. 

“The group violated the law extending beyond the first amendment to violence, victims of their actions made reports to the agencies here,” said Sheriff Shannon D. Dicus at the conference. “This group manipulates videos on social media in an attempt to look like they’re protectors of underrepresented people however they use racism to threaten and intimidate their victims.”

Civil rights attorney Christian Contreras, who has long defended many of the street vendors that Enamorado has helped, is in contact with Enamorado, Wendy, and David Chavez, who were among the group arrested. He said a copy of a warrant was given to him that showed what some of the charges were. 

“Allegedly, it’s for conspiracy, use of gas (pepper spray),” he told L.A. TACO over the phone. “You can also see they are also charging Edin with kidnapping and criminal threat, which are all felonies.”

Contreras said there is currently a no-bail hold, so they can’t be bailed out, but they will have court on Monday. Much like the others arrested, Enamorado’s home was raided in the early morning, and they were served with search warrants before being arrested. Other charges brought up at the conference were assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and other offenses currently under review by the district attorney's office.

“For me, it’s clear it’s First Amendment retaliation and a violation of their constitutional rights, and it’s just sad how these law enforcement agencies, especially The San Bernardino’s Sheriff’s Department, is treating individuals like Edin,” said Contreras. 

Enamorado has long been an activist who has hosted buyouts for street vendors impacted by attacks and robberies and has helped vendors through the grueling permit system. He is also known for calling out racists online and at their doors, as well as keeping police accountable.  

Contreras, who will be working closely with Enamorado, is confident that they will be able to get the charges dropped, and as he said, “justice will prevail.” He said although nothing is set in stone, once charges are dropped, they do intend to sue.

This story was updated after L.A. TACO got a hold of the press conference at 1:30 p.m. on December 1.

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