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Street Vendors Yell ‘This is Not a Crime’ As Taquero is Handcuffed By San Bernardino PD and Code Enforcement

Screenshot via: Edin Enamorado/instagram.

Street vendor Cesar Marroquin, owner of La Fonda Asadero in San Bernardino, was having what he called a normal day at work grilling carnes and firing up Los Angeles’ iconic bacon-wrapped hot dogs when out of nowhere code enforcement along with San Bernardino PD showed up unannounced. 

Nothing would prepare him for what would happen next. 

A video that was recorded on Saturday, July, 9th, has gone viral since its posting and shows code enforcement and PD approaching Marroquin. 

“They asked about permits and we explained that we have tried to get a permit but pero San Bernardino doesn't want to give permits to street vendors,” Marroquin said in a follow-up video shared on Instagram. 

Soon after Marroquin asked the officer if he would be given a warning or given a ticket to which the officer is heard responding, “no we're gonna take your things.” Shortly after the vendor is seen being forcefully detained. 

Why do you treat me like a criminal?” yelled Marroquin. 

Fellow vendor compañeros from Funnel Cake Fridays whose stand was near Marroquin quickly recorded the entire encounter. While recording one of the officers is seen walking up to the cameraman saying “this is your chance, you are being detained right now.”

Marroquin discloses in a video posted by vendor advocate Edin Enamorado that what made the situation more tragic was that he recently suffered a heart attack. His wife who was at the scene attempted to inform the officer that her husband had just suffered a heart attack a week ago and that using force on him was not good. 

“My wife tried explaining to them…and right away they tried arresting her,” said Marroquin in the video. “The officer said if anything happened they could call the ambulance, they treat us like animals.” 

As Marroquin was being hand-cuffed other vendors yelled “you can’t do that! SB946!” referring to the Senate bill that ended the criminalization of sidewalk vending in California. Although enforcement on unpermitted vendors did decline since the passing of the bill it hasn't completely stopped code enforcement sweeps and arrests. Just last year San Bernardino PD made a public announcement threatening unpermitted vendors with possible arrests and confiscations.

Unfortunately, the encounter with San Bernardino PD left the taquero with multiple bruises on his leg, wrists, and arms. In his GofundMe he stated that he lost $1,800 worth of food and an estimated $3,500 on equipment.

In another video, it is said that everyone got parking tickets on private property where the owner is said to have had an agreement allowing vendors to sell on his property. 

“At this point, it's not even code enforcement,” said another vendor. 

Anyone wanting to donate to Marroquin can do so here.

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