For Immediate Release //
June 15, 2021
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 562-212-2664
Local government must end their aggressive policies against street vendors, and protect street vendors from violent attacks
San Bernardino, CA – On Sunday, June 13, a family was attacked and robbed as they were working at their street taco business in San Bernardino. A mother and her three daughters were assaulted by five people at the popular vendor spot. San Bernardino Police officers came to the scene after customers who witnessed the attack called 911, but the officers refused to take the report from Rafaela Morales, the mother and business owner.
According to Ms. Morales, the attackers took around $1,100.00. Despite the evidence of the attack and the money that was stolen, the police refused to take a report. Ms. Morales feels angered and discouraged that police did not properly respond to her request for help. Millions of dollars from the City’s budget is spent on policing yet officers fail to aid victims or thoroughly document cases, which could have immigration consequences for families.
Lyzzeth Mendoza, Policy Manager at the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice noted:
“We have witnessed how local leaders and some community members scapegoat and dehumanize street vendors which led the City of San Bernardino to adopt an ordinance that further criminalizes vendors while neglecting their safety. We demand the City of San Bernardino to stop persecuting street vendors and recognize their contributions to the city’s economy, meet with local vendors and community organizations to find common sense regulations, and ensure justice for this family.”
We must address the continued criminalization of street vendors. San Bernardino must take immediate steps to change local policies that further expose these working families to attacks by criminals and vigilantes. Ms. Morales reminds us that our communities support one another, she’s grateful for the outpouring of support in this difficult situation, she doesn’t want it to happen to anyone else. We call on local cities to officially recognize street vendors’ contributions to our local economies.