Following a violent caught-on-camera attack in Woodland Hills during which a man is seen taking an ax to a street vendor's cart, a Los Angeles councilman Friday says he wants to explore more protections for street vendors and increased penalties for attackers.
"Any attack against a street vendor is abhorrent and everyone who sees this video should be deeply disturbed," Councilmember Bob Blumenfield said. "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."
In the video taken Aug. 14, a man in a black shirt and shorts is seen wailing on a street vendor's cart with an ax in the area of Canoga Avenue and Dumetz Road.
The Los Angeles Police Department said they responded and took a vandalism report.
The video was featured on an Instagram account that highlights attacks on vendors.
After NBCLA shared the street vendor's story, viewers reached out to donate money to the man to help recoup his losses.
Blumenfield says there have been a rise in not just anti-vendor attacks, but attacks with "anti-Latino and anti-immigrant language" that need to be addressed.
The legislation is asking the city's Chief Legislative Analyst, the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department, the City Attorney and the Los Angeles Police Department to report back within 30 days on the following points:
- 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.
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