Police officers in Sacramento, California, confiscated food carts and food from vendors at a local park on April 30 for allegedly violating permit rules (video below).
On a Facebook Live video of the incident, one officer can be heard saying: "I came and I personally talked to each of them months ago. And I told them, 'If you don't comply, if you don't get a permit, you're going to be in violation, they're going to confiscate your product,'" notes KTXL.
The food cart vendors, who are mostly Mexican, see their carts, food and tables loaded onto a truck and their punch poured down storm drains. One woman sits on a cooler filled with soda and water bottles that she says she needed for her family, but ends up losing the cooler to an armed police officer.
The officers say they are responding to complaints.
Desiree Rojas, of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, told KTXL: "It was embarrassing, and humiliating. And I don't think that the Mexican community deserves to be treated that way. We thought that it was [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]."
According to Rojas, some vendors had filed for permits, and most of the vendors wanted to comply with the law, but now they are out of work because their food carts are gone.
"They literally instilled fear," Rojas added. "And right now, we're conducting our own investigation. We are talking to the vendors."
The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement plans to bring up the issue at a city council meeting on May 2.
In another case of alleged over-aggressiveness by Sacramento police, the city was forced to pay $220,000 in a settlement over a federal civil rights lawsuit, reported The Sacramento Bee.
The city was sued because three police officers allegedly roughed up Arlie Halcomb in 2014 while searching his apartment for another individual, and held Halcomb for about an hour against his will.
During the case, one of the officers reportedly gave some false testimony.
Halcomb's lawyer, Mark Merin, said of the six-figure settlement from the city: "I think they did the right, honorable, ethical thing to settle the case once they realized that their principal witness had lied."
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s spokeswoman, Kelly Rivas, added: "We think it’s an appropriate settlement given the circumstances of the case."
The cops reportedly targeted the wrong apartment even though the address that they had matched up with a female suspect; Halcomb had switched apartments with the suspect.
Halcomb said in a statement though his lawyer's office: "After learning that the intruders were police officers, I’m glad I wasn’t shot and killed. I hope that the city will re-evaluate its policies because I believe my experience could have easily been avoided."