A group of street vendors has filed a legal claim against the City of Fontana alleging violations of their civil rights.
The City Council passed an ordinance in October aimed at cracking down on unlicensed vending. It allows police officers to arrest and charge vendors who operate without a license, and greenlights confiscation of their goods.
Since the ordinance passed, activists say vendors – who are predominantly Latino – have been victims of discriminatory targeting and excessive use of force. They allege the crackdown on food vending is race-based. Fontana’s mayor Aquanetta Warren is a Black Republican who has been critical of illegal immigration.
Some Warren supporters say the reverse is true – that she is being called out in part because she is the city’s first Black mayor.
In 2018, California lawmakers passed SB 946, which allows localities to establish their own requirements for vendor licensing and regulation.
Read more at the Fontana Herald News.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the vendors have filed a lawsuit. So far, they have filed only an insufficient claim.