City Councilman Bob Blumenfield is seeking to expand protections for street vendors after an attack earlier this week in Woodland Hills, according to a motion filed Friday.
A man was seen on video striking a street vendor’s cart with an ax on Sunday at the intersection of Canoga Avenue and Dumetz Road. The same man was involved in a similar incident involving another vendor in May, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“Any attack against a street vendor is abhorrent, and everyone who sees this video should be deeply disturbed,” Blumenfield said in a statement. “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.”
The motion requests a report back in 30 days on laws that apply to threats against street vendors, recommendations for additional laws to deter such attacks and strategies for enforcing such laws.
The motion also states that there has been an increasing number of similar incidents in Southern California that may not be directed solely at street vendors, but “are accompanied by obvious anti-Latino and anti-immigrant language.”
“This sort of hateful vigilantism is illegal and immoral,” the motion reads. “While these attacks clearly violate existing laws, it is also clear that they target a vulnerable population.”