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NYPD Still Policing Street Vendors Despite Promises to Stop

Documented

Sep 20, 2022

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This summary about NYPD and street vendors was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

Last year, New York City vowed that the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, not the New York Police Department, would oversee street vendor enforcement. 

But data obtained by Documented shows the NYPD has continued enforcing street vendor regulations regardless of years of complaints.

Daily interactions with police officers have become a regular occurrence for street vendors, writes Amir Khafagy, Report for America Corps member covering labor for Documented.

Mohamed Awad, an Egyptian immigrant who operates a halal food stand at Hudson Yards, says he has received 75 tickets in the last six months from the NYPD.

“We are talking hundreds of dollars worth of summons from the police department, during the same time the city of New York didn’t allow the police to be involved with us,” he said.

Sometimes the police come three times a day, issuing multiple tickets for the same violation, Awad said.

Indeed, very little has changed for street vendors since the legislation passed last year, according to Mohamed Attia, Managing Director of The Street Vendor Project. He says that DCWP has only added yet another layer of enforcement.

Since taking over street vending enforcement last year, DCWP has issued over 1,463 tickets. Yet the NYPD has continued to dole out tickets to vendors as well. So far this year, the NYPD has issued 127 vendor-related criminal summonses and issued another 1,320 civil vendor-related summonses, a decrease from the 377 criminal and 1,884 civil tickets the NYPD issued in 2019. 

And it’s not only licensed vendors that are bearing the brunt of enforcement. 

Read the full report on Documented.

STORIES WE ARE FOLLOWING 

New York

Eric Adams seriously considering housing migrants on cruise ships:

The mayor’s chief of staff has spoken with leaders of Norwegian Cruise Line about the possibility. Advocates for the homeless have called his proposal alienating and insulting. — New York Times

Office of New Americans working to streamline naturalization process:

The Office for New Americans will provide free online naturalization application assistance and legal support through a new Citizenshipworks tool. — Times Union

NYC considering legal action to stop Texas from sending more migrant buses: 

Mayor Adams said the city’s legal team is looking at possible legal challenges. The city has opened 23 emergency shelters and expects to open 38 more. — Politico

Woman seeking asylum who died by suicide was separated from her husband:

The couple were separated at the border. Residents of the shelter said she was quiet and withdrawn. Her children bonded with other shelter families but were unhappy in NYC. — NBC New York

Around the U.S. 

Class action lawsuit filed against DeSantis and others in federal court: Alianza Americas, and Lawyers for Civil Rights filed on behalf of the migrants flown to Massachusetts, saying the “stunt has placed our clients in peril.” — Boston Globe

Texas county sheriff opens criminal investigation into migrant flight to Martha’s Vineyard: Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said the migrants were “preyed upon” and his office was working with advocacy organizations and attorneys representing the victims. — Reuters

Eight Venezuelan migrants were flown to California. They don’t know why: The men were flown from Texas to Sacramento with little cash and some had no shoes. They had intentions to travel to New York, Florida, or Utah and they were confused. — LA Times

Lawyers investigating origin of brochures given to migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard: The seemingly deceitful brochure lists the telephone number for the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants, which has said its office did not publish the document. — CNN

Flying migrants to Massachusetts was political, critics say. But was it legal? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has described the flights as voluntary. Attorneys say migrants were deceived and they may be eligible for visas for crime victims. — NPR

Massachusetts National Guard assisting relief efforts for migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard: The migrants are now staying at Joint Base Cape Cod and need lawyers to help them check into an ICE office, immigration court, and an asylum office — all of which don’t exist on Martha’s Vineyard. — Boston 25 News

Washington D.C.

Increase in border crossings among Venezuelans: Border authorities stopped Venezuelans around 25,000 times in August, up 43% from July, and four times the stops in August 2021. — AP News

SEE MORE STORIES

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