Monday, October 19, 2009

LAPD to Poor: You're Illegal

A little bit more about myslef. I live in the Koreatown neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles, which is roughly the area around Wilshire Blvd. and Vermont and Western Avenues. So, I was walking around this part of town this weekend and I saw something that made me angry.

This is a place where street vendors set up shop. Street vending is a proud LA tradition and ranges from tamales and hot dogs, to shoes, purses, toys and more. These people are largely latino, and probably largely poor.

This officer, who is white, rolls by, gets on his loudspeaker and says something like "If you're here next time I drive by I'm going to make arrests. I've told you time and time again there is no vending here."

What the LAPD doesn't understand is that people don't sell on the street because they want to. They sell on the street because they have to. They don't have any other good options for survival. Being poor and making an honest living is no crime. Maybe LAPD wants these people to start robbing people in the street to survive.

How can these people view LAPD as anything other than a threat to their survival?

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