A group of street vendors, supported by colleagues from Santee Alley and local activists, visited the Los Angeles Central Division police station to report an officer they claim is harassing them.
Rosa Bernal’s children arrived at the Central Division police station with the support of fellow street vendors and local activists. They alleged that a police officer accused their 58-year-old mother of selling alcohol and taking his money, which led her to faint.
Norma López, a street vendor, explained, “She fainted because she has diabetes, and she is sick. Her children tried to help her, but they couldn’t. She is now in the hospital.”
Bernal’s son informed paramedics that she is diabetic and had received dialysis treatment that day.
“It hurts me that she is in the hospital because she was accused of something she would never do,” said Eunice Oviedo, Rosa’s daughter.
Witnesses stated that the incident began when the officer noticed chamoy, tajín, and lemon at her fruit stand. Oviedo explained, “She thought she was selling micheladas, but they didn’t find any alcohol, she didn’t have anything, and they confiscated her items.”
According to the street vendors, the officer did not call an ambulance when Bernal complained of feeling unwell. They allege that he even laughed when she passed out. Additionally, they claim that this same officer has seized their products and threatened them.
“He tells them that he is going to call immigration and that we cannot sell on the streets,” said Luis de Santiago, another street vendor.
On Monday night, the street vendors filed a formal complaint, but authorities have not provided an official statement.
Bernal’s children are perplexed by the incident, as this is not the first time their mother has sold fruit in that location.
“She has been selling on that same street, in that same place, for more than 27 years,” stated Bernal’s daughter.
She was taken to the hospital and was released on Monday night.
Mrs. Bernal mentioned over the phone that she is a little nervous but has already returned home. She assured that if she feels well tomorrow, she will return to work.