Group of vendors claim NYPD unfairly forced them out of Sunset Park

Plaza Tonatiuh says they have been gathering to sell goods in Sunset Park for two years and have never had an issue until recently.

News 12 Staff

Apr 10, 2023, 9:45 PM

Updated 404 days ago

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A vendor group in Brooklyn claims the NYPD unfairly forced them out of an area in Sunset Park for the second week in a row.
Plaza Tonatiuh says they have been gathering to sell goods in Sunset Park for two years and have never had an issue until recently.
It comes as the Parks Department and the NYPD are trying to crack down on illegal vending.
Plaza organizers say when they were forced to leave the area on April 9, they were not vending, but holding an Easter celebration.
Police say the crowd on Easter was violent and a Parks Department employee was allegedly punched, but details are still limited.
Plaza organizers say video captured on April 2 shows a vendor being restrained and pushed around at the park by law enforcement.
Organizer Leo Garita says Plaza Tonatiuh is all about community and providing people with a sense of belonging. He told News 12 they're not letting the opposition stop them.
“We're still going to continue the fight against injustice and we're still going to exercise our right to assemble. The thing is, they try to make everything sound like a protest when it's not to their liking,” Garita says.
The Parks Department and the NYPD say they have been dealing with complaints from people living nearby over the illegal vending going on in the park.
But plaza organizers say the only reason they vend without permits is because they are so difficult to obtain due to the cap imposed on them. They say they hope they can reach a solution soon.


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