NEW YORK, NY – Food cart owners are suing the NYPD and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for allegedly trashing and illegally throwing away their equipment after random checks.
According to the federal class-action lawsuit, provided to the Chronicle last Thursday, the city has “a policy of seizing and destroying street vendors’ property without any hearing or other constitutionally required due process.”
The Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center alleges this practice is unconstitutional.
“We’ve heard about this for a little while,” said attorney Matt Shapiro. “In these types of cases, the carts are never put through the system. They’re just destroyed and disposed of.”
The lawsuit states 86-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant Sanwar Ahmed — who sells jhal muri, puffed rice with spices, in Jackson Heights — was approached by two police officers and two DOH inspectors on June 4, 2016. They then took his cart and food items away in a truck.
Find the entire article at qchron.com [here]