The Eastsider LA is reporting that Rampart Division police officers showed up at the Echo Park Lake swap meet today to “warn and educate the vendors about the law,” Sgt. Joel Miller told the Eastsider. Several vendors were also cited for “soliciting on city property.”
We have written extensively about this issue before, covering the legality vs. illegality issues and more. More recently, the main concern revolves around a small number of individuals who are reportedly selling spaces on the grass to potential vendors. One resident told everyone at the EPIA Town Hall meeting in July about a man offering those spaces for $20 and $40, and was apparently carrying a machete.
Another resident commented on the Eastsider LA article today about their experience, writing: “Well I tried to walk home several Saturdays late in the evening and when I saw the ropes, strings, plastic bags, hangars, yellow tape, and as recently as July 31 brown mailing tape marking the spots. When I approached the obvious markings I was approached by a tall man who asked me ‘Tienes en Lugar?'”
Perhaps these reports from residents, which surprised the Rampart Division officer who was present at the meeting, are the reason why police showed up earlier today to disperse the crowd.