SANTA MONICA—A class action lawsuit has been filed against the city of Santa Monica accusing them, the police chief, and All City Tow Service of illegally towing and impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers. 

Lawyers stated that it is street vendors who are being targeted of these practices and also accuses law enforcement of harassing many vendors. According to reports, vendors who have permits are unreasonably cited.

Citations start at $100 and quickly grow to $500. These citations cause many vendors an undue hardship having to pay for the citation.   

“Not long ago, they towed three of my vehicles and I paid over $5,000,” said Jorge Luis Cruz to ABC7. Cruz is a business owner who operates a fleet of licensed fruit carts in the area.

Santa Monica issued a press release regarding the matter that read: 

“The City of Santa Monica is aware of the pending class action civil rights lawsuit against the City, which also names personnel within the Santa Monica Police Department and City Manager’s Office. Due to the pending litigation, the City is unable to provide details in response to inquiries related to this matter.    

The City of Santa Monica and Santa Monica Police Department are committed to the values of accountability, equity, inclusion, and safety, and to protecting and supporting communities of color in our City.  

Our police department is deeply committed to protecting our City in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and treating all with dignity and respect. Our officers are professional and compassionate and dedicate themselves to maintaining public safety while building trust in our community.”