Nuevo Culture

Activist Known for Advocating for Street Vendors Arrested – Here’s What We Know

Eight Latine activists are being held without bond in San Bernardino County after they were arrested for a series of alleged crimes, including assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and other offenses. One of the men arrested, Edin Alex Enamorado, 36, has a large following on social media where he posts videos about police accountability, fighting for the rights of street vendors, and speaks out about racism enacted against Latine people.

The other activists arrested were: Wendy Lujan, 40; David Chavez, 28; Stephanie Amesquita, 33; Edwin Peña, 26; Gullit Eder Acevedo, 30; Fernando Lopez, 44; and Vanessa Carrasco 40.

Enamorado and his associates were arrested on charges based on a police investigation into a protest that took place in September in Victorville, a city 85 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Police claim the protest turned violent and that Enamorado and the other suspects were responsible.

On Monday (December 18), “The Justice Eight,” as the group is now being referred to by the media, pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Critics of law enforcement are saying the group was arrested because the police have targeted them because of their activism against bad cops.

“San Bernardino County and these law enforcement agencies are criminalizing First Amendment activity,” said Enamorado’s attorney, Christian Contreras. “They are criminalizing the right to protest. They are criminalizing the right to call out the elected officials, and they are criminalizing their critics.”

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus alleges the suspects violated the law “extending beyond the First Amendment to violence” and uses social media not to defend street vendors, but to make profit.

“This group manipulates videos and photos on social media in an attempt to make them look like they are protectors of underrepresented people,” Dicus said. “This group is not about substance for the human condition but rather clickbait for cash.”

A bail hearing and pre-preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 26, 2023.