Alec Hamilton, Assistant Producer, WNYC News
Alec Hamilton is an Assistant Producer in the WNYC newsroom. She produces Morning Edition and starts her work day very, very early.
Street vendors will file suit against the NYPD and the city on Wednesday for what they say is illegal seizure of property following a crackdown in Soho last Spring.
Police issued tickets for violations such as improper stand height and proximity to a bus stop. But a lawyer for the group, the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, told Gothamist that most tickets written during the May 17 raid were dismissed.
"We are awaiting the legal papers and will review the lawsuit upon receipt," the city's law department said in a statement.
Jhampa Dolma said she has sold photographs from her table at Broadway in Soho since 2005. She says she and her husband, who is a plaintiff in the suit, work 14-hour days, seven days a week to provide for their four kids.
She said police ticketed them for being too close to a bus stop and seized all of their merchandise and supplies.
"Me and my family, we couldn't sleep all night because that's the only property we have,” she said. “We survive on that because we don't have any other job experience in this country because we are immigrants."
She said her ticket was dismissed.
Abib Gueye, one of the defendants, said police confiscated sunglasses and jewelry from where he has sold his wares at Broadway and Broome for a decade. He said he went to retrieve his belongings but found there was a lot of damage.
“If you see the way they pack the stuff, you're not going to believe it,” he said. “Most of my stuff is broken. A lot of my stuff was broken. Not only me, everybody else."
The suit is being filed in Manhattan federal court Wednesday afternoon.