Viral video puts spotlight on street vending in Las Vegas

A food cart
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A video that has now gone viral shows a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer pointing a Taser at a street vendor near the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign over the weekend. This incident comes a few months before a new bill will go into effect across the state of Nevada regulating street vending.

On Sunday, a vendor who was selling food near the Vegas strip was approached by the officer. The officer was asking the vendor to provide proof of a vending license. The video then shows the officer pulling out his Taser and pointing it at the vendor.

The police department has said that the footage that is circulating on social media only shows a part of the situation that took place. They said the video does not show that the vendor pushed the officer to the ground as he was trying to detain him.

At the height of the pandemic, most businesses were forced to alter operations, but for street vendors, who are subjected to zoning permits and rising food costs, things became even more unstable.

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The vendor, who has not been identified, was booked on obstruction and battery charges, according to police records. The department also said that this was not the first time officers approached this particular vendor. Officers spoke with him the day before about selling food without the proper licenses, they said.


The law in Nevada known as Senate Bill 92, signed by Gov. Joe Lombardo, will go into effect in October to help protect street vendors and allow them to work in neighborhoods legally. This bill will also give them the opportunity to legitimize their businesses. SB92 will also allow local governments including Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, to require a vending license or permit and to maintain certain sanitary standards.

Vendors will face some downsides to this bill. Local governments could restrict vending hours in certain areas and adopt no-vending zones near special events, farmers markets or entertainment districts.

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States across the country have already passed street vending laws to provide vendors with rights. Most local governments have the option to pass their own city ordinances which could provide major restrictions for vendors.