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Protesters Demand Fair Treatment Of Working Immigrants By El Monte Police

EL MONTE (CBSLA) - Dozens of people gathered outside the El Monte police station Saturday protesting the treatment of the immigrant community by officers.

The group showed support of local food street vendors. People at the rally expressed disappointment in the police officers patrolling these businesses.

"They think they can do anything to the immigrant community who will not fight back because of their status," said Javier Guerrero, a demonstrator.

The demonstration comes a week after a video went public of an intense physical altercation between owners of a taco stand, police, and inspectors with the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

"Vendors are a big part of our local culture," said demonstrator Ian Mancia on Saturday. "These people came from other countries, they speak different languages, they have been through enough."

In the video, El Monte police officers speak to both owners of Los Palomos taco stand, husband and wife, Fermin Martinez and Sylvia Aguilar.

In the video, a scuffle breaks out between the owners and several officers. The husband and wife are quickly taken to the ground. One officer hits Martinez several times in the arm with a flashlight in the video as officers try to handcuff the couple.

The demonstrators on Saturday added they want to see cities work with vendors to lower permitting fees so that more can do business legitimately.

El Monte Police Department Chief David Reynoso said the demonstrators were peaceful and he will not be releasing a further statement on the rally.

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