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2.5.19

Fresno police arrest of food truck vendor went viral. But officer did nothing wrong, report says.

A Fresno police officer was cleared of any wrongdoing this week in the August 2018 arrest of a food vendor that was seen by thousands after a Facebook video of the incident went viral.
The city’s Office of Independent Review, headed by John A. Gliatta, released its findings on the arrest in its 2019 first-quarter report. It determined allegations were unfounded that the officer displayed signs of biased-based policing, unreasonable force or abuse of authority in the incident. The vendor, identified in media reports as Santiago Jacobo Pichardo-Miranda, 27, was arrested Aug. 5, 2018, and the incident was captured by Jesse Montz Ramirez, who said he was waiting to buy food from the trailer, parked in a lot near North Peach and East Olive avenues. Montz Ramirez accused the officer of repeatedly being rude to Pichardo-Miranda. After the video gained widespread attention, it prompted Police Chief Jerry Dyer to respond at a news conference called on other issues. Gliatta, the city’s reviewer, said contacts between Pichardo-Miranda and cops began two months before when the food trailer was robbed. That was when officers learned that the trailer had not been registered since 2014 and the vendor did not possess required food preparation permits. The vendor was not cited but was “provided guidance” on what he needed to do to meet the city’s compliance requirements. Gliatta said the officer reminded Pichardo-Miranda six times over the next two months of the city’s requirements but Pichardo-Miranda was “argumentative” each time. The officer also advised the city’s code enforcement department, which responded that the violations occurred outside the department’s operating hours. Gliatta said the officer also “exercised due diligence” by informing his supervisor and the City Attorney’s Office of the violations. The arrest took place Aug. 5, after Pichardo-Maranda refused to provide identification so that he could be cited for the violations. He was taken to the department’s identification bureau where he was cited and released.

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