VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) – Edin Alex Enamorado, known as an activist supporting street vendors who face racial discrimination, along with seven other individuals, appeared via video conference in a Victorville courtroom today to face a range of felony charges. All eight defendants were held without bail due to concerns for public safety, court records cited.
The in-custody arraignment took place on December 18, 2023, in the case titled The People of the State of California vs. Edin Alex Enamorado. Enamorado pled not guilty to charges including conspiracy, criminal threats, false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault, vandalism, and unlawful possession of tear gas.
Christian Contreras, the attorney who is representing Edin Alex Enamorado, spoke in front of several news cameras and the crowd in attendance and said, “It is clear from the proceedings that San Bernardino County and these law enforcement agencies are criminalizing first amendment activity, they are criminalizing the right to protest, they are criminalizing the right to call out elected officials and they are criminalizing their critics. This is a playbook straight out of a third world country, you do not see this in the United States of America,” He added, “Not even murderers have no bail hold.”
Outside the courthouse today, Victorville Councilwoman Blanca Gomez made an appearance and addressed the crowd, saying “What Edin is going through is nothing abnormal in this county.”
The arrest of Enamorado, who gained attention for his involvement in advocating for street vendors, occurred during early morning raids in connection with a highly publicized incident.
The incident involved a video capturing a deputy allegedly body-slamming a teenage girl at a high school football game, sparking outrage among parents and community members.
Protesters, led by Enamorado, took to the streets in response to this incident. The demonstration unfolded on September 24 when approximately 40 individuals gathered outside the Victorville Police Department. The crowd also occupied the surrounding areas.
At approximately 11:38 a.m., as deputies arrived at the police station, multiple subjects attempted to enter a deputy’s vehicle, the department said.
Despite multiple announcements advising the crowd to disperse, the protesters disregarded the lawful orders. Additional deputies arrived, eventually leading the protesters to disband.
Later, around 12:33 p.m., the protesters regrouped, marching towards the police station’s main entrance. As they crossed paths with a vehicle occupied by an adult female driver and an adult male passenger at the driveway of a nearby car wash, tensions escalated.
The driver honked, signaling for the protesters to move out of the way, while a woman in the crowd stood directly in front of the vehicle. Tempers flared as the male passenger exited the car and motioned for everyone to clear the path. Video footage captured protesters throwing objects towards the man, who then appeared to make physical contact with one of the protesters.
Chaos ensued as multiple individuals attacked the man, kicking and hitting him. Among the assailants was a man who appeared to be Enamorado seen in a TikTok video throwing a punch at the passenger, but he denies directly participating in the assault.
Deputies promptly responded to the scene, attempting to restore order, but faced resistance and physical confrontation from the crowd. During these tumultuous moments, multiple subjects assaulted and pepper-sprayed an uninvolved citizen at a nearby business, further complicating matters, law enforcement said in a press release.
The September protest, originally organized to condemn the alleged mistreatment of a teenage girl by a deputy, ultimately turned violent. The Victorville Police Department, jointly with other local law enforcement agencies, investigated the incident. Their findings implicated Enamorado and seven others in a series of violent acts during protests staged across San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties.
Subsequently, on December 14, 2023, search warrants were executed at various locations, resulting in the arrest of Enamorado and the additional suspects, who were identified as Wendy Lujan, David Chavez, Stephanie Amesquita, Gullit Eder Acevedo, Edwin Pena, Fernando Lopez, and Vanessa Carrasco. They were all booked at the High Desert Detention Center.
Charges brought against the defendants encompass assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, conspiracy, and other felony offenses. All eight individuals are being held without bail due to the gravity of the alleged crimes.
San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus, during a press conference, condemned the actions of the group, categorizing their behavior as unlawful and not protected by the First Amendment. Sheriff Dicus emphasized that their conduct crossed the line into outright criminal activities, stating, “It’s illegal to assault someone who doesn’t agree with you.”
Enamorado was also arrested in Apple Valley on charges of trespassing in December after protesting inside a gated-community in response to a local woman’s racist rant at Disneyland.
“The woman in Disneyland, calling her out, is that illegal? Not it’s not,” stated Conteras outside the courtroom Monday.
The ongoing court case surrounding Enamorado and his co-defendants continues to draw attention due to their connections to protests against law enforcement misconduct and their claims of constitutional violations and racial discrimination.
During the arraignment on Monday, Enamorado was provided with a public defender. The next hearing has been scheduled for December 26, 2023, at 8:30 AM in Department V10 – Victorville. Judicial Officer Debra Harris has been assigned to the case.
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