She was hit with a $700 fine instead of a warning.
Many neighborhoods filled with diverse groups of people have what is lovingly referred to as a “tamale lady”, a kind woman who makes homemade tamales and goes to the doors of their neighbors to sell them. This tamale lady is a beloved reminder of the importance of community and diversity, not to mention the tamales are really good and usually cheap.
Dennise Cruz helps her mother-in-law sell her delicious tamales to neighbors and decided to use her knowledge of technology to help them sell more. The extra income from the tamales helps out her mother-in-law immensely, and selling tamales is such a common practice that the two didn’t think anything of it.
Cruz posted the tamales on an app called Nextdoor, where locals can keep in touch with what’s happening in the neighborhood. Since they sell the tamales locally anyways and have never had any problem, she figured posting them would be harmless as well.
She could not have been more wrong. Since the United States is a police state that must regulate everything for a profit, Cruz received a yellow postcard that stated she needed to contact the courts or she would be arrested. She told CBS DFW,
“That has to be wrong. I don’t have any tickets under my name. That’s just my first reaction. Never would have I thought, tamales. To know that somebody can be arrested over that, that to me is unbelievable.”
According to the court clerk, she was reported for not having a food permit, and tamales are apparently considered dangerous because of the cooked meat and corn. The fine would be $700 rather than $617 because she wants to fight the issue in court. She said,
“What if somebody got sick from them? What if somebody could have died from them? And I completely understand those concerns,” Cruz told CBS DFW. However, her concern is that she was automatically given a fine instead of a warning.
Tamales were a way to earn desperately needed income, and this fine is unbelievable when it would have been easier to administer a warning and instruct them to obtain a permit. Permits are infinitely cheaper, which is likely why she was given a fine: so the state could profit more from it.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover the court costs that has wildly exceeded their goal, and if they do have to pay the fee and decide to obtain a permit, they will be completely covered.
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