PUFF GUY: Hate Speech Incident Allegedly Involving Local Vape Retailer Has Hoboken Officials, Residents Fuming — UPDATED
(ABOVE: Screenshot from video, via Facebook)
UPDATED (Monday, May 8, 2017 — 14:10)
A video posted to Facebook documents an ugly incident on Hoboken’s Washington Street near the corner of 5th, involving anti-immigrant hate speech, racial epithets and random “Trump” rhetoric.
The exchange between a van driver and what appear to be employees of a local mobile vape retailer in broad daylight on the city’s main drag has both officials and residents expressing outrage via social media.
The incident, shown below, is contains strong language. While there is currently no insight as to what lead to the incident, the language speaks for itself.
Viewer discretion is advised:
In response to the video, Hoboken’s Mayor, Dawn Zimmer, said the following:
Hate speech by Vape Van this weekend was reprehensible and does not represent Hoboken.
— Dawn Zimmer (@dawnzimmernj) May 7, 2017
Hoboken Councilman Ravi Bhalla has joined the Mayor in condemning the incident:
Joining @dawnzimmernj in condemning this hate speech. It has absolutely no place in @CityofHoboken https://t.co/TgSj9TDy08
— Ravinder S. Bhalla (@RaviBhalla) May 7, 2017
hMAG has confirmed that the Hoboken Police Department are currently investigating the incident.
UPDATE: VapeVan responds via Instagram:
Good Afternoon to all, supporters of 9th Cloud, as well as to all who may find themselves reading this. It is truly unfortunate to find ourselves this situation we sincerely regret. As many of you may know, footage has been posted on the internet and social media platforms of a verbal altercation between our team and a party/family on the date of May 6th. The verbal exchange soon escalated against our favor. We regret to admit insulting racial slurs were made by a member of our team. The exchange from start to finish went on for about 10 minutes, the recording shows the last few minutes. We sincerely apologize to all and anyone who is a part of the family, and to all who may have found our actions offensive. This public statement is in no way a justification for any of our actions. We are taking full responsibility for this situation and will act in any way possible to assure anything like this does not happen again. Thank You for your time. -9th Cloud Vape Van #9thcloudvape #hoboken #newjersey
UPDATE: YES—Vape Van is licensed by the City of Hoboken…
UPDATE: Mayor Dawn Zimmer seeks revocation of Vape Van’s Hoboken Vending License…
UPDATE: Councilmen Ravi Bhalla and Ruben Ramos issue joint statement…
“As proud sons of immigrants, we write to express our complete disgust with the hate incident involving the owner of the Vape Van vendor truck in Hoboken, New Jersey. This conduct has no place in Hoboken. This individual’s actions do not reflect the views of businesses or residents in Hoboken. Hoboken is a city of immigrants and we take great pride in this tradition.
As referenced in Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s statement issued today, we will be sponsoring a Resolution to revoke the Vape Van’s license to operate a mobile vendor truck within the city limits of Hoboken.
This action implements the policy directive of a December 7, 2016 Resolution adopted by the City Council. This Resolution formally commits to “creating a community that is free of bias and prejudice,” and “pursuing a policy agenda that affirms . . . that those targeted on the basis of race, religion or immigration status can turn to government without fear of recrimination.” The forthcoming Resolution revoking the Vape Van’s vendor license is an opportunity to implement the policy expressed in the Council’s December resolution.
Furthermore, we call upon Hoboken’s business community to join local city officials in expressing its embrace of Hoboken as a welcoming and diverse community. Specifically, we request Hoboken’s businesses join the Business Against Bigotry campaign of the American Independent Business Alliance. Through this program, we are offering window decals, free of charge, stating “We Welcome Everybody/Diversity Strengthens Our Community”. In addition to businesses, this window decal is available to schools, non-profits, houses of worship and business owners. To request a window decal, please email Councilman Bhalla at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the address where you want your decal to be mailed.”