A video showing a University of California, Berkeley police officer ticketing a hot dog vendor, rifling through his wallet and confiscating his money has caused an outcry across social media.
CBS San Francisco reports the incident happened on Saturday outside of a university football game.
Martin Flores says he was buying food for his children and turned on the camera when an officer stopped the vendor to ticket him for selling food without a permit.
The video shows the officer taking the vendors wallet, and the man pleading in Spanish for his “dinero,” meaning money.
Flores can be heard off-camera saying, “That’s not right … you’re going to take his hard-earned money?”
“Yep, this is law and order in action,” the officer, identified as UC police officer Sean Aranas, replied.
Since posting the video, Flores has started a GoFundMe account for the vendor and others like him. According to the Justice4Juan fundraiser page, proceeds will be “utilized to cover legal and personal loses.” In addition, “funds in excess are to cover other vendors who have been robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts.”
The university’s police department defended the Aranas’ actions, saying he took $60 from the vendor as evidence.
A student has started an online petition to have Aranas removed from his job.
Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said the university was reviewing the incident while Aranas remains at work.
In a statement, Biddy said: “We have instructed our officers to monitor illegal vending outside our event venues. This action has been motivated at least in part by issues of public health, the interests of local small businesses, and even human trafficking. In addition, while I cannot comment on the specifics of this particular case, our practice is to issue warnings before giving a citation. In a case such as this, it is typical to collect any suspected illegal funds and enter them into evidence.”
Sometimes , you have to fight. You don’t have to win. You don’t even have to survive. But you do have to fight. When police start confiscating cash out of your wallet, on a street, fight’s on. Congratulations, piggies, you have done a magnificent job of demonizing yourselves. You are without honor, without integrity, and you are now a threat to us. Sorry but you have to go.
So the officer is doing the job the university hired him to do as stated by the university’s Vice Chancellor (“We have instructed our officers to monitor illegal vending outside our event venues”) and the most intelligent comment you come up with is fight’s on? Fighting the police is not the answer, as a matter of fact it’s stupid. You want to complain, take it to the university’s hierarchy to change their stance on vendors. This website was so much better when police haters weren’t on here making stupid comments. You’re the one who needs to go,