A University of California, Berkeley police officer seized the wallet of a hot dog vendor, rifled through it and confiscated $60 in cash because, the officer alleged, the vendor did not have the proper vending permit.
The taxpayer-funded cop, Sean Aranas, seized the cash late Saturday afternoon outside California Memorial Stadium, where the California Golden Bears football team was scheduled to play its first home game of the year, reports local news website Berkeleyside.
UC Berkeley Police y’all some punk ass bitches a ticket is understandable but to take his money away fuck the police pic.twitter.com/B8j2UcvREG
— Moreno (@Moreno) September 10, 2017
A hot dog buyer, Berkeley alum Martin Flores, filmed the incident and uploaded the video on Twitter, causing a big backlash against the police and a deluge of support for the hot dog vendor.
“We are aware of the incident,” UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told Berkeleyside this weekend. “The officer was tasked with enforcing violations related to vending without a permit on campus. UCPD is looking into the matter.”
After taking the money, Aranas, the cop, wrote a ticket to the 34-year-old hot dog vendor — a guy named Juan.
Cal Berkeley spokeswoman Sabrina Reich told Berkeleyside that Aranas confiscated the $60 cash “as suspected proceeds of the violation” and then and booked the money as evidence.
Over 11 million people have viewed the video of the incident which Flores uploaded.
Donors have given over $50,000 already.
Flores has also created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Juan.
“This is the official go fund me account for justice4Juan the hotdog vendor at UC Berkeley,” the page says. “The funds raised 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. It is my goal to locate Juan in Berkeley. Any and all help to support and locate him is welcome.”
Another onlooker to the spat, John Pavliga, has described the account provided by Flores as “very misleading.”
“On his Facebook page, Martin Flores made this out to be some kind of anti-Hispanic act by the UCPD,” Pavliga wrote, according to Berkeleyside. “And that makes no sense. Both of the officers who actively engaged the vendor were Hispanic.”
Pavliga also observes that many Hispanic vendors were selling things outside the football game and they did not receive tickets or have their cash confiscated — presumably because they were able to provide evidence of a proper vending license.
“This whole episode looks like it was manufactured to stir up animosity between people. No one is above the law. Not even hot dog vendors favored by Martin Flores,” Pavliga wrote.
Someone has created a petition to have Aranas fired.
“Remove S. Aranas #76 from University of California Police Department,” the petition is titled. About 33,000 people have signed it.
Cal Berkeley won Saturday’s football game — against Weber State — by a score of 33-20.
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