A Twitter video of a college police officer seizing a street vendor’s personal money may have stirred online controversy, but it has also spurred a community to action.
A hot dog vendor who has asked to only be identified as “Beto” was managing a food cart near the Memorial Stadium for the first home football game of the season on the University of California Berkeley campus when he was approached by a police officer.
Martin Flores, who had been attending the game with his family when he went to go buy some hot dogs, began to film the exchange in protest.
Flores can be heard in the video saying: “You’re gonna take his money away? That’s not right. People can drink on campus for football games and no ticket, but a hard-working man selling hot dogs and earning a living gets his money taken away?”
Beto later told sources that he has a job in construction during the day, but he wanted to sell hot dogs on Saturday as a means of making a little extra money. In total, the officer seized $60 from his wallet.
UC Berkeley officers are responsible for investigating illegal street vending, but representatives say that they are instructed to issue a warning before a citation. Three other street vendors were allegedly detained earlier that day, but they had only been given warnings.
After the video of the police officer went viral, however, Flores created a GoFundMe campaign that has already raised over $68,000 for Beto.
An investigation of the incident is currently underway.
“I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received,” Beto told NBC News. “I was simply working to support my family … I’m very thankful, now that I see everyone supporting me.”
(WATCH the video below)
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
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