A video showing a UC Berkeley bicycle officer citing a bacon hot dog vendor on campus and removing cash from his wallet for operating without a permit has gone viral.
In the video, taken by alumnus Martin Flores on Saturday afternoon, a UCPD officer is seen pulling cash out of the vendor’s wallet and folding it into his hand.
The vendor objects and stands by as the officer puts the money away and begins to write a citation.
Flores said that he was buying hot dogs from the vendor for his kids after Cal’s game against Weber State when the officer interrupted them to cite the vendor. That’s when he began to record the episode on his phone.
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In the video, Flores repeatedly says, “That’s not right,” and asks the officer why he’s taking the vendor’s “hard earned money.” Flores claims that people were drinking in public not that far away, and that officers should have targeted them instead.
“Yeah, well he doesn’t have a permit. He doesn’t have a permit,” the officer responds. “Yep, this is law and order in action … Thank you for your support.”
Police told KTVU-TV the money was seized as evidence.
Martin’s video had been viewed more than 11.4 million times since it was posted Saturday onto his Facebook page, though it appeared to have been removed by midday Monday. Others, however, had already reposted the video.
A petition to have the officer fired has received more than 11,000 signatures. Martin launched a GoFundMe effort for the vendor, identified only as Juan, with a $10,000 goal.
It had raised more than $38,000 by Monday afternoon.
The money will go to cover the vendor’s legal expenses and personal losses, Martin said. He said he will not take any of the money that’s donated for himself.
Campus officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday, but did issue a brief statement to the Berkeleyside blog Sunday evening.
“We are aware of the incident,” UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told the website. “The officer was tasked with enforcing violations related to vending without a permit on campus. UCPD is looking into the matter.”