Cal Berkeley cop seizes $60 from hot dog vendor, GoFundMe raises more than $70K
BERKELEY, California — Support has been pouring in for a California hot dog vendor who’s money was seized by a University of California officer over the weekend in Berkeley.
A GoFundMe for “Beto” has raised $74,811 as of Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. The account was started by Martin Flores, who shot the now-viral video of a University of California Police (UCPD) officer taking Beto’s money and citing him.
The UCPD officer said Beto did not have a permit to sell hot dogs outside the Cal football game on Saturday adjacent to the campus’s Memorial Stadium.
The video soon prompted an outcry from the Internet at large.
“Yeah, this is law and order in action,” the officer could be seen saying in the video. “That’s how it works.”
The officer then takes the money, which was booked into evidence.
Since the video was released, UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Bidd issued a statement saying they, “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,” Bidd said in a statement.
Bidd added that he has assigned University of California Police Department to open an investigation into the incident and that the well-being of the community “including those from our marginalized communities of color, is most important to us.”
UCPD detained three other individuals for vending without a license during the same weekend, according to the university. All were released with a warning.
Flores said via GoFundMe that a public ceremony would be hosted at a Los Angeles venue in the coming weeks to present Beto with the funds raised.
“All funds will go to Juan (Beto) and the efforts to support street vendors in advocacy. Thank you again for all of your support and helping us humanize street vendors and not criminalize,” Flores wrote.