UC Berkeley to investigate after video shows cop confiscating vendor’s money
Campus officials at the University of California, Berkeley, said Monday that they were going to investigate the viral video that appears to show a campus police officer confiscating a hot dog vendor’s money who was allegedly operating without a permit.
The cart vendor, identified only as Juan, was working on a public sidewalk on Saturday near California Memorial Stadium during the Cal Berkeley game when he was approached by a campus police officer, reports said.
UC Berkeley alumnus Martin Flores, who recorded the incident, called the officer’s decision to confiscate the man’s money unfair.
Flores could be heard telling the officer what he was doing was “not right.”
“You’re going to take his hard-earned money,” Flores says to the officer.
The officer said in the video that the vendor was operating without a permit and that a judge could decide whether or not it’s right.
The video has prompted a campaign to have the officer fired.
UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said in a statement that the university has instructed officers to monitor illegal vending outside event venues over concerns about public health.
“While I cannot comment on the specifics of this particular case, our practice is to issue warnings before giving a citation,” he said. UC police detained three other people for vending without a license on the same day, but each was released with a warning, UC officials said.
The video quickly went viral on social media and sparked an online outcry which led to a fundraising campaign that had raised more than $36,000 for the vendor.
University Police Sgt. Sabrina Reich said the officer cited the vendor for operating without a license and the money was seized as evidence of the “suspected proceeds of the violation.”
UC officials said the officer seized $60.
“In general, when an officer issues a citation, makes an arrest or investigates a crime, the officer may seize items as evidence of the proceeds of the crime or violation,” Reich said in an email to The Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this story