A video shot by UC Berkley alumnus, Martin Flores, showing a campus officer citing a hot dog vendor a ticket and removing cash from his wallet for operating without a permit has gone viral.
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In the video below, UPCD officer is seen taking money out of the vendor’s wallet and folding it in his hands. “That’s when I thought something was not right,” Flores said. So he pulled out his phone and began to record. Flores is heard repeatedly saying, “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 too far off and that officers should have targeted them instead.
“Yeah, well he doesn’t have a permit. He doesn’t have a permit,” the officer repeated “Yep, this is law and order in action... Thank you for your support.” In a statement released on Monday from UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said vendors are typically given warnings before a citation and explained what prompted the officer to intervene.
“We 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,” Biddy said. “In a case such as this, it is typical to collect any suspected illegal funds and enter them into evidence.”
University officials stated that the officer took $60 from the male vendor. Three others outside the game were given warnings but not cited, officials said. In a phone interview conducted by LA Times Flores said, “If he’s really about law and order there are really so many other things he could’ve stopped.” Flores continued, “I totally recognize that people have to have permits. But this wasn’t about that. This was about identifying one vendor. If you want law and order, be law and order across the board.”
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Flores’ video has been viewed more than 11.4 million times since it was posted Saturday onto his Facebook page. He said he felt disappointment as he posted the video online.
A petition to remove UCPD Officer created Saturday by campus student Vicky Zamarripa has received more than 21,000 signatures as of press time. Flores also launched a GoFundMe account for the vendor, identified only as Juan, with a $10,000 goal. It had raised nearly $33,000 as of Monday morning. The money will go to cover the vendor’s legal expenses and personal losses, Flores said. The rest will go to a broader effort to help suppliers in the area, he said. He will not take any of the money that’s donated for himself, he said. Watch the full footage below of the indecent.