(WHDH) — A video showing a University of California Police Department officer seizing earnings from a hot dog vendor has sparked a $50,000 fundraising effort after it went viral when it was shared by an alumnus of the college.
The officer approached the vendor for selling hot dogs to football fans without a permit, according to police. The officer issued a citation, but then proceeded to flip through the vendor’s wallet, seizing all of his money.
“On Saturday, September 9, I took my children to enjoy a Cal Berkeley football game. We had a great time. After the game I promised them that I would support the hot dog vendors by buying food from them. I captured this video as we were interrupted by UC Berkeley Police officer,” alumnus Martin Flores said in a Facebook post.
Flores later met with the vendor, Juan, and conducted a number of media interviews to highlight the fundraising effort.
In a statement, University of California Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said: “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. 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.”
The police department has plans to open a complaint investigation into the incident, according to Biddy.
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