Over $44K Raised for Berkeley Vendor After Viral Video Shows Police Taking His Money


A video is going viral showing University of California-Berkeley police ticketing an unlicensed street vendor and taking money directly from his wallet. Now, there’s a backlash of criticism from those who claim the officer went too far.

A GoFundMe to support the street vendor now has collected more than $44,500, along with a petition circling the internet to fire the police officer who issued the citation. It has more than 13,000 signatures.

UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy issued a statement reiterating the school’s commitment to creating a “climate of tolerance, inclusion, and diversity” saying:

“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.”

UCPD officials said that three other people were warned about vending without a permit, but it was the vendor in the viral video that was the only person who got a ticket. According to UCPD, the officer who issued the citation will still be working while the investigation plays out.

berkeley vendorThe street vendor, who was asked to be identified only as “Beto,” was selling hot dogs near Memorial Stadium, where a large crowd of people assembled for the university’s first home football game of the season. “Beto” says he also holds down a regular job in construction, and was selling hot dogs to earn a little extra money saying:

“People saw I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I wasn’t stealing or drinking. I was just working to sustain my family.”

Many on social media users say the ticket may have been fair, but taking the vendor’s money as “evidence” went too far. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin called the officer’s actions “outrageous.”

As of Monday morning, one re-post garnered more than 90,000 likes and 82,000 retweets.

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1 Comment

  1. Roger Long

    September 12, 2017 at 1:16 am

    Sounds like doing business in Mexico. If a cop pulls you over, just drop a ten or twenty dollar bill on the road and he’ll send you on your way.

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