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GoFundMe Campaign Raises $38K for Hot Dog Vendor After Police Confiscated His Earnings


Thousands have donated to the vendor after footage of UC Berkeley police taking money out of his wallet went viral.

While University of California, Berkeley, alumnus Martin Flores was buying hot dogs outside this Saturday's football game, he was interrupted by campus police, who ticketed the vendor, a man identified only as Juan, for selling without a license. When things got heated, Flores took out his phone and filmed as an officer seized Juan's wallet and helped himself to $60. The video, posted on Twitter complete with Flores's outraged commentary, has had over 11 million views.

The next morning, Flores started a GoFundMe page to help the vendor with "personal, legal and professional matters." The campaign was set to raise $10,000 to help Juan, and "to cover other vendors who have been robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts."As of now, it's raised $38,000 from over 2,600 donors.

The University of California Police Department has responded, with spokeswoman Sgt. Sabrina Reich stating the $60 was "seized as suspected proceeds of the violation and booked into evidence." She also said that three other people were detained by campus police on charges of vending without a license, Berkeleyside reports. They, however, were released with a warning and not ticketed.

The officer who took the money out of Juan's wallet, Sean Aranas, has come under fire. UC Berkeley student Vicky Zamarripa drafted a petition calling for Aranas to be fired. The petition to remove him from the department references the hot dog incident, adding "Since the video, allegations have arisen claiming that Officer Aranas has beaten students during peaceful protests, harassed black students, stabbed a student in the ribs during the Wheeler Hall protest, purposefully shoved and trampled over a female student, and arrested a woman for cop watching." As of now there are over 17,700 signatories, just short of its 18,000 goal.

While some on social media have come to Aranas's defense, with one commenting, "I have always seen him acting professionally and I have seen him countless times," many have questioned the legality of his actions.

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