Saturday, 23 September, 2017

$58K Donated to Hot Dog Vendor After Police Seize His Money

Vendor's police citation fuels online funding campaign VIDEO: Officer takes cash from California street vendor's wallet, calls it 'law and order in action'
Nicole Thomas | 13 September, 2017, 00:43

Cellphone video shows that officer taking cash out of the vendor's wallet in the process of giving him a citation for not having a proper permit.

Los Angeles resident Martin Flores posted the video on Facebook on Saturday.

"That's not right, that's not", Mr Flores can be heard saying to the officer.

Flores created a GoFundMe page to help with the vendor's "personal, legal and professional matters" with a goal of raising $10,000.

A petition to fire the police officer who issued the citation has collected more than 28,000 signatures.

Police said the money had been retrieved from the officer and will be used as evidence.

"Yep, this is law and order in action", the officer, identified as UC police officer Sean Aranas, replied.

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In a second video, which was also removed, Flores also suggests to Aranas, and later to another officer, that they should instead be ticketing others who are illegally drinking on campus.

"I assure you that the well-being of our community members, including those from our marginalized communities of color, is most important to us", Biddy said in a statement Monday, Sept. 11. "Both of the officers who actively engaged the vendor were Hispanic". Flores continued, "I totally recognize that people have to have permits".

Flores later met with the vendor, Juan, and conducted a number of media interviews to highlight the fundraising effort.

In the meantime, supporters of "Juan", and other vendors who have had property taken during law enforcement operations, have raised almost $47,000 to help with legal fees and other related matters.

'We are aware of the incident, ' UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told Berkeleyside on Sunday. That fund has almost $55,000 raised. A college official said the officer was following instructions to crack down on illegal vendors outside the campus event venues.

The Vice Chancellor of UC Berkeley instructed UCPD to open a complaint investigation to assess any procedural and management issues related to the incident. U.C. Berkeley students are also getting involved, including starting a petition to have officer Aranas fired from the police department.

The UCPD neglected to react to a Daily News ask for input, particularly in the matter of whether the seller, distinguished just as "Juan", was the main individual ticketed Saturday.

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