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Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

UC Berkeley police officer cites street vendor, takes cash

UC Berkeley police officer cites street vendor, takes cash

A petition has been started to fire a UC Berkeley campus officer after he was caught on camera removing cash from the wallet of a hot dog vendor who was operating without a permit (video below).

Flores can be heard on the video saying "That's not right".

Aranas ticketed Juan for not having a permit and then rifled through his wallet and took all his money. "The judge can decide whether or not it's right", Aranas responds.

At the time of writing, the page had raised almost $66,000.

'If he's really about law and order there's really so many other things he could've stopped, ' Flores said.

Another witness, John Pavliga, said that the interaction between Juan and police started several minutes earlier than what was included in the video, reported Berkeleyside.

The vendor, identified only as Juan, also received a citation.

The street vendor told Flores his name was Juan.

The university says it instructed officers to monitor illegal vending over public health concerns.

The hot dog vendor, Beto Matias, told ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco, "I was in a state of shock when I saw he was taking my money". Biddy said in his statement that it is typical for a UCPD officer to collect any suspected illegal funds to enter them into evidence.

Reich also added that three other vendors were also detained on suspicion of vending without license, however, were released with a warning.

The petition said officers should be respectful towards all students and community members and not single out minorities or people of color.

Flores chose to start a GoFundMe for Juan.

The 34-year-old vendor was cited for selling food without a permit at Bancroft Way and Piedmont Avenue near Memorial Stadium, and $60 was seized from his wallet and booked into evidence, UC Berkeley officials said. With an initial goal of $10,000, the total is now approaching $40,000. That page has raised more than $52,000 in just two days.

The fundraiser page says the money will be used to cover Matias' legal fees and personal losses, and that additional funds will go to support any other vendors "robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts".

Aranas will continue to work for the department, while UCPD has opened up a complaint investigation to examine both procedural and management issue for the incident.

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