Donations pour in for hot dog vendor after viral video shows cop seizing his money

A University of California police officer was recorded seizing money from a hot dog vendor while writing up a citation for selling without a license on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. (Facebook)

(MEREDITH) – A customer who recorded the viral video of a cop confiscating money from a hot dog vendor has raised more than $78,000 to help the vendor.

In the clip, a University of California police officer seized $60 from the vendor’s wallet because he said the man was operating without a license.

The vendor was selling bacon hot dogs on the sidewalk outside a college football game on Saturday.

The bystander who filmed the interaction identified himself as UC Berkeley alumnus Martin Flores, according to KTVU-TV

Mobile users, click here to watch the video. 

Flores is heard on the video questioning the officer’s decision to confiscate the man’s money, claiming it was unfair.

The officer said in the video that a judge could decide whether or not it’s right.

University Police Sgt. Sabrina Reich said the money was seized as evidence of the “suspected proceeds of the violation.”

“In general, when an officer issues a citation, makes an arrest or investigates a crime, the officer may seize items as evidence of the proceeds of the crime or violation,” Reich said in an email to the Associated Press.

UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said in a statement that the university has instructed officers to monitor illegal vending outside event venues over concerns about public health.

He said the university’s practice is to issue warnings before giving a citation. UC officials said police detained three other people for vending without a license but released them with a warning.

Biddy said university police will investigate the officer’s decision to seize the cash “to look at both the procedural and management issues related to the incident.”

Click here to read the vice chancellor’s full statement and frequently asked questions surrounding the incident.

The Associated Press and KTVU-TV contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

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