Video footage of a University of California police officer taking money from a hot dog vendor on the campus of UC Berkeley has gone viral, and a GoFundMe campaign has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the vendor in just one day. On Saturday, Los Angeles resident and former Berkeley student Martin Flores was ordering food for his children after a Golden Bears football game when the officer interrupted the sale to give the vendor a citation, the East Bay Times reports. After he pulled out his phone and started recording, Flores got footage of the officer taking the vendor's wallet and pocketing the money he found. That night Flores posted the video on Facebook, where it has been viewed 11.4 million times, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Thus far, Flores' GoFundMe page has raised more than $37,000 to cover the vendor's "legal and personal [losses]" and "to cover other vendors who have been robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts." But UC police Sgt. Sabrina Reich told KTVU that the vendor was cited for selling without a permit and that the money, $60, was taken as "suspected proceeds of the violation and booked into evidence." Flores, however, says the officer gave the vendor the citation as people were drinking in public nearby, also a crime. "This was about identifying one vendor," Flores says. "If you want law and order, be law and order across the board." (More University of California Berkeley stories.)