“People saw I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I wasn’t stealing, I wasn’t drinking. I was simply working to make money for my family.”
On Sept. 9, this video surfaced online showing a University of California police officer ticketing an unlicensed hot dog vendor at UC Berkeley. The officer then confiscated $60 in cash from the vendor’s wallet, which drew criticism on social media.
UC Berkeley alum Martin Flores captured the video after a football game at the university. The video has generated 12.5 million views on Facebook as of Friday, and was shared more than 36,000 times.
In an interview with Telemundo, the vendor, who asked to be identified only as “Beto,” said he’s a construction worker who sells hot dogs to earn extra money.
Beto acknowledged that he didn't have a permit to operate, but he didn't understand why the officer took the money.
“People saw I wasn't doing anything wrong. I wasn't stealing, I wasn't drinking. I was simply working to make money for my family,” he said.
Despite California's civil forfeiture laws, critics questioned the logic of going so far over a minor infraction, one they say could have been handled with a simple ticket.