A fundraiser for a hot dog vendor featured in a viral video appearing to show a University of California, Berkeley officer taking the man’s money has raised more than $70,000 (€59,000)
The vendor, identified only as Juan, was working on a public sidewalk Saturday near California Memorial Stadium during Cal's football game against Weber State when a campus police officer came over.
Martin Flores, a UC Berkeley alumnus, set up the GoFundMe for Juan after he caught the alleged confrontation between the vendor and the officer on Saturday.
"You’re going to take his money? That’s not right," Flores was heard saying in the video.
Flores wrote on the fundraising page: “This is the official go fund me account for justice4Juan the hotdog vendor at UC Berkeley. The funds raised will be utilized to cover legal and personal loses. In addition, funds in excess are to cover other vendors who have been robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts. It is my goal to locate Juan in Berkeley. Any and all help to support and locate him is welcome.”
The fundraiser has already raised nearly $73,000. A petition calling for the officer to be fired has garnered more than 42,000 signatures.
The person who appeared to be a police officer said in the video Juan was operating without a permit and a judge could decide whether his actions were right. The officer reportedly took $60 from the vendor.
Juan told Telemundo he does the vendor job when he’s not doing construction work.
"People saw I wasn’t doing anything wrong," Juan told Telemundo. "I wasn’t stealing or drinking. I was just working to sustain my family."
The officer believed to be in the video has continued working as the investigation continues, police said. UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said the school would investigate the incident.