GoFundMe raises over $50,000 for vendor who had his money confiscated by cop

After a video showing a University of California police officer ticketing an unlicensed street vendor and then taking the money went viral this weekend, the resulting backlash has led to a GoFundMe campaign in support the street vendor being set up by the man who took the video.

As of this Tuesday morning, the GoFundMe campaign has reached almost $60,000. Additionally, a petition calling for the officer to be fired has amassed over 30,000 signatures.

The street vendor, who only wants to be identified as “Beto” was selling hot dogs near Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California, when UC police officer Sean Aranas wrote him a citation for selling food without a permit. The video then shows Aranas going into Beto’s wallet and extracting money.

According to the GoFundMe bio, 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.”


The video which was posted to Facebook and then later to Twitter, has been liked and retweeted well over 200,000 times.

“You’re going to take his money? That’s not right,” the man who filmed the video, Martin Flores, can be heard saying.

“We’re going to take it to the judge, and the judge can decide if it’s right,” Aranas replied. “This is law and order in action.”

Speaking to Telemundo, Beta said that people could see he wasn’t doing anything wrong. “I wasn’t stealing or drinking,” he said. “I was just working to sustain my family.”

Featured image via screen grab/NBC Bay Area

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.