A GoFundMe campaign for hot dog vendor, Beto Matias, has already raised $86,000 after he was arrested by a campus police officer who then robbed him of his earnings.
Matias was outside a UC Berkeley football game selling hot dogs when a campus police officer, Sean Aranas approached him. He was given a citation for selling food without a permit. Though, Aranas also confiscated Matias’ earnings at the time of about $60.00 due to civil forfeiture. Civil forfeiture allows police to seize assets presumed to have been earned or involved in illegal activities.
At the time, UC Berkeley alumnus, Martin Flores, filmed the encounter and uploaded it to a Facebook post that has since been made private. Despite having been removed from the social media platform, people still shared the video and it’s still available for viewing. Flores tried to tell Aranas that his actions were wrong, to which Aranas replied, “This is law and order in action.” Flores retaliated that crime is happening all around them yet a “hardworking man gets his money taken away and a ticket.”
A GoFundMe page organized by Flores has started to raise money for Matias. The original goal was to raise $10,000 yet the campaign has earned over $80,000.
Flores wasn’t the only student upset by Aranas’ behaviour. A petition to have Aranas fired was launched by Vicky Zamarripa and has almost reached its target of 60,000 signatures. To date, the petition has 56,282 signatures.
Aranas spoke to ABC News and asked that people look at the whole picture and consider the context of the situation. ABC reports that Aranas said he only took the money as evidence in support of the citation.
The money earned through the GoFundMe page will be donated to Matias in an attempt to cover legal fees and hopefully get him a permit for future use.
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