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UC Berkeley police seize street vendor’s cash, internet raises $50,000+ for him

(YouTube screenshot)

After UC-Berkeley cited a street vendor selling food and refreshments and then subsequently seized the cash in his wallet, the internet sprung into action raising over $50,000 for him.

On Saturday outside the Cal-Weber State game, a campus police officer was captured on cell phone video issuing a citation to a street vendor, identified only as Juan. The officer confiscated the cash inside Juan’s wallet before issuing him a ticket.

UC Police Sgt. Sabrina Reich told KTVU that $60 was seized as “suspected proceeds of the violation and booked into evidence.” UC-Berkeley police they were cracking down on unpermitted, unregulated street vendors. Only Juan was cited by police and had his money confiscated that afternoon.

Video of Juan’s confrontation with UC-Berkeley officers went viral, and a GoFundMe was started with the intention of covering legal expenses and personal losses for Juan.

With over $50,000 and counting raised, the page’s creator Martin Flores pledged to use “funds in excess are to cover other vendors who have been robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts.”

In Berkeley, a food vendor permit costs $240 and a lot of filled-out paperwork. According to Flores, “Juan is a symbol of the injustice that takes place to street vendors.”

Berkeley has been dealing with many issues relating to free speech. Guess they can add occupational licensing to the list, too.

Watch the full video below:


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