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More than $50,000 raised to help support California hot dog vendor hassled by police

A hot dog vendor who had a run-in with a University of California-Berkeley police officer is getting some love from the internet.

In a video that went viral over the weekend, hot dog vendor Beto Matias is seen interacting with a university police officer outside a college football game at Memorial Stadium. The officer and his partner shut down Matias’ vending operation because he doesn’t have a license to operate. 


RELATED: UC Berkeley probes citation of hot dog vendor that went viral

The officer in the video takes money from the 34-year-old vendor’s wallet to the anger of people recording the incident. 

The man recording the incident, Martin Flores, set up a GoFundMe account to support Matias. That fund has nearly $55,000 raised. According to a report just $60 was confiscated from Matias. 

“He doesn’t have a permit,” the officer tells Flores in the clip. “This is law and order in action.”

A video posted Saturday night on Facebook by Flores was viewed more than 10 million times before he made his page private.

The U.C. Berkeley police officer, identified as Sean Aranas, is also coming under fire from students who would like him removed from his position. 

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The University of California said Monday it will investigate Aranas’ decision. The investigation will review “procedural and management issues” pertaining to the incident. 

The citation was part of a larger crackdown on illegal vending outside of campus events, Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said in a statement this week. He said that issues of public health and the interests of local businesses are at stake when food peddlers operate without a city permit.

“I assure you that the well-being of our community members including those from our marginalized communities of color, is most important to us and that we are deeply committed to building a climate of tolerance, inclusion and diversity, even as we enforce laws and policies,” Biddy said in the statement.

With additional reporting by Kimberly Veklerov

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