There’s news from UC Berkeley that has the campus in an uproar, and for the moment, it doesn’t involve Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro’s speech on September 14.
UC Berkeley now has another problem: a UC Berkeley campus cop seizing all the profits a hot dog vendor made because the vendor had no permit.
On Saturday, following the Cal football game, UC Berkeley alumnus Martin Flores was buying a hot dog from the cart of a vendor named “Juan” when campus officer Sean Aranas allegedly approached and asked for Juan’s ID. Flores videotaped what happened next: Aranas seized Juan’s wallet and removed $60, then issued a citation. That citation was based on vending without a license, which is a violation of the Berkeley Municipal Code.
Aranas’ actions prompted Flores to say, “That’s not right.” He asked Aranas why he was taking Juan’s “hard-earned” money, and told Aranas people nearby were drinking in public. He also asked Aranas why the officer was not ticketing the drinkers.
Aranas responded, “Yeah, well he doesn't have a permit. He doesn't have a permit … this is law and order in action. ...Thank you for your support.”
Flores said later, “If he's really about law and order there's really so many other things he could've stopped. I totally recognize that people have to have permits. But this wasn't about that. This was about identifying one vendor. If you want law and order, be law and order across the board.”
On Monday, UCPD spokeswoman Sgt. Sabrina Reich said three other people were detained on suspicion of vending without a license, but they were released with a warning. She also stated that the money from Juan’s wallet was “seized as suspected proceeds of the violation and booked into evidence.”
UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told Berkeleyside, “We are aware of the incident. The officer was tasked with enforcing violations related to vending without a permit on campus. UCPD is looking into the matter.”
Flores’ video has gone viral, leading one witness, John Pavliga, to criticize it as “misleading.” He told Berkeleyside on Monday that several minutes of footage from earlier in the exchange were not included:
A female UCPD officer who appeared to be Latina spoke to the vendor for a few minutes in Spanish while the male officer shown in the posted video stood nearby. For whatever reason, Mr. Flores (who had been recording the female officer’s conversation with the vendor) chose not to include that footage, but instead show only this snippet with Officer Aranas. On his Facebook page, Martin Flores made this out to be some kind of anti-Hispanic act by the UCPD. And that makes no sense. Both of the officers who actively engaged the vendor were Hispanic.
Pavliga added that several other Hispanic vendors were not ticketed, indicating there was no racial element in the incident with Juan. He concluded, “This whole episode looks like it was manufactured to stir up animosity between people. No one is above the law. Not even hot dog vendors favored by Martin Flores.”
Video of incident below: