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This Hot Dog Vendor's Earnings Were Seized By A Cop, So People Sent Him Over $80,000

"People saw I wasn't doing anything wrong. I wasn't stealing, I wasn't drinking. I was simply working to make money for my family."

Posted on September 15, 2017, at 5:05 p.m. ET

On Sept. 9, this video surfaced online showing a University of California police officer ticketing an unlicensed hot dog vendor at UC Berkeley. The officer then confiscated $60 in cash from the vendor's wallet, which drew criticism on social media.

Facebook: video.php

UC Berkeley alum Martin Flores captured the video after a football game at the university. The video has generated 12.5 million views on Facebook as of Friday, and was shared more than 36,000 times.

In the video, the vendor pleads with the officer in Spanish, while Flores can be heard behind the camera saying, “You’re going to take his money? That’s not right.”

Facebook: martin.flores.1257

"People can drink on campus and not get tickets but a hardworking man, selling hot dogs, earning a living, gets his money taken away AND ticketed," Flores says in the video.

The officer, identified as UCPD Officer Sean Aranas, can be heard saying, “We’re going to take it to the judge, and the judge can decide if it’s right...This is law and order in action."

Facebook: martin.flores.1257

UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy noted in a statement on Monday that the cop appeared to be following standard procedure.

"While I cannot comment on the specifics of this particular case, our practice is to issue warnings before giving a citation," he said. "In a case such as this, it is typical to collect any suspected illegal funds and enter them into evidence."

Biddy was referring to civil forfeiture laws in California that allow authorities to seize cash and property from those suspected of illegal activity.

In an interview with Telemundo, the vendor, who asked to be identified only as "Beto," said he's a construction worker who sells hot dogs to earn extra money.

Beto acknowledged that he didn't have a permit to operate, but he didn't understand why the officer took the money.

"People saw I wasn't doing anything wrong. I wasn't stealing, I wasn't drinking. I was simply working to make money for my family," he said.

Despite California's civil forfeiture laws, critics questioned the logic of going so far over a minor infraction, one they say could have been handled with a simple ticket.

In response to the incident, Flores set up a GoFundMe to cover Beto's legal expenses and personal losses. The fund has so far received more than $82,000, surpassing the original goal of $10,000.

Meanwhile, an online petition started to remove Aranas from the UCPD has accumulated over 50,000 signatures.

Flores plans to give the money to Beto in Berkeley on Saturday. "It has been Beto's dream to own a food truck. Let's help make this a reality."

Beto told KPIX 5 that he plans to use the money to get a permit and help other vendors.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.