Hot dog crackdown turns $60 into $52,000

An encounter with a University of California Berkeley cop may end up being the best thing that ever happened to a man selling hot dogs illegally before a football game.

The officer was following instructions to crack down on illegal vendors when he grabbed the man’s wallet and took $60 out of it. It’s evidence.

“That’s not right,” Martin Flores, who was buying three hot dogs, said as he started filming.

“Yep, this is a law and order nation” the officer said.

Berkleyside reported that the vendor was the only one to get a citation and lose his money.

“We have instructed our officers to monitor illegal vending outside our event venues. This action has been motivated at least in part by issues of public health, the interests of local small businesses, and even human trafficking,” UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy tells the Los Angeles Times. “In a case such as this, it is typical to collect any suspected illegal funds and enter them into evidence.”

Flores started an online fundraising campaign, which he said would raise funds for the vendor and help him buy a food truck.

He set a $10,000 goal.

As of this morning, it has raised $52,000.

  • Gary F

    “Law and order nation”? Really, in Berkeley? Where you can’t even have a center right guest speaker on campus without a riot where the cops lets the thugs run free? And they are rolling over on a two bit hot dog vendor?

    • Illegal hot dogs are a gateway crime, Gary.

      • Gary F

        Broken window theory.

        But then, if he’s letting people put ketchup on a Chicago dog, I could see him using mace, taser, or even his baton.

        • Admission: I put ketchup on hot dogs.

          Except at ballgames, then I go for the mustard.

          • Rob

            What – no sport peppers?

          • X.A. Smith

            I am now disillusioned from this admission.

          • Jerry

            I put whatever I want on hot dogs and couldn’t care less what other people think about it. I’m the one eating it so their opinions really don’t matter.

          • Kassie

            Curry ketchup forever.

      • Angry Jonny

        So…who’s supplying the buns?

    • Rob

      I hadn’t realized that there was anything “center” about Ann Coulter or Milo Yiannopoulis. And Ben Shapiro’s scheduled to speak there shortly; still time for you to fly out there and attend the event.

  • Veronica

    “Law and order nation” = dog whistle

    That’s all one needs to know about the choices the cop made. Also, shame on the Berkeley president for condoning it.

  • MrE85

    If this guy doesn’t call his new food truck business “Outlaw Dogs,” I’ll be disappointed. He can also sell doughnuts for the Berkeley cops — for $60 a piece.

  • Jim in RF

    I don’t like the vice-chancellor’s legal takes.

  • Chris

    “Law and order country” unless you’re the racist sheriff buddy of the republican president.

  • L. Foonimin

    those damn cops – forget about the one in Wayzata killed while making the roadway safe for drivers, forget about the deputy sheriff drowned trying to get to work to save lives in Houston …Yah, those damn cops

    • Veronica


      • Jim in RF

        Not even irrelevant.

    • Kassie

      Sure, why not? It is what the white majority has been doing to people of color for hundreds of years. A few black gang member and an entire race of people is bad, but cops shouldn’t be held to the same standard? Every day we see examples of terrible cops doing terrible things. About time they are being called on it.

    • Angry Jonny

      How is life in your either/or world?

    • Jerry

      Hero cops, bad cops. Often the same person. It’s the situation that changes.

  • Barton

    I’m stuck on the fact that while the officer was following instructions, only this vendor was given a citation and has his $$ confiscated? There were probably a few dozen “illegal” vendors out there.

    Or, what would have been called “entrepreneurs,” and a part of our capitalist, free market economy if they’d been cute kids with Kool-Aide.

    • Apparently he’d gotten a warning first.

  • Veronica

    Regardless of warnings, civil asset forfeiture abuse is very real, very concerning, and outright promoted by our current Attorney General as a way to target minorities. And really, that’s all this is. One cop, tipping his hand by using the “Law and order” line, is using the tactics promoted by 45 and gang.

  • SchlepCar

    If he were selling free range organic fair trade tofu dogs the Berkeley cop wouldn’t have bothered the guy.

    • Veronica

      Nope. All the cop cared about was the color of his skin.