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Forget the Violent Campus Protests—This College Cop Is Gunning for Unlicensed Hot Dog Vendors

Watch a Berkeley officer seize the cash out of the wallet of a street merchant.

hot dog copThe campus police at Berkeley may not be able to stop people from trashing the town while protesting conservative college speakers, but they sure can rain down hell on some hot dog vendor for not having a permit.

That appears to be what happened over the weekend. Martin Flores, a Berkeley alumnus, recorded two members of the University of California Police bringing the hammer down on an unlicensed hot dog vendor serving folks attending Saturday's football game.

Flores' videos probably wouldn't have made such a splash online if the officer had simply cited the vendor, named Juan, and made him stop selling his food. What's drawing attention is the officer's casually condescending demeanor as he made this poor man miserable, and also the fact that he took Juan's wallet, removed the cash from it, and kept it. Watch the video below:

The officer has been identified as Sean Aranas, and there is now an online petition trying to get him removed (and some people have claimed in the comments under the petition that he has harassed others and them).

That Aranas seized Juan's cash has prompted some discussion of civil asset forfeiture, where police seize and keep money from people charged with crimes. The system is prone to abuse because police are frequently able to keep money and property for their department without ever having to convict (or often even charge) defendants with criminal activity.

The good news for Juan is that thanks to reforms to asset forfeiture laws in California last year, the police cannot keep his money unless they actually convict him or he pleads guilty to a crime.

The bad news for Juan is that even if though police have to convict him in order to keep his money, they've still seized it and booked the cash as evidence, making it harder for Juan to defend himself in court. Flores has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Juan's defense; at last check, it has raised more than $30,000.

Juan is lucky in this case that somebody was there to capture his treatment on video. Not every street vendor who gets harassed by police get the benefit of publicity. They end up getting chewed up and spit out by a legal system whose permitting requirements make it too costly to comply with the law and whose penalties make it even more costly for those who get caught breaking the law. The process is the punishment—and when you're poor, even attempting to comply with government regulations is a type of punishment.

In theory, those permitting requirements are for the sake of public sanitation. But people aren't idiots: They can look at Juan's set-up and see exactly what they're getting. This is the equivalent of a backyard barbecue, not a food truck; students interviewed by KTVU, the local Fox affiliate, said they understood full well that health officials have not inspected these small vendors.

The biggest irony: Berkeley and other liberal cities say they're trying to resist President Donald Trump's deportation efforts. But this kind of petty enforcement of the law forces interactions between local police and poor immigrants, and thus increase the likelihood that the vendors will draw the attention of federal immigration officials. Los Angeles is looking at ways to actually scale back crackdowns on street vendors in order to avoid getting people deported.

Eagle eyes may have noticed that Juan was cooking up some bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Cities have a lengthy history of cracking down on bacon dogs even though residents love them. Reason TV covered Los Angeles health officials' war on these businesses back in 2008. As one vendor noted, a truck that would serve bacon dogs the way health officials demanded would cost $26,000. I'm betting Juan did not have that much cash in his wallet.

Watch Reason's video below:

Photo Credit: Martin Flores video

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  • Crusty Juggler - Lawbertarian||

    Don't wanna be a thug, don't be slingin dogs like a thug.

  • CE||

    There's only one thug in that picture, and he's not selling hot dogs.

  • Crusty Juggler - Lawbertarian||

    Eagle eyes may have noticed that Juan was cooking up some bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Cities have a lengthy history of cracking down on bacon dogs even though residents love them

    First, everyone in Berkley is a leftist, meat-hating vegan, so bacon dogs are probably terrible sellers.
    Second, bacon dogs are an AMERICAN food, not a BROWN PEOPLE FOOD, so if Juan (probably not even his real name) wants to sell food, he should sell THE FOOD OF HIS PEOPLE.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Why do you think the cops got called to that location? There's nothing more triggering than a dog stand in Berkeley.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    So THAT's the reason for the bust -- cultural appropriation! Those SJW stop at nothing.

  • p3orion||

    No no no! There's no such thing as appropriation of European culture! That's just seizing back in response to white cultural appropriation, a kind of "cultural reparations," if you will. Back to the re-education camps for you!

  • ||

    Second, bacon dogs are an AMERICAN food, not a BROWN PEOPLE FOOD, so if Juan (probably not even his real name) wants to sell food, he should sell THE FOOD OF HIS PEOPLE.

    I think the real failing here is that the officer didn't confiscate the ketchup.

  • Devastator||

    Clint Eastwood would agree with you before he shot you with his 44.

  • CloktwerkOrange||

    *Second, bacon dogs are an AMERICAN food, not a BROWN PEOPLE FOOD...*

    I'm assuming you've never been anywhere in South America, because bacon dogs are practically a staple down there.

  • ||

    Brown people aren't capable of understanding red-blooded American food. We need to keep them out so they won't corrupt our culture. Next thing you know, they will replace the bun with a tortilla and call it a hot dog wrap.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    How did you make it past the guards at the mental hospital so as to access the internet there? Or did you flat out escape?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Flores' videos probably wouldn't have made such a splash online if the officer had simply cited the vendor, named Juan, and made him stop selling his food. What's drawing attention is the officer's casually condescending demeanor as he made this poor man miserable, and also the fact that he took Juan's wallet, removed the cash from it, and kept it. Watch the video below:

    Ok, well, that's a crime. Charges are pending, correct?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The fucking cop clearly was getting off shift soon and needed some fast cash for when he met his thug cop buddies at the bar. People are just roving ATM's for these pigs.

  • dantheserene||

    I'm waiting for a police union representative to explain the difference between this incident and any other armed robbery.

  • p3orion||

    "Under color of law" seems to ring a bell...

  • Crusty Juggler - Lawbertarian||

    The campus police at Berkeley may not be able to stop people from trashing the town while protesting conservative college speakers, but they sure can rain down hell on some hot dog vendor for not having a permit.

    So ol' Slowpoke Gonzalez didn't HAVE A PERMIT, which means he was BREAKING THE LAW. And here I thought Libertarians were for the RULE OF LAW, but I guess Reason is all about anarchy.

    It's simple, "Juan": follow THE LAW or GET OUT.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    pedantic correction - Slowpoke Rodriguez (he was Speedy Gonzalez's cousin).

  • Crusty Juggler - Lawbertarian||

    I am so embarrassed. I thought I was better than that.

    Thanks.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    When I look at this poor man being hassled by the cops, I now realize what Hillary went through over a couple of emails.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I know! And all that fuss about her treasonously selling our uranium reserves to the Russians. i mean, she was just trying to make a buck! Bitch has gotta earn, right?

  • ||

    Shouldn't you be complaining about how this brown person was probably consuming more in welfare than the value of his hot dog stand so he should be removed from the country, or something?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And speaking of stupid bitches........

    Did you not read my earlier comments? I'm on his side. He's a small businessman just trying to earn a living. I don't give a fuck what about his skin color. I also resent your insinuation that I am somehow racist. My ex and stepdaughter are both mixed race. So I take great offense to that.

    Stupid cunt.

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    The upsetting issues are the asset forfeiture, and the shitty permit requirements themselves - No one is disputing the violation.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The biggest irony: Berkeley and other liberal cities say they're trying to resist President Donald Trump's deportation efforts. But this kind of petty enforcement of the law forces interactions between local police and poor immigrants, and thus increase the likelihood that the vendors will draw the attention of federal immigration officials.

    It's not ironic at all. It's a lie. Leftist leaders will say whatever they need to maintain the illusion of civil libertarians while making certain to retain the power to control the chess pieces, and they will also make certain the enforcement arm of their grand schemes have the power to pacify, and the tools to obtain the revenue needed to pay for their grand schemes.

  • ||

    You know this to be 100% solid-gold fact because (aside from being pointed out by Fist) the 'civil libertarian' attempts to toss all the people drinking in public in the vicinity under the bus. As though bacon dogs and no beer is somehow the better option.

  • ||

    Isn't this pretty much also the case with anti-immigration libertarians?

    I'm all in favor of people being allowed to move around, but we have a welfare system! So we need armed guards everywhere monitoring who you employ, checking ids, and making sure your papers are in order!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Aranas, by the way, is going to come to regret not smashing that camera if the city decides to toss him under the bus over this.

  • LarryWilson||

    Cop. Bacon. Wrapped around weiners...I'm sure there is something there, but I just couldn't deliver.

  • Chupacabra||

    Do you know who else like wrap things around wieners?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Crusty. Only so he can unwrap them later.

  • TW||

    Your mom?

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Carlos Danger?

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Not Huma Abedin?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Carlos Danger is just sore he never got invited to Jeffrey Epstein's Pedo island.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Tulpa will never need to look at traditional pornography ever again.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Another top commenter adds that the police intervention is fair, saying, "He went through the wallet because the vendor didn't understand anything and handed him his whole wallet. If you want a bunch of unpermitted vendors selling God knows what made in God only knows conditions then you have tough stomachs!! Also UC has exclusive contracts to vendors who pay lots of money which then goes into UC sports program…….. So all of you indignant folks should say Allow vendors and Cut the UC sports budget."

    I'm going to guess you'll get a lot of similar sentiments from the more levelheaded statists of Berkeley.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, this is the sort of thing the people of Berkeley demand to happen. I mean the guys a dirty capitalist. He should be providing that food for free after after bus a license from the state of course. Hopefully that dude he's the message and moves away from the left coast.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Although to be fair, any selling anything at an ncaa sporting event without a license is gonna get you the same treatment. No entity is greedier than the universities. Ironic?

  • Crusty Juggler - Lawbertarian||

    It's like meeting the man of your dreams, and then meeting his beautiful wife.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So.....threesome?

  • Trigger Warning||

    Eeewwww

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's from this site, btw fyi.

  • CE||

    Aren't the "suspected proceeds" from the violation limited to the 4 bucks the officer witnessed changing hands? How does he (legally) take the entire contents of the wallet?

  • Ron||

    saw the video earlier the vendor looked like he was ready to cry and it wouldn't surprise me if that was all the money he had. Cops could have just let him move along but that kind of kindness is reserved for people in Ninja suits these days

  • Itiscb||

    So, they can take the money out of his wallet? Sounds shady.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    In the olden times we would call this a shakedown.

  • BearOdinson||

    Screw all you anarchists!! At least that hero in blue made it home safe!!

  • SIV||

    "If he was a white unlicensed hot dog vendor the cops would have forced minority vegans to buy his food"

  • MWG||

    Hey, what are you all bitching about? The LAW is the LAW.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I thought Judge Dredd was the law.

  • MWG||

    The 90s called, they want their law back.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    90's? No, no, no. I'm invoking the imagery of Karl Urban in 2012's 'Dredd'. Which is a vastly superior film (and for less money).

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    UCB-PD Officer Aranas Molested Me

    Make of that what you will.

  • AlmightyJB||

    He said he was gay so not sure what he's complaining about.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He is autistic, dummy.

  • Juice||

    Totally unbelievable. Wait, no. The other one. Totally believable.

  • ||

    Make sure this guy is a legal immigrant. He's stealing that hot dog vending territory from a working class white guy. We don't want any criminal aliens in America.

  • SIV||

    lol

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Fuck off Hazel. No one here buys into your race baiting.

  • CE||

    No, he's stealing the hot dog territory of the corporate Wienerhaus and the licensed hot dog vendors, who pay protection money to the Berkeley city government. Berekely is a sanctuary city.

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    Anyone else notice the cop went right for the money, and then only as an after-thought, re-opened the wallet later to actually check the ID?

    What a muthafukka!

  • Sionnach||

    This is a clear-cut instance of how most cops are disrespectful of actual people, and usually only have loyalties to institutions. They feel they are blameless as a cog in the anti-crime wheel, so another cog.. this time a school, phones in a complaint, and the copper sees it as cog-favors. The people surrounding him, they may be cogs in some way, a little respect given, but whhooaaaa. a school is a legit cog, black and white for this cop. An organization is real in most cops minds, the individual less real. If you want real change, 101 of these psychologically predominant traits must be acknowledged and ironed out first.

  • Tony||

    Lot of pigs in this story.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You do realize that the irony here is that your unflinching support for a all powerful nanny state that regulates everything, including hot dog vendors, is what gave this thug cop the authoritah to abuse this man, right? Probably not though, as your cognitive dissonance, and progtarded inability to have any accountability preclude that outcome.

  • Tony||

    Supporting the idea of government is not the same as supporting everything a government does.

    BTW, if you were severely poisoned by this vendor, would you just chalk it up to the luck of the bacterial draw, or would you try to seek some redress?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    That's what a lawsuit is for. And you don't just 'support the idea of government;, I support that. You DO support everything government does. You've never come out and called for less or smaller government. You troll Reason every day extolling the virtues of unlimited government. It's assholes like you that make this turd cop's shameful activities a reality.

  • CE||

    I just wouldn't buy hot dogs from him again. Amazing how the market self regulates.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Congratulations, Tony. Maybe you're starting to realize, however dimly, that government isn't always a good thing.

    -jcr

  • Tony||

    Unlike people who think it's always a bad thing, I do have the capacity for processing complex thoughts.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It's almost cute that you believe that. That you have any real cognitive capacity.

  • IceTrey||

    30 grand! Pay the stupid ticket and give him the rest!

  • ToCa81||

    If the cops tried to pull this with my local elote guy, there would be riots in the streets. Fuck permits. Let the man sell his food and let us eat it. The guvment doesn't fit in anywhere in that equation.

  • Wearenotperfect||

    I loves me some elote with chile, limon y mantequilla!
    Fuck da police!

  • Trigger Warning||

    Can you imagine if that was your life? Enforcing unnecessary food-handling regulations?

    A person would need to be a total asshole to do that job. A stupid, complacent, ignorant cretin, with abuser tendencies. That's the only way that works.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm sure officer Aranas was a total punk ass bitch his whole life. This job gives him the illusion that he's a tough guy. At least as long as he can hide behind a badge and a gun.

  • Bob2||

    Annnnnd his bicycle.
    Looks like he's taking his promotion to a two-wheeler very seriously.
    He deserves to have his bell rung.

  • John C. Randolph||

    If I'm not mistaken, the legal term for this shit is "mugging".

    -jcr

  • Africanis||

    They went after little white girls for a lemonade stands with ruthless aggression, so I am not shocked Juan got jacked for selling hot dogs. Government Mafia: Permit = Gimme da Money!!

  • Africanis||

    They went after little white girls for a lemonade stands with ruthless aggression, so I am not shocked Juan got jacked for selling hot dogs. Government Mafia: Permit = Gimme da Money!!

  • CE||

    What's drawing attention is the officer's casually condescending demeanor as he made this poor man miserable, and also the fact that he took Juan's wallet, removed the cash from it, and kept it...

    People rarely see the state directly in action doing what it does. Payroll deductions are invisible.

  • CE||

    Why license hot dog vendors at all? The stated reasons may surprise you (or not):

    "This action has been motivated at least in part by issues of public health, the interests of local small businesses, and even human trafficking," [Cal vice chancellor] Biddy said in the statement.

    You know who else had the title of chancellor and was worried about minorities making money?

  • Fk_Censorship||

    Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They're taking this incident super serious, guys.

  • pikaz1||

    You know who else had the title of chancellor and was worried about minorities making money?chi phí cấy ghép implant

  • Akemi Tatsakura||

    Our nanny state and food police are cracking down on home grown gardens, fruit trees and homemade food products. Probably if I wanted to buy term paper, I'll be also busted. They violate new laws and they are sending swat teams over people selling unpasteurized dairy products. They don't want you selling food you have grown or prepared without the proper licenses and fees. The police state has arrived.

  • nhakhoatrongrang||

    Saved as a favorite, I like your site!

  • TxJack 112||

    The cop committed robbery by intimidation, a felony. He should be arrested and go to jail. He had no way to prove what money was made by selling hot dogs and what the man had prior to starting so taking all his money is nothing more than theft, especially when he was not arrested. If he had been arrested the case could have been made he was seizing evidence, but in this case, it was theft, case closed.

  • TxJack 112||

    Campus police are nothing more than wannbes pissed off that they were not able to get a job at an real police department. LMAO!!

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