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Richard Rider

Berkeley cop on video legally grabbing money from unpermitted street vendor

Occasionally the public gets upset about our “bully boy” policing system.  A recorded incident of a cop taking money from an unpermitted hotdog vendor in Berkeley created substantial online blowback.

There have been calls for the officer’s firing. But in truth he was “just following orders.”  It’s the practice of many California police departments to grab any cash at the “scene of a crime” under the guise of “asset forfeiture.”

I feel so much safer, knowing that my California police force (each cop making well over $150,000 in total compensation annually) is out there ticketing (and stealing from) these “street criminals.”  It’s a GREAT ad for why we should end asset forfeiture.

Keep in mind — these are the same Berkeley police who have REPEATEDLY refused (on orders, but still refused) to actively prevent violent left wing attacks on peaceful right wing demonstrators. REPEATEDLY.

But in the cops’ defense, there are a LOT of “illegal” street vendors out there to ticket and steal money from.  It’s a matter of priorities, I guess.

The New York Times
The New York Times

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Outpouring Over an Aggrieved Hot Dog Vendor
A video showing a U.C. Berkeley police officer taking money from a hot dog vendor was shared widely online.
A video showing a U.C. Berkeley police officer taking money from a hot dog vendor was shared widely online. Martin Flores
Good morning.
A stunned look fell over the hot dog vendor’s face as a police officer, ticketing him for lacking a permit, reached into the man’s wallet and pulled out $60.
The vendor and a passer-by recording the exchange protested. “That’s not right,” said the cameraman.
“That’s how it works,” replied the officer, of U.C. Berkeley’s police department.
And now, video of the encounter outside a Golden Bears football game Saturday has become a fixation of the internet outrage machine.
Uploaded over the weekend, it’s been watched millions of times and prompted demands for the officer’s firing.
It’s also reinvigorated a debate in California over civil forfeiture, which allows the authorities to seize cash and property from people suspected of wrongdoing.
Last year, the practice brought the state’s law enforcement agencies more than $115 million, according to government figures.

To read the rest of the story, go to the link: