Ricardo Land posted a video of rats inside a Popeyes kitchen DC health officials later shut down.
Land said his employer suspended him for the video.
The GoFundMe has brought in over $19,000 as of Thursday, more than its $10,000 goal.
The man who filmed a viral video of rats in a Popeyes location in Washington, DC, said he has been suspended from his job and is launching a GoFundMe to support himself.
Ricardo Land went viral after he posted a TikTok on October 11 that showed him walking into a Popeyes restaurant at night with several rats scurrying around the kitchen. In the video, Land said he’s a delivery man who delivers raw chicken to DC-area Popeyes locations.
The clip, which showed rats running across the floor and up the pipes on the wall, has garnered over 2.3 million views and 340,000 likes.
On October 28, slightly over two weeks after Land’s video, the same Popeyes, which Fox News reported was near Eastern Market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of DC, was shut down, according to Fox News.
The DC Health Department left a notice on the door, saying the establishment was blocked due to “a violation(s) of the district of Columbia food code regulations which presents an imminent health hazard(s) to the public,” Insider reported.
Charles Allen, a councilman for DC’s Ward 6 neighborhoods, tweeted on Saturday morning that the DC Health department “inspected and closed this site yesterday.” The tweet was in response to a Twitter repost of the TikTok on Friday by the account “Washingtonian Problems” that has over 670,000 views.
On Tuesday, Land created a GoFundMe page for himself, writing that he had been “suspended from my job” and claiming it was because of his “exposure” of the Popeyes location. He shared screenshots of the GoFundMe on his TikTok account, @blaqazzrick01, which has over 13,000 followers. Insider could not verify who employed Land and was unable to confirm his account.
“I have a family of 5 and due to this incident my family will be hurt by my employer,” the GoFundMe’s description says. “I will not be able to afford rent food [sic] or any other necessities to keep my home.”
The fundraiser has already garnered over $28,000 at the time of this story, more than its original goal of $10,000. Land posted an update on the GoFundMe on Thursday in which he thanked people for their support.
“When they demonize you for doin the right thing please help [sic],” Land wrote in one of the TikTok’s descriptions.
The comments of the TikToks are flooded with sympathetic messages and people praising him for filming the Popeyes teeming with rodents.
The DC Health Department and Popeyes did not respond to requests for comment. Land was not immediately available for comment.
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