Yes, you read that headline correctly.
On May 26th the Santa Ana, California, Police Department conducted a raid of a medical marijuana dispensary. According to a lawsuit filed by Sky High Holistic, operators of the medical marijuana collective, the raid was captured by secret surveillance cameras set up in the shop. The lawsuit states that during the raid officers were “intentionally destructive and destroyed video surveillance equipment, safes, furniture, fixtures, doors and other property.” They claim damages in excess of $100,000.
In addition to showing officers allegedly making derogatory comments about a disabled women, the surveillance video also purports to show officers snacking on some pot-laced brownies.
Via The Orange County Register:
A lawsuit, filed last week in Orange County Superior Court by three unidentified police officers and the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, seeks to prevent Santa Ana Police Department internal affairs investigators from using the video as they sort out what happened during the May 26 raid of Sky High Collective.
Lawyers for police and the dispensary said the video – which has been widely seen on television and several online news sites, including ocregister.com – could play a key role in the ongoing investigation into the officers’ actions.
The lawyers disagree about the video’s accuracy and authenticity.
Matthew Pappas, a lawyer for Sky High, pointed to the irony of police seeking to shoot down the use of video as evidence in an investigation when they routinely use videos to investigate other crimes.
“It’s pretty pathetic for police to say if we don’t like something that it can’t be used as evidence,” Pappas said.
Corey W. Glave, a Hermosa Beach attorney representing the Santa Ana Police Officers Association and the three officers, said the video was taken without the officers’ knowledge and was handled by Pappas, among others, prior to being made public.
After entering the building, police are seen dismantling video cameras inside the store.
After most of the cameras are taken down, a camera they didn’t detect shows the officers talking about a woman with an amputated left leg who at the time of the raid was in her wheelchair inside the dispensary.
“Did you punch that one-legged old Benita,” a male officer asks a female officer, apparently referring to the woman in the wheelchair.
“I was about to kick her in her (expletive) nub,” the female officer replies, according to subtitles with the video.
In another clip – which Pappas has titled “Officers eating edibles and playing darts” – a voice can be heard asking, “What flavor?” before an officer is seen unwrapping a small package and putting something in his mouth.
The lawsuit argues that the video doesn’t paint a fair version of events. The suit also claims the video shouldn’t be used as evidence because, among other things, the police didn’t know they were on camera.
“All police personnel present had a reasonable expectation that their conversations were no longer being recorded and the undercover officers, feeling that they were safe to do so, removed their masks,” says the suit. Read More…
So basically what they are saying is that they shouldn’t be charged with anything because they thought they destroyed all the evidence.
Lol. And these are the people that are supposed to uphold the law.