The video below is now the basis for an investigation into a raid by Long Beach California officers of the THC marijuana dispensary. The officer accused the dispensary of operating without a permit. However, one officer first steps on an employee and then other officers target the security video system and destroy the cameras before tearing the place apart.
More than a dozen Long Beach Police officers raided the store and show officers forcing one employee on the ground. Officers then proceed to step on him. The volunteer employee Dorian Brooks was entirely cooperative at the scene before being stepped on.
THe officers then notice the security cameras and proceeded to destroy them with a metal bar. The after-raid video shows extensive damage to the store. The dispensary lacked a city permit, but was operating in compliance with state law. Five people were arrested.
On its face, the stepping on the suspect is an obvious violation. There was obviously room to step over the employee and the officers did not appear to be in the course of pursing another suspect or dealing with some exigent circumstance. The destruction of the cameras raises another troubling question. We have been following the series of arrests by citizens who film officers despite court rulings stating that such filming is entirely lawful. (For prior column, click here). This video shows the instinctive hostility of officers to being filmed. There is no operational reason to destroy the video system.
The Obama Administration has been cracking down on medical marijuana establishments and pressuring states to do the same with marijuana dispensaries. Once again, if the camera did not capture the first few minutes, the account of the employee and the store would likely have been dismissed as a complaint. It would have been left as a matter of the word of the officers against this employee.
The matter is under investigation by the Long Beach police department.