Santa Ana Police File Lawsuit Alleging Violation of Their Rights After Store Videotape Allegedly Catches Them Eating Marijuana Products And Disparaging Disabled Woman

nsjjps-b88477454z.120150803213939000gt7b82gh.10There is an interesting case out of Santa Ana this month where police officers were allegedly caught on camera wolfing down pot products in a raid on a medical marijuana dispensary. The officer reportedly disabled all but one of the security cameras. They are now arguing that there rights were violated by being videotaped without their consent.

The video below shows a sizable number of police raiding the dispensary with guns drawn and forcing everyone to the floor. It then shows officers methodically shutting off cameras. The remaining camera however then shows the officers eating presumably marijuana laced products at the Sky High Collective. The video also shows the officers making derogatory comments about a disabled woman.

Three Santa Ana police officers have sued to quash a surveillance video
in a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court to prevent Santa Ana Police Department internal affairs investigators from using the video. They have been allowed to conceal their identities. Of course, police routinely used such videotapes against others for alleging crimes. It is also unclear why a public servant should have his or her name protected in such a case. While some officers may be undercover and have a good claim, most of these officers are in uniform.

Attorney Corey W. Glave representing the Santa Ana Police Officers Association and the three officers insists that the video was taken without the officers’ knowledge and that the videotape was handled by various people before being turned over to the police. He has suggested that the videotape may have been altered. Glave has gone as far as to accuse his opposing counsel of misconduct: “The attorney representing the drug dispensary intentionally has misrepresented what happened.”

Matthew Pappas is the lawyer for Sky High identified in articles. Pappas has said that he gave the Santa Ana police two versions of the raid footage, a highlight reel with subtitles and unedited video clips.

One question that we have previously discussed is why police routinely dismantled such cameras to prevent a videotape record of arrests or searches. One argument may be that undercover officers were involved and should not be videotaped for their own protection.

What the remaining camera did catch as a male officer asking a female colleague about a woman with an amputated left leg: “Did you punch that one-legged old Benita?” he asks. The female officer responds “I was about to kick her in her (expletive) nub.”

The lawsuit says that the officers are the victims: “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.”

The lawsuit further notes that “Without the illegal recordings, there would have been no internal investigation of any officer.”

No officers have been terminated in connection with the ongoing internal affairs investigation

101 thoughts on “Santa Ana Police File Lawsuit Alleging Violation of Their Rights After Store Videotape Allegedly Catches Them Eating Marijuana Products And Disparaging Disabled Woman”

  1. I take it you are a glass half empty type.”
    There are 2 types of people in the world:
    People that think there are two types of people in the world, and people who don’t.

    Actually, there are three types (and probably more)

    The person who thinks the glass is half empty.

    The person who thinks the glass is half full.

    And the person like myself who realizes that we have the wrong sized glass and gets a correct sized glass, solves the problem and drinks the contents of the glass instead of having angst about it.

    I might also consider that it doesn’t matter what size the glass is, that it is the contents that are more important.

  2. We “progressed” away from an authoritarian government when this nation was founded. We are “regressing” towards that same form of authoritarian rule. The movement that has brought on this regression labeled itself “Progressives” because “Regressives” doesn’t sell very well. This is currently manifesting itself by Democratic Progressives but Republican Progressives are equally to blame.

    How in the world do you call it progress if the current state of the Union has us at a constitutional tipping point?

  3. House of Representatives Passes Bill in 15 Minutes to Revoke Americans’ Passports without Due Process

    The “war on terror” is a status quo fraud perpetuated by the oligarch-controlled mainstream media and authoritarian members of Congress as a way to systematically strip the American public of its freedom and civil rights in the name of fighting an outside enemy. This tried and true tactic has been used by statists throughout history, and history is indeed repeating itself here in the “land of the free.”

  4. I don’t believe the officers’ legal claim has merit. Once they entered the dispensary it did not give them title to the property and therefore the owner of the dispensary continued to have legal dominion and control of the cameras. This in my view is a flimsy effort at best.

    The notion that they needed to be protected for their identities for the purposes of undercover operations has merit but that has no applicability to the police department since they were employees of this agency and they knew already who was involved in the raid. The undercover officers could have simply continued to wear masks if they were concerned about being revealed.

    The use of a halligan and a set of bolt cutters to disable the cameras right off the bat leads credence to any claims that corrupt practices were to be used, such as the consumption of the marijuana products. (if they were in-fact what was eaten)

    I believe the best thing to do for the moment would be to disband the narcotics unit and restart it with new employees and oversight.

  5. I take it you are a glass half empty type.
    There are 2 types of people in the world:
    People that think there are two types of people in the world, and people who don’t.

    Thankfully, the Chief Consort has a glass that is at the median line.
    In contrast, the Progressive Grand Inquisitor has a glass quite full, mostly from draining other glasses.

  6. The liberals here are so incurious. Have they even wondered why Obama, a member of the Choom Gang, has been so much tougher on LEGAL cannabis operations? He has been much tougher than W. Why do you think that is? Or do you even think @ all. When Obama ran in 2008 there is an interview where he is seen snickering when asked about medical cannabis in California saying, “With global terrorism, we have MUCH bigger fish to fry.” And, I think he met it @ that time. What do you think changed his and his AG’s minds?

  7. Progressives move forward to leave behind bad policy. Regressive policies tend to be authoritarian, if the weaponozed police force acts in a regressive authoritarian manner, we all are at risk. There is nothing positive in regressive governing.

  8. Exactly, Chief. Sure don´t want to get that progressive cancer, do we?

  9. Chief

    I guess it depends on whether you are a glass half full type or a glass half empty type. I specifically used the word ‘connote’ rather than ‘denote’ to leave that determination up to the individual. I am a glass half full type so progressive; I link to progress, to the positive. I take it you are a glass half empty type.

    1. issac – the half full glass you are so progressively happy about is full of others money. My half empty glass is because you took my other half for your progressive programs.

  10. What strikes me as indicative of the polarization of American political, social, and ethical perspectives is that one can take a word such as progressive, a word that connotes positive and sought after attributes and use it to denigrate the opposite position. I understand liberal and conservative as these clearly illustrate the two directions mankind has taken since the beginning of time, however, progressive can apply to both. Progress, to me, means advancement, evolution, betterment, etc.

  11. “Progressive” problem? How so? Sounds like an authoritarian problem, which is not progressive.

    1. Inga – maybe we should can them Socialist problems. DWS could not tell the difference between the Democrats and Socialists.

  12. “Hopefully someday there will be actions taken by the Federal Government to roll in and take over police forces that are sorely wanting in ethics and morality.”


    We’re still talking about the United States, right? From a progressive perspective I would certainly agree this is a desired outcome but you aren’t giving your cause much respect. This 100 year rise of the administrative, progressive state has already consumed most of what power the states were to retain and they are gobbling up those rights left to the people as quickly as possible.

    This local abuse of authority is found nationwide and it is spreading like a cancer. This is not a Democrat or Republican problem; this is a progressive, weaponized, administrative state problem.

  13. Isn´t it pathetic that cops even want to do pot products?. Do they think it´s “cool”? Seriously pathetic. Now, if it had been a stash of really good wine, I might be able to understand the temptation to pop the cork and have a taste – but not the stealing of it.

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