An investigation was launched into the actions of officers from the Santa Ana Police Department after a deeply disturbing video was released from a raid on a medical marijuana dispensary late last month.
With some wearing ski masks, the officers barge into the shop with guns drawn, using a battering ram to knock down a door, ordering customers and workers to lay down on the floor.
The Southern California cops are also seen playing darts, mocking a patient with an amputated leg, destroying cameras and even eating edibles from the shop’s inventory.
At least eight officers are seen in the surveillance footage raiding the Sky High Holistic dispensary on May 27 with their weapons drawn.
The city of Santa Ana, which is in Orange County, has been holding lotteries for dispensaries to win a chance to get a permit, but many are currently operating without one, and thus illegally, including Sky High.
The video was edited and released by attorney Matthew Pappas, who intends to sue the city on behalf of Marla James, the patient with the amputated leg, who is alleging gross mistreatment by the police officers.
“I was about to kick her in her fucking nub,” a female officer says laughing about James, a woman with an amputated leg in a wheelchair that she had been seen walking with previously.
Unaware of the hidden camera that was set up in anticipation of a police raid, an officer is seen removing the other cameras which were mounted on the ceiling.
Some of the officers are seen laughing while discussing flavors of the merchandise as multiple officers are seen helping themselves to samples.
The police chief told the Voice of OC that there is behavior that he is concerned about, but that he does not know for sure if the officers were actually eating the dispensary’s marijuana snacks.
“I don’t know if that’s [a marijuana] edible. Where did [the officer] get it?” Police Chief Carlos Rojas said. “Is that a protein bar or an edible?”
It also shows the officers just hanging around, playing darts, and acting very unprofessionally.
“We’re obviously concerned about the conduct that we saw in the edited video,” Commander Chris Revere told KTLA. “We’re also concerned that the video was heavily edited. We’d like to see the original video in its unedited version.”
Pappas responded to the department’s requests for the raw video by pointing out that they would already have had the footage had they not destroyed the other cameras. He stated that since he is suing the department, the raw footage will be made available to them during the discovery process.
Pappas also claims that he filed a complaint with internal affairs weeks ago and never received a response and that is why he felt the release of the video was necessary to get the department to launch an investigation.
The department has stated that they have began an investigation, so it appears as if Pappas was correct.