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Some Cops in California Are Claiming a Video of Them Eating Edibles During a Marijuana Raid Violates Their Privacy

Surveillance video footage also shows the officers joking about kicking the dispensary manager, an amputee, "in her fucking nub."

by Arielle Pardes
Aug 4 2015, 11:09pm

Screenshot from security footage, via the Voice of OC

In May, a marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana, California called Sky High Holistic was raided by the police, who claimed it did not have a valid permit.

It started off like a standard raid—the police banged on the door, ordered customers onto the floor, and proceeded to sniff around.

Then police started to dismantle the security cameras—which was caught on tape by one of the cameras they missed. The footage goes on to show the officers chumming around, playing darts, and snacking on edibles, before making some unsavory remarks about the dispensary manager, Marla James, who is an amputee. In one exchange, an officer asks, "Did you punch that one-legged guerita?" and another replies, "I was about to kick her in her fucking nub."

You can see an edited "highlight reel" of that security footage here, courtesy of the Voice of OC.

In mid-June, the dispensary filed a federal lawsuit against the police department for their misconduct, claiming they used excessive forced and caused over $100,000 worth of damage. The Santa Ana Police Department also agreed to conduct an internal investigation.

But now the police officers featured in the video are complaining that the footage shouldn't be part of that investigation, since it was "taken without their knowledge" and is edited to make them look bad. (Matthew Pappas, the lawyer for Sky High Holistic, says he gave the Santa Ana police both an edited, condensed version and a raw, unedited version of the video clips.) According to the Orange County Register, the police officers filed a lawsuit to "prevent Santa Ana Police Department internal affairs investigators from using the video," arguing that the officers "had a reasonable expectation that their conversations were no longer being recorded."

Of course, it's not impossible that the edited version of the video was an inaccurate representation of what happened in May. Maybe the officers were just snacking on a non-marijuana treat they brought with them! Maybe "kick her in the nub" is a police code phrase! But the Police Department also has the raw, full-length footage to determine what really happened, and arguing that the video violates their "privacy" is about as ridiculous as the cops' behavior in the first place.

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