As Andrew Sullivan used to say: From the annals of chutzpah. A trio of police officers from Santa Ana, California that were caught on surveillance video eating pot edibles after raiding a medical marijuana dispensary want that video evidence declared inadmissible in an internal investigation because they had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Three Santa Ana police officers want to quash a surveillance video that shows officers making derogatory comments about a disabled woman and possibly snacking on pot edibles during a recent raid of a medical marijuana dispensary.
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…
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.
That’s an understatement.
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.
Yeah, it’s totally unfair to use that video because they didn’t know they were on video! Won’t someone think of the asshole cops?