SANTA ANA, Calif. -- An attorney announced plans to sue the city after surveillance cameras allegedly caught police officers eating marijuana-laced edibles, playing darts, and other questionable behavior during a police raid on an unlicensed pot shop in Santa Ana late last month.
The video was edited and released to news media by Long Beach-based attorney Matthew Pappas. He plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of Marla James, the manager of the store, Sky High Holistic..The footage shows at least eight officers busting into the dispensary, guns drawn, shouting “everybody on the ground” to customers and workers.
The officers proceed to remove surveillance cameras mounted on the ceiling, the video shows, but recordings continued on regular surveillance cameras as well as a hidden camera set up in anticipation of a police visit.
Police appear to be smelling the merchandise and discussing the flavor of the edibles, to laughter. Multiple officers appear to break off pieces of the food and consume them. Several other officers play darts.
The Police Department is conducting an internal investigation in response to the video, according to police Cmdr. Chris Revere.
“We’re obviously concerned about the conduct that we saw in the edited video,” Revere said. “We’re also concerned that the video was heavily edited. We’d like to see the original video in its unedited version.”
Revere said he “couldn’t say for certain” the officers were consuming pot edibles in the video.
James is also critical of the way police treated her. She is in a wheelchair and her attorney claims she was mistreated and intimidated.
“I was about to kick her in her f—ing nub,” a female officer later appears to say about James.
Additionally, she and her attorney are pushing for reform of the cannabis distribution permit-system.