Three police officers in Santa Ana, California, have taken legal action in an attempt to block the use of surveillance video reportedly showing them snacking on marijuana-laced edibles and making derogatory comments about a disabled woman during a raid on a marijuana dispensary, the Orange County Register reported. The unidentified officers, along with their union, the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, filed a lawsuit last week to prevent the department's internal affairs investigators from using the video in their investigation of the May 26 raid of the Sky High Collective dispensary.
The footage reportedly shows the officers trying to disable all of the cameras in the Sky High Collective facility, after which some played darts and ate what was believed to be edible products containing marijuana. Another officer was captured in the video insulting a customer. "I was going to punch her in the f---ing nub," she said, the Huffington Post reported.
The woman referred to in the video by the female officer spoke to OC Weekly about her reaction to the video. "When I saw the video it almost made me cry," said Marla James, an amputee who uses a wheelchair. “She doesn’t know what it’s like to not have a leg. I still have phantom pains."
The police department has vowed to conduct a thorough investigation, the site reported.
A lawyer for Sky High Collective, Matthew Pappas, raised concerns about the implications of the officers' attempt to block having the video used as evidence in court. “It’s pretty pathetic for police to say if we don’t like something that it can’t be used as evidence,” Pappas told the Orange County Register.
But the officers argue the video violated their privacy. They also believe that Pappas and others have altered the footage.
“The attorney representing the drug dispensary intentionally has misrepresented what happened,” said Corey W. Glave, a Hermosa Beach, California, attorney representing the Santa Ana Police Officers Association and the officers.
Pappas said he has released two versions of the video to Santa Ana police -- a "highlight reel" and a version that he said is the full, unedited footage.