An Orange County judge has decided that surveillance video, which captured the raid of the Sky High Holistic dispensary, can be used in the Santa Ana Police Department’s internal investigation of the raid.
On May 26, Sky High Holistic was raided by several officers during a time when non-lottery marijuana dispensaries were not allowed to operate. Sky High was equipped with several video cameras, which police could be seen destroying via footage from cameras that the officers had apparently missed.
The remaining cameras showed officers destroying what looked like surveillance cameras and other pieces of property inside of the dispensary building.
One of the officers, in reference to a female amputee who was escorted out of the building, could be heard telling another officer in the video that she was about to kick the woman “in her f***ing nub.”
The footage also appeared to show officers playing darts during the raid, and later in the video one officer could be seen eating what is alleged to be an edible marijuana product. Sky High Holistic’s attorneys used the raw footage to put together a video highlighting police actions during the raid. The video was released to nonprofit news agency The Voice of OC and can be seen below (video contains explicit language):
After the video footage spread nationwide, the Santa Ana Police Officers Association and three unidentified officers filed a temporary restraining order in an attempt to prevent the video from being used in part of Santa Ana Police Department’s internal investigation. The restraining order and police union argued that the officers had a reasonable expectation of privacy during the raid.
However, Orange County Superior Judge Ronald L. Bauer disagreed with that argument.
“While the officers have declared that they expected privacy, the court has concluded that they had no objectively reasonable expectation that their words and actions would not be observed,” Bauer wrote.
“They should not expect privacy in their on-duty performance of an official function at a marijuana dispensary. They have made no claim that their work required secrecy or that it would be impeded by public review.”