The Santa Ana Police Officer’s Association and three unidentified police officers who raided the Sky High Holistic marijuana dispensary in May have filed a lawsuit to block internal affairs investigators from using the dispensary’s hidden surveillance footage in an investigation of the incident.
The Sky High Holistic dispensary was raided on May 26, at a time when marijuana dispensaries were not allowed under Santa Ana law. The dispensary was equipped with several surveillance cameras; during the raid, officers had knocked out other cameras while one went undetected and captured the actions of the officers.
Shortly after the raid took place, attorneys for Sky High created a highlight video comprised of several clips of police behavior during the raid, which can be seen below. The officers were seen entering the building and ordering several customers to lay on the floor before proceeding to disable surveillance cameras. One officer was heard saying she was about to kick an amputee, who had been removed from the facility during the raid, “in her f—ing nub.” Officers could also be seen playing darts during the raid.
OC Weekly recently published unedited footage showing multiple officers eating what appears to be edible marijuana. Four minutes of unedited video can be seen below:
The lawsuit claims that the video should not be used in the internal investigation, claiming that the video was obtained illegally and there was an expectation of privacy from the officers. “All police personnel present had a reasonable expectation that their conversations were no longer being recorded and the undercover officers, feeling that they were safe to do so, removed their masks,” the suit stated.
“They knew they were on video,” said Matthew Pappas, an attorney for Sky High. “Just because they missed one camera doesn’t make it illegal.”
Corey Glave, an attorney for the officers, said that the edited video put the officers in a negative light and did not fairly represent what happened during the raid. Glave also argued that the officers may be subjected to “irreparable harm” including the possibility of discipline and termination if the video footage is used.
A judge delayed his decision on Wednesday regarding whether or not to grant a temporary restraining order to prevent the Santa Ana Police Department from using the video footage in its investigation, and ruled to continue the hearing. Judge Ronald L. Bauer will hear the case on Aug. 13.
For more information about the Sky High raid, click here.