Santa Ana Police Raid – Cops Eat Pot Brownies & Destroy Private Property To Cover Their Crimes

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During a police raid on an unpermitted pot shop in Santa Ana late last month, hidden cameras caught officers eating marijuana-laced “edibles,” playing darts and displaying other questionable behavior, according to an attorney who plans to sue the city in connection with the raid.

The incident occurred at Sky High Holistic, a medical marijuana dispensary operating without a business permit, officials with the Santa Ana Police Department confirmed. The raid, at 419 W. 17th St., was one of several such recent operations, police said.

Video of the raid was taken by the regular surveillance cameras the shop had in place, as well as a hidden one set up in anticipation of a police visit.

The footage shows at least eight officers busting into the dispensary, guns drawn, shouting “everybody on the ground” to customers and workers.

“I was about to kick her in her f—ing nub,” a female officer later says of a customer with an amputated leg in a wheelchair.

The officers proceed to remove surveillance cameras mounted on the ceiling, the video shows.

Then, they 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 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 patient with the amputated leg, alleging gross mistreatment by officers during the raid.

“I’d like to see the police officers disciplined for the behavior that goes on here. I’d like to see the city stop engaging in illegal conduct,” Pappas said.

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.

Pappas and James, want to see reform — and a more fair system for allowing pot shops in Santa Ana. A judge recently issued a temporary restraining order preventing the city from implementing a voter-approved lottery system designed to distribute 20 permits for cannabis collectives, according to the OC Weekly.

Sky High was not one of the 20 dispensaries that were granted permits to operate in February. The shop operated nonetheless, and its owners expected it to be raided.

Revere said no dispensaries in the city are currently operating “legitimately.”

“If the temporary restraining order is lifted, the city can then begin issuing permits for legal dispensaries to operate,” the police commander said in an email.

James said dispensaries have no choice but to operate illegally, without a functioning permit system. She said she was the “patient manager” in the day that the raid occurred.

She criticized officers for how she was treated.

“They intimidated me. They threatened me, and then they let us go,” James, 54, said. “What they did, it was like shooting fish in a barrel.”

Pappas ran unsuccessfully for Long Beach city attorney last year. He regularly represents medical marijuana patients, according to the 2013 profile in the Orange County Register.

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One reply on “Santa Ana Police Raid – Cops Eat Pot Brownies & Destroy Private Property To Cover Their Crimes”

I asked Marla (the amputee in this video) about their claim that they want to see an unedited version. She said the city attorney has had a copy all along. I told her that all the comments I read here and all the other places that are covering this that most of the outrage seemed to be directly aimed at her abuser. What the video doesn’t show is the interaction between Marla and the female cop. In a nushell she threatened Marla with jail if she didn’t sign the ticket she was being issued for operating a business without a permit. She was nothing more than an unpaid volunteer. She kept trying to explain to the cop that she was legally blind and could not read the thing she was signing. Her words…I could have been signing a murder confession for all I know. Her husband Dave was being interrogated my another cop halfway across a parking lot. The cop refused to get Dave (who has power of attorney) to come and look at the thing before she signed it. The cop literally took Marla’s hand, stuck a pen in it and pushed to the X and said sign or you’re going to jail.
She wouldn’t have signed, but she has some prescriptions that she has to take regularly for various ailments and was worried she wouldn’t get them in jail. Naturally, the cop considers everyone who is not a cop to be generally scum and don’t deserve to be treated with any dignity or respect. Being the difficult pain Marla was being for refusing to Sign The Paper, the cop apparently wanted to kick Marla in the nub for it. Also for the record, they refused to present a warrant on their arrival. When they did, it asked for some records. It did not authorize the fire department being called out to force the safe open. Damage to the establishment is over $100k. In addition it was supposed to take place during the day, and it was an evening raid. Even I wasn’t aware that those things are specified. Also I had to ask about the front door. Did they bust down an unlocked door? She said, well it was a no-knock warrant. The front door was locked but they just buzz everyone in. So they could have just asked and they would have been let in. (They knew this was coming because it had happened to other dispensaries in Santa Ana) Marla actually said she doesn’t care whether the cop gets fired or not. That won’t fix the problems endemic to cops. What she would like is for that cop to be forced to sit in a wheelchair wearing dark glasses for a month. I just hope that her and Dave win a nice settlement. They live on a very limited income (Dave is also partially disabled) and I sincerely hope this will se them up for a good long while. They deserve it.

What she’s most happy about though is that this is snowballing into exposure of the corruption going as far as the mayor and some council members. The city decided to do a lottery to see who would get a permit to operate. This collective and others were offered a guaranteed win in this lottery for a sum of cash.

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