Friday, June 12, 2015 04:11AM
Surveillance video shows a raid conducted by Santa Ana police officers at an unlicensed marijuana dispensary last month.
The edited video shows officers telling everyone to get on the ground. It also shows officers removing surveillance equipment, but the lawyer for the dispensary says hidden cameras caught much more, including officers eating marijuana edibles and joking about kicking an amputee.
"Did you punch that one-legged old Benita?" one officer says.
"I was about to kick her in her ****ing nub," a female officer replies.
Marla James volunteers at the Sky High Collective. She’s legally blind and says several medical issues keep her confined to a wheelchair.
"How can I respect someone like that? It just makes your stomach turn — maybe she doesn’t know what it’s like to have an amputation. I don’t know what was going through her head, but man that was so disrespectful," James said.
She now plans to sue the city for the actions of the female officer in the video.
"Obviously, we’re concerned about what we saw in this edited video. Anytime we get an allegation or indication that our officers might be engaged in misconduct, we want to make sure we conduct a thorough administrative investigation," said Santa Ana police Cmdr. Chris Revere.
James lawyer, Matthew Pappas, says he plans to include other alleged misconduct from the video in his lawsuit. He’s unhappy with the force officers used. He also alleges the video shows officers playing darts and eating what he believes is marijuana edibles from the store.
"He’s eating it right there in the marijuana collective. If you’re a police officer, you probably shouldn’t be eating things from a marijuana collective," Pappas said.
The Santa Ana Police Department says every allegation will be thoroughly investigated.
"We expect our officers to hold themselves to a certain standard and represent the department and the profession well," Revere said. "If that wasn’t done in this case, it’s certainly something that, as part of the administrative investigation, the chief will make the appropriate disciplinary recommendation if it’s warranted.
As for James, she says all of the officers involved in the raid need to be disciplined in one way or another.
"I think there’s some sensitivity training that needs to be done here," she said.