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Violation of rights?

This is the most bizarre thing I’ve read all week.

Suspended Cops Say Video of Them Eating Marijuana Edibles During a Raid Violated Their Privacy

You may remember this – the video was widely circulated of cops who had raided a medical marijuana place, gotten all the cameras (they thought) and then spent quite some time there eating marijuana edibles and goofing around.

Among other things, their lawsuit argues that the officers thought they had disabled all of the security cameras at Sky High Holistic and therefore had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The cops complain that the dispensary never got their permission to record them as they searched the premises.

“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,” says the complaint, which was filed in Orange County Superior Court. “Without the illegal recordings, there would have been no internal investigation of any officer.”

Wow.

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29 comments to Violation of rights?

  • kaptinemo

    To paraphrase Alice, “Crazier and crazier.”

    As if the video evidence of their behavior didn’t already damn them in the public’s eyes?

    I said they’d go looney-toons, didn’t I? This is a classic “Hail Mary” ploy of the doomed. Pure, unalloyed desperation oozes from every pore…accompanied by the sharp metal stink of fear.

    They know we see it. They will try it anyway.

    They know they don’t have a leg to stand on. They really, truly do think they can pull something like this legal casuistry out of someplace wet, dark and smelly, hold it up proudly and think nobody would notice the stain and the stench? “No thanks Jack, and please put it back!”

    Some of our not-so civil servants have once more demonstrated their contempt for their paymasters, for them to think something this lame would fly. An insult to intelligence if ever there was one.

    Why pay for them to hold a gun to our heads when we are the ones who pay the taxes that bought that gun and rents the arm whose hand is pointing it at us? An arm whose owner has proven it riddled with corruption and hubris?

    Congress must understand the tide has turned, and the prohib’s tide is ebbing. And nothing says that better than suggesting LE budget cuts.

    • Duncan20903

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      I dunno kaptin, California is the State where everyone appears to agree the the Medical Marijuana Program Act (AKA SB-420) forbids selling medicinal cannabis for a profit despite the lawmakers who wrote that law specific repudiation of that Humpty Dumpty school of sophistry interpretation of the law. To this very day the words of that law don’t matter as far as the California Courts and Executive branch are concerned.

  • Frank W.

    Arrogant, rapacious, murderous, lying on a Sunday…and they’re really setting themselves up for an old fashioned guerilla war. That must why they bought the tanks and planes.

  • kaptinemo

    WARNING: Chemical spill ahead. Substance identified as industrial strength Stupidity. Category 4 threat response required. Suit up, folks, it gets pretty thick…

    “Among other things, their lawsuit argues that the officers thought they had disabled all of the security cameras at Sky High Holistic and therefore had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The cops complain that the dispensary never got their permission to record them as they searched the premises.”

    After they ILLEGALLY deactivated the security cameras, actively engaging in destroying evidence – as well as property. Which they were recorded doing after they thought their criminal acts were not being recorded.

    Guys, dig those holes any deeper and China will ask for your passports and visas. How f-kin’ dumb can they get? I am afraid to ask…

  • primus

    The inevitable outcome of hiring cops on the basis of their lack of intelligence; As the dumbasses accumulate, some of them are promoted. These dumbasses are the ones who train the new dumbasses, these dumbasses are the ones who write the policy manuals that all the dumbasses must follow, these are the dumbasses who manage, hire and retain the new dumbasses, and defend them when they engage in dumbassery. Any wonder they think(?) they can get away with it? They must think that we are all dumbasses just like they are. As the intelligence of the cops decreases, so too does the level of crime that they are capable of solving. Drug crimes are easy; just jack up a bunch of kids, then lie on the affidavit and the stand. Other crimes are much more difficult. They would actually be required to do some real police work. They are not up to that challenge, so that is why they oppose relegalisation; they would be unable to solve real crimes, and would then be shown as the inadequate dumbasses they are.

  • Servetus

    Does this mean if I take a video of a cop eating a cannabis/chocolate covered almond, and the officer then goes nutzo and shoots somebody, I can be sued? Bummer.

    Theft of edibles, indeed. Santa Ana has a reputation as a typical Orange County, white racist stronghold. It seems where ever one encounters a race problem, one inevitably encounters corruption, general police corruption being the greater part of it.

    I knew an attorney who once practiced law in Santa Ana. He sued the local police on behalf of some black clients who were roughed up by the cops—bruises, cuts, and so forth. Later, whenever the lawyer parked his car (a black 1959 Rolls Royce with right-hand drivers’ side) outside the courthouse, he was getting ticketed, even though there was always time left on the parking meter. Ultimately, the lawyer, being on good terms with several judges, gave a judge a ride to work one day in the Roller, so the judge could see for himself what was going on with the ticketing spree.

    Given the political atmosphere, which apparently hasn’t changed much, if an Orange County magistrate doesn’t toss out the marijuana munchie cops’ lawsuit as frivolous and meritless, something entirely possible in a corrupt environ like Santa Ana, then he or she should be disbarred.

  • Francis

    “Hey, no fair! That guy shouldn’t be allowed to testify! I thought I’d killed all the witnesses.”

  • Servetus

    What flavor?” says one of the officers before unwrapping some silver foil and popping something in his mouth.

    Here’s more on the dispensary raid from theDailyBeast, which had audio recording information as well:

    They were there on charges that the dispensary was operating without a proper business license, a misdemeanor, but according to witnesses, they were acting like they were gearing up to take down Tony Montana.[…]

    “The police behaved very animal-like when they entered the dispensary,” said Marla James, the patient manager that day and a woman who gets around in a wheelchair. “I kept asking them for the search warrant and they would not show it. They said, ‘When we are good and ready we will show you the search warrant.’”

    “They were being bullies and I stand up to bullies. I know what my rights are and I know what the rights are for the patients too.”[…]

    It saw one male and one female officer talking threateningly about James, who is missing her left leg. “Did you punch that one-legged old Benita?” asks the guy.

    “I was about to kick her in her fucking nub,” the lady cop appears to reply.

    So what did James do to rile the cops up so much? She told the truth and she exercised her legal rights.

    The dispensary installed the well-hidden granny-cam at the recommendation of their lawyer. Perhaps it’s time for all citizens to install concealed cameras in their homes as a safety measure against the police.

  • Will

    .
    .

    3 officers: “We’d like to sue the people who filmed us because we didn’t remove all the cameras before eating a bunch of marijuana edibles.”

    Lawyer: “Are you suggesting you were caught on tape because you forgot one of the cameras?”

    3 officers: “Yes.”

    Lawyer: “You might be better off suing yourselves for incompetence”.

    3 officers: “Whatever it takes to restore our stellar reputations”.

    Lawyer: “Sure…”

  • N.T. Greene

    “Without the recordings”, huh?

    Good thing we have recordings, then, because you have to at least cop to hypocrisy when officers consume the contraband they came to confiscate.

  • jean valjean

    I’m waiting for a group of ordinary, non-uniformed burglars to try this as a defense.

  • I lived in Santa Ana for ten years. I know Marla James from NORML. The raids have been constant, in every city in OC that ever allowed dispensaries. Now it’s only Santa Ana.
    This whole affair is an embarrassment but I am relieved to see it drawing the public’s attention.
    These pirates showed the world that this is standar procedure for dispensary raids, not an outlier, and not a couple of bad apples. This is standard operating procedure.

    Don’t call them police. Police have sworn an oath to uphold the law. When they break the law, they are no longer acting in their authority as police, but rather under their own authority as criminals.

  • Dave in IL

    “The cops complain that the dispensary never got their permission to record them as they searched the premises.”

    These guys even sound like jailhouse lawyers. No wonder they are acting like criminals! Jesus, if you’re on private property the owners/agents do not need your permission to film you, even covertly. Assuming these geniuses were not in a restroom (or other area where there IS a reasonable expectation of privacy)they are fair game, just like any other customer. Did a lawyer actually take this case?

    • darkcycle

      Dave, it’s the best they could come up with. I mean, we’re talking about cops…not the sharpest tools in the shed.
      I’m reminded of Bart Simpson: “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!”

    • Duncan20903

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      .

      Dave, are you sure that you’re familiar with California’s wiretapping law? This part of the criminal code has a wide number of varieties. The most basic categories are one party consent and two party consent. One party means that I don’t have to tell people that I’m recording the conversation. Two party consent States require they be informed and give consent.

      But wait, it gets better. In Maryland (two party consent) you’re off the hook if you didn’t know that it was illegal. For this particular Maryland law ignorance of the law is a defense. I learned that part from Monica Lewinski.

      If the call crosses State lines Federal law (one party consent) becomes the controlling legal authority. I never heard the end of it but I read about a guy in a two party consent State who got busted and his lawyer/private investigator established that even though both parties were in the same State the telephone company had routed the call through another State. They argued that the recording should be subject to Federal law.

      As a general rule of thumb wiretapping laws only criminalize the recording of sound. The video portion should still be copacetic as evidence unless the California Legislature passed a law addressing that issue in the last 5 years or so.

  • Duncan20903

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    I think that it’s an open and shut case of tampering with evidence. I’ll toss in the destruction of the first set of surveillance cams under the theory that they knew that they were going to consume cannabis illegally subsequent to their destruction.

    I think that we can also toss out their immunity under section 885(D) of the Federal Controlled Substances Act because by no stretch of the imagination can what they did be described as being “lawfully engaged in the enforcement of any law or municipal ordinance relating to controlled substances.”
    http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/885.htm

    Sheesh, with as much as they pay cops in California I’d think that they could at least cull the morons.

    • primus

      They COULD cull the morons, if they were not themselves morons, and if they wanted to cull them. Of course they don’t want to cull morons, as they themselves would be culled.

    • thelbert

      if i made as much money as those coppers i would buy my own dope. as it is i have to grow my own.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Since we’re in a metaphorical mood tooday…

    The cops’ offensive defense reminds me about that guy who murdered his parents and at his trial threw himself on the mercy of the Court because he was an orphan.

  • cy klebs

    Maybe they should call the sheriff’s rat line.

  • What we should all take from this is that what took place at Sky High is STANDARD PROCEDURE.

    These agents bust into ‘illegal’ dispensaries, bully the staff, disable any evidence of their presence, and then it’s party time! They fill their fat mouths with whatever they can, and then it’s off to ruin someone else life with the full knowledge that they do not believe that the person was doing anything wrong.

    If no one is above the law, then they can’t possibly justify putting cuffs on anyone after having ingested these edibles…and I want to make it clear that this isn’t the first time this has happened.

    These so-called LEOs ingested edibles for which others would be placed under arrest – and then went on with their jobs, doing just that.

    Interesting comments regarding the recording laws. Ted Rall should make a note of them when filing his lawsuit against the L.A. Times and the LAPD. Check out http://rall.com for details into the eight days since his firing and the suspect, secretly-recorded audio tape.

  • thelbert

    here’s an update on the brownie eaters: http://tinyurl.com/qff5r5k