Medical Marijuana

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

Santa Ana officers want to stop their department from using the footage to investigate them.

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O.C. Weekly

Remember the Santa Ana, California, cops who were caught on video munching on what seem to be cannabis-infused chocolate bars after raiding an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary in May? The Orange County Register reports that three officers who were suspended after the incident are trying to stop the Santa Ana Police Department from using the footage in its internal investigation. 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." Under California law, "all parties to a confidential communication" must consent to being recorded, but that rule does not apply when "the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded."

In an interview with the Register, Sky High's lawyer, Matthew Pappas, noted that police routinely use surveillance camera video against suspects. "It's pretty pathetic for police to say if we don't like something that it can't be used as evidence," he said. "They knew they were on video….Just because they missed one camera doesn't make it illegal."

[Thanks to Marc Sandhaus for the tip.]

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70 responses to “Suspended Cops Say Video of Them Eating Marijuana Edibles During a Raid Violated Their Privacy

  1. This shows they have no sense of shame. They know full well that cops being videoed in public has been upheld many times.Maybe they were high went they made these claims.

    1. It is just a variation on the old “have mercy, I am an orphan!” says the one accused of murdering their parents…

  2. …the officers thought they had disabled all of the security cameras at Sky High Holistic and therefore had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    Obviously this is a lawyer trick and a rather desperate one. But even granting that they have an expectation of privacy in an establishment they knew had recoding devices, it’s their own incompetence that contributed to the continued recording.

    Also, they were recorded doing illegal acts. Certainly non-badged criminals can’t get away having video evidence of their misdeeds tossed on the same basis.

    1. That’s like trying to use a defense that you were selling drugs out of your house, in the privacy of your own home, then cops can’t break in and seize you and your stuff. You had an expectation of privacy when you sold the informant the stuff. Taxpayer money actually goes to pay these idiots.

      1. That would actually be much better defense than this shit.

    2. Cops have no expectation of privacy while they are on duty. Period.

  3. “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

    I think they’ve been off for a while now.

    1. You know who else wore a mask?

        1. The correct answer is storm troopers.

        2. Stick to German and English. I find French….triggering.

      1. Mr. Wrestling 2?

        1. +1 High…high…knee lift

      2. Luchadores?

  4. It’s all just self-parody now.

    1. It is pretty funny.

      “Hey, we thought we had vandalized all the video property of a citizen before we stole and enjoyed her other property.”

  5. A lawsuit, filed last week in Orange County Superior Court by three unidentified police officers…

    How are they still unidentified if they’ve recorded a lawsuit?

    1. The wore their Darth Vader masks.

  6. Is this real life?

    1. No this a game called “Drug War”. You get to play as a cop unrestrained by any rules as you try to enforce arbitrary prohibitions on the public, while enjoying prohibited substances in private. When you play, you get to set aside all your morals and empathy for other people. You lose major points in the game for letting your hypocrisy be exposed to the public.

      1. How many points for shooting a dog and does breed matter?

        1. Puppies are double points. Triple if you shoot it while kids are watching.

      2. They already had a game like that. It was called NARC , and came out in 2005.

        1. NARC came out in 1988

      3. They weren’t enforcing the drug laws they were enforcing licensing laws.

    2. It is getting to dada levels of absurd. One expects G.W. Bailey to appear at some point shouting “move it, move it!” while herding them off camera.

  7. They are the real criminals. Their salaries come by way of extortion, and they enforce law antithetical to liberty.

    Protect and serve? They protect and serve the state. For if they protected and served the people, they would earn their salaries through voluntary agreements, and be concerned only to protect their liberty. If they don’t, they get fired and the business folds.

    1. In 2005, the SCOTUS ruled that they are under no obligation neither to protect nor to serve.

  8. This is just the cops’ defense attorney doing his best to defend his clients. Yes, it’s a ridiculous argument, but the lawyer is obliged to use any and all defenses possible on behalf of their clients. I would hope my lawyer makes any and all efforts to keep me out of jail if I were ever in need of legal defense.

    That said, if the judge buys it and throws out legitimately captured video evidence, then I’ll be pissed.

    1. How could anyone make this argument without their own intestines reaching up to strangle them?

      1. It’s a lawyer. Years of practice.

      2. Put yourself in their lawyer’s shoes. If you had a client that was caught on camera stealing and consuming a controlled substance while in uniform and on the job, wouldn’t you be desperate enough to try any argument no matter how unlikely? I mean these guys buggered themselves pretty roughly when they pulled that stunt.

    2. This argument is so patently frivolous that I’d be worried about sanctions if I were their lawyer. Lawyers have an obligation to represent their clients zealously, but that doesn’t include making patently absurd arguments.

      1. Sanctions? Looking out the window, I don’t see any airborne swine.

    3. Then why doesn’t the lawyer say the cops were suddenly possessed by Timothy Leary and took the pot not under their own volition but because they are possessed. Or how about, they were tempted, they couldn’t help themselves, the smell of pot in the air did something to their inhibitions and caused them to want more, it’s not their fault, it’s the pot store owner’s fault for tempting them. Chris Christie followers would buy that last one.

  9. The real question is why haven’t they been arrested yet? Theft? some kind of civil rights charge?

    1. Really, you ask the question? Don’t you realize that EVERYTHING a police officer does is considered justified. Silly, silly person.

  10. And they wonder why they are getting less and less respect. “It’s not my fault I’m in trouble violating the laws I impose on others with unrestricted ability to hurt, maim or kill someone for doing what I’m doing. I should have never been caught, I thought I destroyed all the evidence of my crime. I shouldn’t be held accountable for my criminal activity just because I wasn’t able to cover it up as well as I should have.”

  11. As a categorical rule, police officers should NEVER have any expectation of privacy when performing their official duties as public servants.

    1. As a categorical rule, public officials (including cops) can have no expectation of privacy while performing their duties and courts have REPEATEDLY held that any public official is subject to videotaping or recording by the public while working. Reason has published articles on this!

  12. Why are you posting Onion articles here?

    1. I wish it was an Onion article.

  13. This is choice!

  14. They had no right to destroy property so that defense is ridiculous as the War on Drugs.
    They were caught being thieves and vandals.

  15. Hey, not all cops are bad! I once knew a cop and he was…
    Awwww….just kiddin’
    All cops are bad.

  16. Poor babies!

  17. It takes a lot of balls to argue that, since you failed in your attempt to destroy all the evidence, the court should exclude what you missed.

  18. Cops can gain respect when their services are offered on the market, and they are held directly responsible by those that voluntarily employ them.

    I feel it will come to a point that individuals will start hiring private security to protect themselves from violent gov’t. Private security outnumbers the arm of the state (police), so this is not impossible. These security companies would need to step up and be concerned about protecting their new customers, and the liberty of their customers, and repel the aggressors.

    As soon as individuals peacefully employ their own security, and refuse to pay the arm of the state through taxation, the gov’t will definitely get violent, and inflict that violence all whom do not obey. Folks don’t see how violent the state is until it’s too late. They think all is well and that this is a free country….. That is until they do something wrong, or say something wrong to the kings men, or can’t afford the extortion rate because they lost their job.

  19. Then cops wonder why fewer people care when one of theirs die.

    1. The ONLY “good” cop is a dead cop. The US Constitution doesn’t grant the right to keep and bear arms to the government, just the people. Armed cops are unconstitutional for many reasons, due process, and the right to a fair trial before being executed are just two.

  20. These thugs in Blue operating under the color of the law to harass and intimidate patients have the gall to complain about being caught? These are the lowest form of humans that are willing to threaten, harass, and intimidate others for breaking rules that they themselves do not follow. The city of Santa Ana needs to punish them to the full extent of the law or lose further respect from the community that they “serve.”

  21. Were they charged with theft for taking the candy? Isn’t that a fireable offense??

    1. It was medical marijuana wasn’t it? I.e., a controlled substance requiring a prescription to possess and consume? The theft charges should be the least of their worries – they’re committing pretty much the exact crime they’re busting the dispensary for.

  22. Forget investing in Gold people.

    Start investing in Good ROPE manufacturing.

    One day soon the demand for good rope will skyrocket. Along with Noose tying classes,…just sayin

  23. The irony. Wen do cops reasonable respect anyone’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Or probable cause for that matter. Doesn’t this video show reasonable suspicion? That most general and useful of all tools.

  24. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. If I believed in Karma, this would be the prime example of it.

    Stupidity, ignorance, and inflated sense of self-importance as being more powerful than others; and they are caught in their own “I am god” preset trap. Marvelous.

  25. Fuck You, Asshole!
    When on the job you have no expectation of privacy.

  26. https://goo.gl/7yjCBT

    ^^^This links to the supreme court decision regarding illegally obtained evidence by private individuals.

    Illegally obtained evidence may be used in investigations and as evidence in court as long as it is not obtained by an agent of the state or on their behalf.

    So even if the evidence was illegally obtained, it doesn’t matter.

  27. https://goo.gl/7yjCBT

    ^^^This links to the supreme court decision regarding illegally obtained evidence by private individuals.

    Illegally obtained evidence may be used in investigations and as evidence in court as long as it is not obtained by an agent of the state or on their behalf.

    So even if the evidence was illegally obtained, it doesn’t matter.

  28. Just substitute any other act in that statement: Cops say video of them (beating disabled suspect, raping prostitute, wrecking suspect’s home, stealing merchant’s goods, etc.) violates their privacy. See how “reasonable” that sounds. Hah! No wonder they wanted privacy. It’s only an offence if they get caught? Sorry guys, it’s an offence even if you don’t get caught. Oh, by the way, stealing merchant’s goods is what they were really doing in addition to ingesting regulated drugs.

  29. The title made me laugh out loud! Really?! They have no problem invading the privacy of all the other “criminals”, caught on cameras, on the street corners! Such hypocrites!

  30. They’re unfit to be police officers.
    First they’re closet potheads. Now they’re whiners?
    You have to love their “reasonable expection of privacy” argument. If a bank robber wears a mask during a heist and someone rips it off exposing his face, did he have a “reasonable expection of privacy” because he had put on a mask to commit a crime?

  31. These police need to be responsible for their actions. How childish to just say you can’t use evidence recorded from a camera you forgot to vandalize and take down from a hard working business. Police like this are the reason people hate them!!! Police aren’t above the law, grow the hell up pigs!

  32. Thieving dastards have no right~!

  33. Courts have ruled again and again that public officials are not entitled to privacy during the execution of their duties and they therefore should have no expectation thereof. This applies to all government workers but especially to police and it is a key reason why bystanders are legally permitted to videotape working police officers. The cops in this case literally have no leg to stand on.

  34. Why weren’t these asshole cops drug tested? What don’t they understand about the public’s RIGHT to video tape their criminal activity? When cops are being paid by the public tax money they HAVE NO PRIVACY, IDIOTS.

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  36. So they thought they had an expectation of privacy on someone else’s property that was clearly marked as being under video surveillance. Good one.

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