SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A community is up in arms over surveillance video released by the Voice of OC capturing Santa Ana police raiding a pot shop.
The footage was captured in late May and shows officers storming into Sky High Collective on West 17th Street.
Officers are seen trying to disable the security cameras and video monitors.
They apparently missed one.
During the raid, a bald officer eats something from a bag. He gives something to another officer, who asks, “What flavor?” And they both laugh, the OC Weekly reported.
The pixelated video makes it hard to make out what exactly the officer ate, but dispensary employees say it’s edible marijuana.
While some officers make their way through the shop, others pause to play darts.
Maria James says police were surprised to find her at the back of the business. She’s a marijuana activist, a wheelchair-bound leg amputee and legally blind. She also volunteers at Sky High.
James says her lawyer told her in advance to expect the raid after she was tipped off by Santa Ana City Attorney Sonia R. Carvalho, the OC Weekly reported.
The council for the dispensary says it was operating without a license, but say it’s because they believe there were unjust flaws in the dispensary lottery process.
James allegedly told officers during the raid she was there to keep on eye on them but they escorted here out. After which, a female officer can be heard on the video laughing and saying, “I was about to kick her in her —- nub!”
James told CBS2/KCAL9’s Jennifer Kastner, “When I saw the video it almost made me cry.”
“She doesn’t know what it’s like to not have a leg. I still have phantom pains,” she said.”
Police are now investigating the raid. They won’t comment on specifics but acknowledge they’re concerned.
“We have an expectation of our officers that they’ll act professionally wherever they are here while they’re wearing the uniform of the Santa Ana Police Department,” Santa Ana police Cmdr. Chris Revere said.
The department says there are too many edits in the video to know what really happened and are requesting an uncut version.
Meanwhile, James says she’s losing faith in the justice system: “I was born in an era where police are our friends and we respect the law, and this totally made me rethink that.