In May of 2015 Santa Ana Police raided a medical marijuana dispensary called Sky High Holistic. The raid made national headlines because the dispensary operators caught wind of the raid ahead of time, and setup hidden cameras to capture footage. What the cameras recorded was horrible. The cops came in, smashing every camera they could find. Why? Because obviously they didn’t want what was about to happen next to be recorded.
After the cops had smashed what they thought were all of the cameras, the cops started eating edibles, and joked about kicking a wheelchair-bound female amputee ‘in her nub.’ The entire thing was caught on camera, the footage of which was released to the media in conjunction with a lawsuit against the City of Santa Ana. After over a year later, the City of Santa Ana has agreed to pay out. Per the OC Register:
The city will pay a Santa Ana marijuana dispensary $100,000 to settle a federal lawsuit in connection with a controversial raid last year where police officers were caught on hidden video eating snacks and making disparaging remarks about a handicapped woman.
As part of the settlement agreement finalized earlier this month, the city of Santa Ana will also dismiss misdemeanor charges against a dozen people accused of unlawfully operating Sky High Holistic at the time of the May 26, 2015 raid.
The settlement proceeds will be divided among Marla and David James, who are volunteers at Sky High, and Dr. Bradley Idelshon, a physician whose nearby office was left without power and water during the raid and is not affiliated with the dispensary, its attorney Matthew Pappas said.
Bad cops need to be held accountable. I’m glad to see that the City of Santa Ana had to pay out in this case, but I’m not sure that it’s enough to cover all of the damage (to property and to the mental state of the victims of the raid). Hopefully this sends a message to all other bad apples in police forces in California. Also, hopefully it inspires more dispensary owners to be a bit sneaky like the proprietors of Sky High Holistic. How different would this have turned out had none of it been caught on camera?