A couple months ago I wrote about police officers who were caught on camera consuming cannabis edibles and playing darts during a raid on a medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana, California. You’d think their unprofessional behavior would have shamed them into getting their acts together and conducting themselves more appropriately, right? Well, you’d be wrong.
Three officers from the raid are now suing their own department over the video footage that outed their hungry-hungry-popo behavior under the argument that the video violated their privacy. According to RT.com, the goal of the lawsuit is to prevent internal affairs investigators from using the surveillance video while they determine what exactly happened during the dispensary raid.
Speaking of the dispensary, its lawyer, Matthew Pappas, points out the obvious irony behind the lawsuit considering police often rely on surveillance footage to nab suspects:
“It’s pretty pathetic for police to say if we don’t like something that it can’t be used as evidence … They knew they were on video….Just because they missed one camera doesn’t make it illegal.”
The police officers allege that the footage can’t be used as evidence because they didn’t know they were being filmed and the dispensary didn’t get their permission to record them while they were raiding the business, which is kind of like punching a stranger in the face and then getting outraged at the stranger for leaving his blood on your fist without asking if that was okay.
California law does mandate that all parties to a “confidential communication” must consent to being recorded, but the rule doesn’t apply when “the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.” During the raid, the officers dismantled the dispensary’s video cameras but either missed several or didn’t actually shut down the cameras’ filming capabilities, so their complaint argues that since they made an effort to disable the video surveillance, they didn’t “reasonably expect” their actions and communication to be recorded.
Once your head stops hurting from the mental gymnastics required to understand the officers’ justification for this lawsuit, ask yourselves this: Do you think these officers’ lawsuit is technically justified, or are they trying to distract the public from the obvious hypocrisy behind raiding an illegal cannabis dispensary while simultaneously partaking in the business’s illegal product?