Remember the cops who were caught on camera eating edibles after botching a raid on Southern California dispensary Sky High? Ever the brightest, these bros in blue are trying to stop their very own Santa Ana Police Department from using the footage in its internal investigation, claiming that since they thought they had disabled all the security cameras, they had the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Somebody get these guys a reality TV show, stat!
Three officers suspended for the incident have brought a lawsuit to their police department in effort to stop the tape — which has been viral on YouTube, social media, and major media outlets for over a month — from being used as evidence against them. Well, it is pretty damning evidence, as it captured the officers doing exactly what they’re being accused of — and kind of being hypocritical dicks about it, too. But innocent until proven guilty, right?
“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,” reads the complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court. “Without the illegal recordings, there would have been no internal investigation of any officer.”
While the law in California states that “all parties to a confidential communication” must give consent to be recorded, that point is moot if the parties “may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.” Regardless, it’s Getting-Away-With-Shit 101 to make sure you’ve turned off the camera, hung up the phone, closed the door, etc., before breaking the rules, let alone the law you’re being paid to uphold. And let’s not forget that video surveillance evidence is one of law enforcement's primary tools used to identify and indict suspects.
Sky High Dispensary’s lawyer Matthew Pappas told The Orange County Register, “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.”