$1 Million Claim Filed Against Long Beach California Police After Brutally Assaulting Employee During Medical Marijuana Dispensary Raid – Police Smashed Surveillance Cameras And Caused 10’s Of Thousands Of Dollars In Damage

July 6, 2012

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – Lawyers for a medical marijuana dispensary worker wounded in a police raid at a Long Beach shop filed a claim on Thursday seeking $1 million in damages from the city of Long Beach.

The claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, alleges that a police raid of a pot shop June 19 was illegal and that the officers involved used excessive force.

“In terms of the excessive force claim, we will investigate that aspect of it,” said Long Beach City Attorney Robert E. Shannon.

Shannon said that the Long Beach Police Department is also mulling whether to open a criminal investigation into the activities of the medical marijuana dispensary and police are considering an internal investigation into the officers’ conduct during the raid, Shannon said.

The claim, filed Thursday with the Long Beach City Clerk’s office, alleges officers injured a volunteer employee, violated his civil rights, and violated the state’s disabled persons act.

It also alleges officers “engaged in conduct that violated various provisions of the state and federal constitutions,” the claim alleges.

The claim stems from a YouTube video that shows officers smashing surveillance cameras and stepping on a suspect at THC Downtown Collective in the 300 block of Atlantic Boulevard. The video was posted by user “Long Beach Raids” on July 1. Officials said they learned about the video on July 3.

An advocate for medical marijuana dispensary owners and workers criticized the officers’ conduct.

“That behavior is so blatant it cannot be the first time,” said Steven Downing, a retired Los Angeles Police Department deputy chief and current board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.”It was arrogant. It was unnecessary and it was brutal.”

The claim seeks damages in excess $1 million for medical treatment and mental counseling.

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Long Beach Police Raid Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Smashing Surveillance Cameras, Assault Employee, Cause 10’s Of Thousands In Damages As They Trash Business

July 5, 2012

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – A raid on a marijuana dispensary in Long Beach was caught on video showing officers smashing surveillance cameras and stepping on a suspect, moves that prompted accusations against the officers of excessive force.

More than a dozen police raided THC Downtown Collective in the 300 block of Atlantic Boulevard (map) on June 19, officials said. The video was posted to YouTube by user “Long Beach Raids” on July 1. Officials said they learned about the video on July 3.

The two-minute-long video (below) opens to show a man surrendering to police, three of whom surround him while two put him in handcuffs.

One of the officers is seen stepping on volunteer employee Dorian Brooks’ back with both feet before stepping on his neck, with what Brooks described as 300 pounds of pressure.

The video, which was being recorded at an off-site location, then cuts to an officer pointing at the recording camera before another looks up and smashes the lens.

“They noticed there was a camera that was on the wall right above my head, so they proceeded to smash it with a metal rod,” said Brooks, adding that the camera shattered on him. “I wasn’t able to protect myeslf because my hands were cuffed.”

“I felt violated; I felt disrespected,” Brooks said.

The video cuts again and reopens on a man donning a tshirt and backwards baseball cap with what appears to be a badge hanging from his neck. This man, apparently behind the dispensary’s counter, also smashes the recording camera.

Footage from after the raid shows a disheveled room, with portions of the ceiling removed and scattered on the floor, strew with boxes, electrical cables and other objects.

Dispensary employees claim the raid caused tens of thousands of damage, and police took the collective’s ATM and cannabis.

“A thorough review into what occurred during that operation will be conducted once all of the facts have been collected. This is a personnel matter and we are unable to discuss any further details,” Lisa Massacani, with LB police, wrote in a statement.

Police said the dispensary was operating under state compliance, but did not have a city permit.

Five people were arrested in the raid, according to Long Beach police:

Dallas Alexander, 31, of Long Beach, was arrested on suspicion of operating an unpermitted marijuana dispensary, serving as a looking for illegal activity and on an outstanding warrant from another jurisdiction;
Fernando Garcia, 50, and Mario Sanchez, 31, both of Los Angeles, and Landon Alexander, 22 of Long Beach were arrested on suspicion of operating an unpermitted marijuana dispensary and obstruction;
Dorian Brooks, 28, of Long Beach, was arrested on suspicion of operating an unpermitted marijuana dispensary

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