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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Charges Dropped Against 3 Men After Seattle Washington Police Officer Garth Haynes Refuses To Testify – Video Shows Officer Assaulting Handcuffed Man

April 12, 2011

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – Charges have been dropped against three men who were arrested in December and charged with assaulting an off-duty Seattle police officer outside a bar in Ballard after the officer declined to testify in the case, according to court documents.

A lawyer for one of the men said he thought the officer refused to testify because he is being investigated for his use of force against the man.

The incident happened December 12 outside the Bal/Mar restaurant and nightclub. Seattle police Officer Garth Haynes, who was off duty and out with a friend at the time, confronted a woman who he believed stole his jacket. Haynes allegedly identified himself as a police officer, but the men who were arrested said he didn’t do that. A fight ensued between Haynes and the three men, and Haynes suffered a concussion.

A police car dashboard camera showed Haynes pushing his foot into the head of one of the men, Jake Clary, who was handcuffed on the ground at the time. The shove appears to make Clary’s head bounce off the sidewalk.

Sgt. Rich O’Neil, who is Haynes’ union leader in the Seattle Police Guild, said the man on the ground in the video was never injured and that what’s seen on tape is only a fraction of what happened. O’Neil said there has been no action taken against Haynes because he was the only victim in the fight.

Clary’s attorney, Tim Leary, had a different view of the incident.

“He didn’t deserve to be kicked in the head,” Leary said. He also said that Clary would be willing to testify if charges are brought against Haynes.

The Seattle Police Department declined to comment.

Prosecutors told The Seattle Times that if Haynes changes his mind about testifying, charges against the men could be refiled.

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Federal Lawsuit Charges Covington County Mississippi Deputy Sheriff Chris Jones With Wrongful Arrest And Excessive Force After Following Man Home And Attacking Him In His Own Back Yard

March 27, 2011

COVINGTON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI – A Covington County man has filed a suit against a Covington County sheriff’s deputy alleging false imprisonment and abuse.

The case was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg. It also lists Covington County as a defendant.

Scott Clifton “Toby” Davis of Seminary claims Deputy Chris Jones illegally arrested and attacked him on Jan. 13, 2010, after following him to his home.

The complaint states Jones followed him for six miles without flashing his lights or attempting to stop Davis.

The lawsuit, which represents only one side of the issue, then alleges Jones accused Davis of falsely claiming the residence was his and of possessing or selling an illicit drug. The suit states the officer eventually confirmed the residence was Davis’ but continued to accuse him of illegal sale or possession of an illicit drug.

After the incident escalated, Davis “fled in fear to the back of the house,” where he was hit with a stun device and subdued by the officer, according to the lawsuit.

He was arrested and taken to Covington County Jail. After his attorney arrived, bail was set and he was allowed to bond out.

Davis claims excessive force was used in the arrest.

He later was prosecuted in Justice Court for resisting arrest, but all charges were dismissed.

He is seeking compensatory damages including the cost of medical care in an amount to be determined by a jury.

Davis is represented by attorney Robin L. Roberts of the firm Roberts & Blackledge in Hattiesburg.

Roberts said he believes the suit is a “meritorious case” and that it “speaks for itself.” He did not provide any other statement other than he believes the case will go to court a year from now.

Covington County Sheriff Ben Ford declined to comment.

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