Costa Mesa, CA – The Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) is trying to pull a fast one after a lawsuit was filed against it for the illegal raid of a medical cannabis dispensary. Knowing they have little chance in state court to defend their actions, which were caught on hidden cameras, the CMPD is attempting to move the case to federal court because cannabis is prohibited under federal law.
In January, cops busted into the Costa Mesa Collective in militaristic fashion, pointing guns at customers and telling them to get on the ground. They immediately began removing surveillance equipment, but didn’t know about the four hidden cameras which caught them damaging store property, interrogating customers and seizing cannabis, money, confidential patient records and other property.
These seizures were done with no legal justification, as police Chief Robert Sharpnack said they had obtained an inspection warrant, “which is used to enter a premises to investigate whether it is complying with building, fire, zoning and civil codes.”
Even if such an inspection warrant exists, it does not allow for the seizure of cash, assets and medical records that was recorded by the hidden cameras.
Cops involved in the raid, believing they had removed all video recorders in the store, proceeded to violate the law and the constitutional rights of people inside the store.
Video shows one officer interrogating a female in a separate room, attempting to get her to admit to a crime as she repeatedly says she wants an attorney.