LBPD Sued For Use of Excessive Force in Medical Marijuana Dispensary Raid
The Long Beach Police Department is investigating claims that officers used excessive force during a June raid of a medical marijuana dispensary.
Surveillance video shot at the THC Downtown Collective in Long Beach, Calif. shows one of the more than a dozen officers that participated in the raid stepping on a volunteer’s back with both feet and stepping on his neck while arresting him. The man, Dorian Brooks, had surrendered to police on camera.
In the video, another officer is later seen destroying a surveillance camera at the dispensary with a metal pole. However, NBC Los Angeles reports that the video was being recorded off site.
The video was posted to YouTube on July 1 by user “Long Beach Raids,” and came to the attention of officials on July 3, police told NBC Los Angeles.
Employees of the dispensary are claiming $10,000 in damage and destruction of evidence in addition to allegations of police brutality.
“A thorough review into what occurred during that operation will be conducted once all of the facts have been collected,” a police spokesperson said in a prepared statement, calling the incident “a personnel matter.”
Police said that the dispensary had been operating under state compliance, but did not have a permit from the city of Long Beach.
In October of last year, a California appeals court ruling outlawed the city’s permit system for pot distributers, though a reprieve was granted to 18 collectives in February, according to the Contra Costa Times.
On Tuesday, the Long Beach City Council narrowly voted down an extension for those permits, which could spell doom for the city’s short-lived legal marijuana industry when the reprieve expires on August 12.
An attorney for Brooks told NBC Los Angeles that the dispensary was denied a permit by the city.
The raid on the THC Downtown Collective was part of a wider crackdown by law enforcement across California. In June, federal authorities arrested six peopleassociated with a chain of Southern California dispensaries owned by G3 Holistic, Inc. In April, police in Oakland arrested 11 people and seized more than $1 million in cannabis.