Surveillance Is For Me, Not For Thee

Law enforcers always want more power to surveil. If they had it their way they would have cameras on every street corner and in very house and every form of communications could be easily tapped whenever they saw fit. They tend to be a bit hypocritical here because they don’t want to be spied up themselves. Santa Ana police officers are coming under fire for a raid they performed on an illegal cannabis dispensary. During the raid surveillance footage shows officers making derogatory comments towards a disabled woman and scarfing down an edible. The dispensary is unhappy with the officers’ conduct and the officers are unhappy that they were recorded:

SANTA ANA – Three Santa Ana police officers want to quash a surveillance video that shows officers making derogatory comments about a disabled woman and possibly snacking on pot edibles during a recent raid of a medical marijuana dispensary.

A lawsuit, filed last week in Orange County Superior Court by three unidentified police officers and the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, seeks to prevent Santa Ana Police Department internal affairs investigators from using the video as they sort out what happened during the May 26 raid of Sky High Collective.


The lawsuit argues that the video doesn’t paint a fair version of events. The suit also claims the video shouldn’t be used as evidence because, among other things, the police didn’t know they were on camera.

“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,” says the suit.

The dispensary also did not obtain consent of any officer to record them, the suit says.

“Without the illegal recordings, there would have been no internal investigation of any officer,” the suit says.

Pappas counters that the suit is baseless because the officers were aware the dispensary had video cameras and managed to disable most of them.

As far as arguments go that one is downright laughable. Places that use security cameras usually have a sign indicating the premise is under surveillance so it’s difficult to claim that you don’t know you’re being recorded. Furthermore the officers disabled most of the cameras so they knew the premise was under surveillance. With that knowledge the officers should have expected that they would miss a camera or two.

But the officers’ lawyer seems to be arguing that the officers had a reasonable expectation of privacy because they disabled most of the cameras. Somehow that makes the footage illegal, or something.

You have to hand it to law enforcers, they can twist logic to its absolute limits to justify their surveillance while arguing against being surveilled.

One thought on “Surveillance Is For Me, Not For Thee”

  1. For pure, unmitigated insanity – this interpretation of the law takes the cake. If any ordinary human being made this plea before a judge or committee – he or she would be laughed out of the room.

    “But you see, your Honor, since I cut the alarm cables and turned off the video cameras, I thought my breaking into that home was thus protected by law, and nothing in the camera footage I missed disabling should be used as evidence against me.”

    Yeah, right… One way ticket into the slammer.

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