Huntington Beach residents didn't have their police helicopter patrolling the sky over their city late this afternoon because the pilots decided to leave the city and take the expensive bird on a low-flying joyride.
The aerial officers probably felt lottery-jackpot-type joy because somehow their path mirrored the vehicle path of a veteran OC Weekly investigative journalist who is presently investigating multiple Huntington Beach cops for corruption.
Imagine the coincidence!
Despite making a whopping nine, 90-degree turns over several miles on the road, the journalist's vehicle must have possessed intense magnetic power because the HBPD helicopter joyriders couldn't break free for nearly 30 minutes, waited for the journalist during a 5-minute stop and then resumed the tailing in the opposite direction.
The helicopter was not in HB or its contract city, Costa Mesa.
Another miraculous coincidence: the same reporter was the leading journalist who exposed dirty OC Sheriff Mike Carona and his top two assistant sheriffs before their FBI/IRS arrests and federal corruption convictions.
After previous, similar police helicopter/journalist vehicle phenomena, high-ranking HBPD police officials tried to explain away the pilot's conduct by claiming the helicopter had been on secret surveillance missions.
It's an inadvertently hilarious assertion that a loud mechanical bird purposefully flying under 200 feet and mirroring the multiple roadway turns of an investigative reporter can be on a secret police mission.
Perhaps the HBPD boys are still mad about one of the reporter's articles that exposed the department for national ridicule after its officers secretly planted a loaded gun in a suspect's vehicle and then tried to coverup the unethical conduct.
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Orange County's various police helicopter pilots have no meaningful oversight or accountability despite the powerful, publicly-owned equipment they are allowed to operate.
Costa Mesa and Newport Beach killed their police helicopter programs last year because officials deemed it too expensive and unproductive in real crime-fighting efforts.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
(Send correspondence to: rscottmoxley at ocweekly dot com)