A $1 million claim was filed yesterday against the city of Long Beach alleging police brutality during a recent raid of the THC Downtown Collective, a marijuana dispensary that follows state law but operates without a city permit. In a video posted on Youtube, one officer can be seen stepping on the back and neck of a dispensary worker who has already surrendered, while another officer attempts to destroy a security camera in an apparent effort to destroy evidence.
The raid in question is just one of almost countless such operations carried out since Long Beach carried out a controversial Nov. 2010 lottery that allowed clubs with enough wads of cash to bid for a city permit to pay to play, although many clubs that won were later amended out of contention by increasingly restrictive geographical conditions to operate.
Dorian Brooks, the employee named in the complaint, which was filed yesterday by attorney Matthew Pappas, was lying on the floor of the dispensary shortly after police arrived at 1:30 p.m. on June 19, when he says an officer stepped on his back and neck, placing his entire weight on him.
The complaint states that this conduct violated Brooks' civil rights and caused him personal injury. The Long Beach police are reportedly investigating the incident, and unfortunately for the officers involved who tried to destroy the camera, the entire thing was being filmed from a remote location, so good luck with that, fellas!
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is managing editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).