The Long Beach Police Department is investigating claims that its officers used excessive force during a raid of a medical marijuana dispensary.

A surveillance video posted on YouTube from the Downtown Collective in Long Beach shows Collective volunteer Dorian Brooks on the ground. He says he was escorted into a room with a gun to his head.

"I just felt like 300 pounds on my neck, kind of blacked out a little bit," said Brooks.

The video also shows a Long Beach police officer stepping on Brooks. Later, officers are seen breaking the surveillance cameras. Five people working there that day were arrested for illegally operating a dispensary -- a misdemeanor.

"I felt disrespected. I felt like my human rights and my civil rights were just void at that time, that I just didn't count as a human being," said Brooks. "I really just felt like they were there to beat us up and take what they wanted from us."

Long Beach police declined an on-camera interview for this story, but did say they had a warrant for the June 19 raid, and called it an "unpermitted dispensary."

They released a statement, saying:

"A thorough review into what occurred during that operation will be conducted once all of the facts have been collected. The Long Beach Police Department takes any act or potential act of misconduct seriously."

Attorney Matt Pappas plans to help Brooks file an excessive force lawsuit against the Long Beach Police Department.

He says the 14 officers also vandalized the Collective to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

"Those kinds of charges and $100 bail do not warrant officers coming in with a battering ram and weapons drawn, and then pushing Mr. Brooks to the ground, using the force that they did on his neck, and then smashing the cameras in the Collective to avoid having any video footage of it," said Pappas.

While Papas says the dispensary has complied with state law, all collectives are banned under Long Beach municipal law.



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Source: abclocal.go.com
Author: Rudabeh Shahbazi
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