LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Nearly a dozen pot dispensaries are suing the city of Long Beach, claiming police are raiding their businesses and illegally seizing money and property to try and force them out of business.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court Wednesday by 11 pot shops and seeks an injunction and damages for alleged civil rights violations.
The lead plaintiff, Green Earth Center, claims police have waged more than 100 of these "warrantless" raids, where marijuana, cash, cars and other property were confiscated.
Five police officers are named in connection with the searches.
THC Downtown Collective posted a video on YouTube of a police raid in June 2012. The camera captures a uniformed officer handcuffing a man on the ground and spotting the security camera, which then becomes obscured or covered by someone off-camera. Another camera shows a man with an apparent badge hanging around his neck taking a metal pole and smashing the camera.
The pot dispensaries claim these actions are the city's attempt to run the collectives out of town.
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