Can the Small Dark Lord’s Teflon be wearing off? Miguel Pulido tied to Nub-Kicker Pot Shop Raid!


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pulido and raid

Exclusive video of the press conference will be up as soon as it’s done uploading onto YouTube is up now, at the bottom of this post.

The press conference, that is, held by attorney Matthew Pappas and former LAPD Deputy Chief Steve Downing this afternoon in the friendlier confines of the Long Beach Westin, since Santa Ana police threatened to disrupt the more logical Santa Ana venue.

The press conference, that is, detailing the issues underlying the federal lawsuit related to the now nationally infamous “NubKicker” raid of Santa Ana’s collective “Sky High Holistics.”

The buffoonish and sometimes illegal misbehavior of Santa Ana cops in last month’s raid, believing themselves to have destroyed all the shop’s video equipment but still being secretly filmed by a second hidden video system, captured the nation’s attention!  High points of that are right here, to jog your memory or catch you up:

And that’s good because there are bigger issues underlying this than the fratboy-like antics of a few supposedly “rogue” cops, which we’ll get to.  But first, what do we know about this raid now that we didn’t before?

Destruction of Property.

nubkicker cop destroying propertyI’ve had people, naively defensive of the police for this day and age, ask, “Well, they spoke rudely when they didn’t know they were being taped, but what’s illegal here?”  Good question.  Answer – a few things.  First of all, destruction of private property, which is estimated at over $100,000. 

That started with a door broken in unnecessarily (and unauthorized) with a battering ram, includes the destruction of expensive video equipment, counters and cases, a safe, the FLOOR (damaged while trying to crack the safe), and includes the seized cash and medical cannabis.

As former LAPD Deputy Chief Downing makes clear in the video you’ll see soon, after a raid like this, you proceed in orderly fashion to gather evidence.   You don’t destroy expensive video equipment, break glass cases, demolish a safe and the floor beneath it for which you have no warr — we’ll get to that next.  All the things cops do all the time at raided pot shops when they’re not being filmed, and a portion of which we got to see above.

#Warrant Fail X 4

I’ve had people, naively defensive of the police for this day and age, shrug “Well, it was a no-knock warrant.”  Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t.  They had no need OR right to break the door down with a battering ram as they did, dressed up like ISIS fighters in ski masks with automatic weapons – it’s just their idea of fun.

Party Judge!

Party Judge!

Another fascinating anecdote was who they GOT the warrant from – as The Weekly reported, one officer boasted to another of the grand old times he’d had with North Court Judge Jonathan Fish, who apparently also drinks like a fish.  You’ve already probably heard about this cop reminiscing about drinking beer with this judge while driving together to the Staples Center. (“That fucking blew me away.“)  But Downing wondered today:  Why did they need to go up to this friendly judge in Fullerton to get a warrant, when Santa Ana cops have a courthouse full of ’em next door?

But that’s JUST THE BEGINNING of what they didn’t have proper warrants for.  They had no warrant to break into the collective’s safe to seize their money, but they did so anyway, with stoogelike incompetence and destructiveness.  And they also had no warrant to demand the patients’ records as they did, but here’s where we get the next segue:

Travails of “Officer NubKicker” and Marla James

nubkickerAfter hearing this macho female officer’s fantasy a few times, we may think “What did Marla James do or say to make this woman feel like “kicking her in the nub?”  I mean, I know Marla can get pretty passionate, what sort of “words were had” that were left out of these edited videos?  That picture was filled in a little better at today’s presser.

"OC's Matriarch of Medical Marijuana" as pictured in Weekly

“OC’s Matriarch of Medical Marijuana” as pictured in Weekly

Marla was there at the collective as a volunteer, and she knows the law around medical pot better than anyone.  When the police demanded she open the safe and give them the money, she refused because they had no warrant for that.  When they demanded patients’ records, a blatant violation of the HIPPA Act for which they also had no warrant, she again said talk to the hand.

So, frustrated with her and her husband David’s lack of “co-operation,” the police proceeded to ticket them for running an unauthorized dispensary.  After forcing her to hold her hands in the air for what she estimates as twenty minutes, the female officer (now known popularly as Nubkicker) shoved a ticket in Marla’s lap and demanded she sign it.  Now, Marla is also legally blind, couldn’t read a word of the tiny print on the ticket, and was highly reluctant to sign it without her husband, who was being held 200 feet away, reading it to her.  But after Officer Nubkicker emphatically gave her the choice of signing NOW or spending the night in jail without her various medications, she relented and signed.  THAT is your backstory.

Lotteries and Pulido.

Back last year, when the Santa Ana Council, terrified of the popularity of local activists’ dispensary-regulating Measure CC, decided to put up their own competing Measure BB against it, and when part of BB turned out to be a lottery which determined the eligibility of dispensaries and collectives to operate in the city, Pappas and others immediately wrote to advise Santa Ana’s attorney that such lotteries had been ruled illegal in a case Matt had litigated in Long Beach.  (Ryan Pack vs. Long Beach.)

pulidoAnd we can see, with the results of the lottery Santa Ana went ahead and had anyhow, why that was a good ruling:  Deep-pocketed investors could, and did, submit up to 140 applications, and easily win up to 4 of the 40 available spots.  But on top of that, according to sworn testimony which Mr. Pappas promises to produce, an unnamed city official was soliciting $25,000 bribes to get a guaranteed lottery win.

Where Miguel Pulido, Santa Ana’s “Mayor For Life,” comes into all this:  As Pappas has long charged in private (but now officially) and as Adam already reported this morning, Pappas also has witnesses who will testify that:

  • The Small Dark Lord has financial and “familial” ties to at least one Santa Ana collective (unnamed thus far)
  • He’s been seen inside that particular place, and he has “intervened to warn that collective when [city] action was pending, was observed at the collective and intervened with police officials on behalf of the collective.”
  • Some time last summer, he and other unnamed city officials enjoyed “limousine services, expensive dinners and shows, currency and gifts from individuals and entities seeking to establish control over the Santa Ana marijuana market.”
  • And Mayor Pulido allegedly has, gangster-like, directed police to shut down his favored collective’s competitors, as in this famous raid, which is something like the tenth such raid but the only one successfully caught on tape.

Well, we hope Pappas’ witnesses come through and are credible and believed;  I have another source or two to check with;  keep checking this place, the Voice’s Adam, and the Weekly’s Nick for the latest on this explosive case!  And hey – how do you like that?  My video just finished uploading.  Mira no más….


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.