Los Angeles, CA-- The Los Angeles Police Department is looking into possible charges over an embarrassing prank titled "Coke Prank on Cops" which was posted to YouTube on Monday and quickly went viral.
In the video, four young men are seen asking people if they want some coke at Venice Beach. They are sitting inside their SUV (which was fitted with cameras) when they were approached by two LAPD Pacific Division officers.
The YouTube sensations managed to keep up the act while being questioned, and even handcuffed after one of the men yelled out, "I can't do this, I can't do this, we have a bunch of coke in the back...it's not ours we were just bringing it to a friend."
The officer's seemed to be good sports about the harmless prank and uncuffed them and let them be on their way after realizing it was a joke. The female officer even appeared to laugh as she discovered the soda cans in the trunk. The video quickly went viral and currently has over 700,000 views.
The fact that the men weren't beaten or arrested on some bogus charge was a refreshing break from the horror stories we see daily.
"The cops were so cool about it, we didn't think they were going to be like that," one of the men, Kyle Forgeard, told CBS News. "We thought they were going to get mad."
Unfortunately for these comedians, the LAPD does not take kindly to being embarrassed and are comparing the incident to swatting, which is when someone reports a false ongoing emergency to cause various emergency agencies to show up at a business or residence. This is often done as a hoax or as revenge. It is also extremely dangerous, as there are countless victims (including children and dogs) of no knock raids.
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Nobody was harmed or in danger of being harmed and the entire ordeal was over in just a few minutes. Of course, these facts are not stopping the LAPD from making a mountain out of a mole hill.
"It is dangerous for the participants involved and a huge waste of a police officer's time," Commander Andrew Smith of the LAPD told NBC News. "The public has a right to have their police officers working and not wasting their time responding to juvenile pranks."
In the less than five minutes it took to sort out that this was a joke, the officers in Venice Beach could have been doing far more useful things, such as:
- Assaulting street performers in front of horrified bystanders.
- Setting up a sting operation to arrest someone for selling a $5 leather bracelet.
- Arbitrarily harassing people riding bikes.
- Sending riot police to intimidate a drum circle.
LAPD Sgt. Michael Fox was more blunt about that danger Commander Smith spoke of, telling CBS;
"(This) could lead to a use of force, somebody could get injured, and that's a little bit more concerning than anything."
Is this the LAPD admitting that they are trigger happy menaces who are a danger to the public, even if the people they are dealing with are being completely non-violent and compliant?
After all, it wasn't these pranksters who invited the cops over, the cops came over on their own accord. The elephant in the room here is the multi-billion dollar police state apparatus and attack on personal freedom, known as "the war on drugs."