Cops play Disney music to prevent video of them patrolling from being posted online, California lawmaker says – KESQ


(CNN) — A California lawmaker says Santa Ana police officers have been blasting copyrighted music, so a video of them on patrol would likely be taken down if posted online.

Council member Johnathan Ryan Hernandez told a City Council meeting Tuesday that he wants lawmakers to ban the alleged practice after a viral video from early April showed officers apparently blasting music on a residential street. in Santa Ana while investigating a report of a vehicle stolen late at night.

In the video, Hernandez is seen interacting with an officer from the Santa Ana Police Department, after another person asks the officers to stop playing the music.

Disney songs, such as “You Have a Friend in Me” from Toy Story and “Bruno” from Encanto, can be heard in the video posted on Santa Ana Audits, a YouTube channel dedicated to filming interactions with the Police. from Santa Ana.

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Videos posted on YouTube and other video streaming sites are often scrutinized for possible copyright infringement and are at risk of removal, limiting the breadth of content that, such as interaction with the Santa Police Ana, it can be shared online.

Although YouTube did not receive any requests to remove the viral video, a company spokesperson told CNN that they have a system that helps track copyright claims, but does not automatically remove a video that contains copyrighted content.

The blaring music tactic comes at a time when officers are under scrutiny following an increase in bystanders filming police activity. Incidents like the death of George Floyd have highlighted the importance of recording these interactions and have even prompted some groups to publish apps that help preserve the videos.

Hernandez told CNN it was his first experience with police playing loud music in his community, which he describes as a working-class neighborhood with lots of young children.

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The person recording the video, who is not identified, can be heard repeatedly asking officers to stop playing the music. Seven minutes into the video, which is 13 minutes long, Hernandez enters the scene and asks an agent if something is wrong.

Although only parts of the conversation between the two can be heard, Hernández tells CNN that the agent with whom he became involved told him that he was playing the music in the hope that, if the video was published online, it would be removed for infringing rights. From author.

“My people live here, brother, please treat them with respect,” Hernandez says in the video. “There are children who need to go to school, there are people who are working, and you chose to use our taxpayers’ money to disrespect the man with your music. That’s childish.”

After a brief conversation between the two, the officer tells Hernández that he recognizes him as a member of the council and apologizes.

“This is my district. They’re not going to behave like that in front of my neighbors,” Hernandez says, instructing the officer to also apologize to the person filming the interaction, and the officer complies.

“Now get back in your car and do your job properly,” he says, before the agent apologizes again.

The two continue to talk, and a few minutes later they are seen on the video shaking hands and parting ways.

“It is quite clear that this is a practice that we cannot condone, it is an unethical practice, and as members of the community, especially public servants, it is not something that we can support as a city,” Hernández said during the City Council meeting. the city.

“There is no rationale for behaving in this way towards members of the public, especially if you are an officer with a badge and a gun,” he added.

The council decided to revisit the issue after the city attorney drafts a formal proposal.

In a statement on Instagram, Santa Ana police said the department is “aware of a video that has come to light involving one of our officers.”

“We are committed to serving our community and understand the concerns as it relates to the video,” the statement said.

“The Santa Ana Police Department takes all complaints regarding the service provided by the department and the conduct of its employees seriously. Our department is committed to conducting full, thorough and objective investigations.”

Police Chief David Valentin said he expects “all police department employees to perform their duties with dignity and respect in the community for which we have been hired.”

CNN has contacted the police department and the Santa Ana Police Officers Association for further comment.

Both Hernandez and Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento told CNN they have spoken with the police chief about the matter. The chief quickly launched an investigation to address concerns and next steps with the community, Sarmiento told CNN. He added that he is glad Hernandez was on the scene to discuss the matter, because otherwise the issue might never have been discussed.

“We have to hold ourselves accountable as a city and make sure that it is clear that there is no place for that type of conduct,” Sarmiento told CNN.

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Hernandez, who is a community health worker for a mental health program, says he was worried someone was having a mental health crisis and thought the police might be trying to use music to calm him down.

But when he got out, he found police stationed across the street, blasting music as a man filmed them investigating a stolen vehicle, he said.

“I got closer and I didn’t really understand what was going on, the community members were asking the police to turn off the music,” Hernandez said.

The council member tells CNN that he supports community members filming police.

“No one is talking about the fact that I am a public official,” Hernández said. “There are two public officials in that video, and I have no complaints that he is filming me. If you are doing good and serving the people, there should be no concern of what is being filmed.”

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Cops play Disney music to prevent video of them patrolling from being posted online, California lawmaker says – KESQ