Calif. Officials Furious Over Police Video Spoof

Nov. 12, 2011
A viral video spoofing what appear to be West Covina police officers has city officials furious.

WEST COVINA, Calif. -- A viral video spoofing what appear to be West Covina police officers has city officials furious.

The video has received more than one million his on YouTube since it was posted in June, and it also appeared on Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" website.

It pokes fun at police harassment, but some city leaders in West Covina are not laughing.

The video shows five men dressed as West Covina police officers, wearing what look like police uniforms and driving two patrol cars with lights and sirens.

They pull over an unsuspecting driver, take out their guns and begin to yell at him.

The 'officers' shout "Where's the little girl?" and "You know what we're talking about!"

The very confused and shaken driver puts his hands in the air and insists, "I don't know!"

Finally, one of the officers steps closer to the driver, points at him, and laughs, "There's the little girl!"

After that, the supposed police officers drive away while shooting their guns in the air. It's not clear if actual ammunition was used. No sworn West Covina officers are shown in the video, but two police department employees are seen in it, and they helped make the video.

City Councilman Mike Touhey and Councilwoman Shelley Sanderson have condemned the video spoof.

They say taxpayer resources were used for the video without permission. They also say it appears the video was filmed without a permit.

Touhey has called the video an "asinine joke" at a time when the city is cutting services.

He wants to file a lawsuit against the video's producer and any city employee that was involved in its creation.

Touhey also wants to bring charges against the actors in the video for impersonating a police officer.

KTLA spoke to West Covina Councilman-Elect Fred Sykes, who was a deputy sheriff for 33 years. He sharply criticized the video, calling it "woefully unacceptable."

"It appears to be our city represented in a bad way, and it's our police force that tax payers pay money for... not to mention the equipment was there. It's just very unfortunate that someone would commandeer our equipment without our approval and put on a joke of that manner," Sykes told KTLA.

"That's not the kind of image you want out there ever, no matter whether you're joking or not," he said. "It's just very unfortunate."

Sykes also said he wanted to "convey to our public that that's not our police force at large."

"We are professionals at heart," he said.

The West Covina Police Department has launched an internal investigation, and the city council plans to discuss the video at its next meeting on Tuesday

The producer of the video could not be reached for comment.

Copyright 2011 - KTLA-TV, Los Angeles

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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