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Santa Ana officers who blasted Disney songs are under investigation

The Santa Ana Police Department is investigating an attempt by officers to stop a citizen from filming them by playing copyrighted Disney music over a patrol car’s speaker and waking them up. neighbors in the middle of the night.

The music started blaring at 11 p.m. on a Monday with Randy Newman’s hit “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from the “Toy Story” movies and immediately drew the ire of residents. The onslaught continued with the song “Reflection” from the 1998 Disney movie “Mulan” followed by the hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from the 2021 movie “Encanto.”

The April 4 incident happened while officers were investigating a possible stolen vehicle in the 1600 block of West Civic Center Drive, according to video posted by the Santa Ana Audits YouTube channel, which documents police interactions with the public. The officers were apparently annoyed at being filmed and used the copyrighted music to keep the videos – or at least the audio – off of online platforms.

The song “Un Poco Loco” from the 2017 film “Coco” played as residents, including Santa Ana City Councilman Johnathan Ryan Hernandez, gathered on the sidewalk and pleaded with police to turn down the music, video shows .

“Guys, what’s up with the music?” Hernandez asked as he confronted one of the officers.

The unidentified officer admitted that he was playing music from his phone through his cruiser’s PA system, citing copyright infringement.

“Are you using our resources? Hernandez asked the officer.

Hernandez asked the officer if he knew who he was.

The officer sheepishly said, “You are a member of the city council.”

“Absolutely,” Hernandez said. “And this is my neighborhood. You’re not going to behave like that in front of my neighbors.

The officer repeatedly apologized to Hernandez and the citizen who filmed the exchange.

“My people live here, my brother. Please treat them with respect,” Hernandez said. “There are children who have to go to school. There are people working. You chose to use our taxpayers’ money to disrespect a man with your music. It’s childish, sir.

In a statement Thursday, Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin said the incident was under investigation.

“The Santa Ana Police Department takes all complaints about the service provided by the department and the conduct of its employees seriously,” Valentin said. “I expect all police department employees to perform their duties with dignity and respect in the community for which we are hired.”

sergeant. Maria Lopez, the police department’s public information officer, confirmed the incident was being investigated, but could not say how many officers were included in the investigation or if they were still in service.

“We don’t teach our officers to do something like that,” Lopez said. “It’s certainly unique for us. I can say that we don’t expect this to happen again.

Hernandez requested that the city council discuss a resolution, policy or ordinance prohibiting police officers from using loud music as a tactic in the field. The issue was placed on Tuesday’s city council agenda.

Hernandez did not respond to interview requests.

Los Angeles Times

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