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YouTube video uses West Covina city employees for police spoof

November 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The city of West Covina is launching an internal investigation into a YouTube video that's raising lots of eyebrows and generating lots of hits.

The video shows city employees posing as officers while harassing a driver at gunpoint. It was posted on YouTube in June and went viral, getting nearly a million hits.

The video shows several people in West Covina Police Department uniforms and patrol cars pulling over and intimidating a civilian.

Although attempts were made to cover up the city's name, West Covina city officials are outraged.

"We're wasting our time dealing with these goofs that wasted our resources and our equipment doing this," said West Covina Mayor Pro Tem Michael Touhey.

A lengthy and costly internal investigation is under way. The police department says that no West Covina sworn officers were involved in the making of the video but employees of the city took part.

"If they weren't sworn officers, they could have been anything from community service officers, the cadets," said West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez. "These are all the personnel that wear uniforms and are employed by the city, but they are not sworn police officers."

The video appears to be an attempt to poke fun at police harassment. It was created by the Venice-based production company Zoochosis and directed by Patrick Scott.

"This is America, and truth always will prevail. Unless of course, lies make a better sound bite," Zoochosis said in a statement released Friday.

City officials say this is no laughing matter and is using taxpayer money and resources.

"For the cost of the investigation, I want full reimbursement from Patrick Scott and all of his clowns that were in this video," said Touhey.

The investigation is ongoing. The city is still trying to determine how the patrol cars were made available to the production company and if those city employees were being paid on city time. They are also trying to determine if actual gunfire was used in the video.

The employees involved are still employed, pending the investigation.


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