A lame comedy video about a fake traffic stop has some wannabe Southern California cops in trouble this week. The Venice-based producer of the piece told the Weekly that one officer has been fired for his appearance in uniform in the clip, but the West Covina Police Department says that ain't so.
Let us explain: The prankish clip by Zoochosis.com depicts some schmendrick in a Prius getting pulled over by police at gunpoint. They demand to know where the little girl is and the man, reduced to tears, says, sincerely, I don't know.
The officers burst into laughter and point at him:
There's the little girl!
So anyway this video's been making the rounds since summer, when it was first brought to our attention.
Turns out the folks who play cops are wearing West Covina police uniforms and might be using West Covina PD cruisers. Some city officials aren't happy.
Cpl. Rudy Lopez of the department told the Weekly that the matter has been under investigation since September. KTLA News reports that some West Covina City Council members are concerned about the video and want to talk about it at their meeting Tuesday night.
Zoochosis head of production Nikos Bellas told us that a cop has been fired:
It has been brought to our attention that there has been repercussions and one of the officers who was still at the department has been fired for participating in our viral video. We have received pressure from the department to take down the video as well.
But Lopez maintains that all the people the department could identify in the video were not sworn officers and that no one has been fired (yet).
He explained that the department employs uniformed personnel who are not cops but look like them:
We have civil personnel that handle report taking, ticket writing. Cadets, community service officers and even some volunteers have uniforms.
We want to make it clear this is not something condoned by the department. We're embarrassed that this actually took place.
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We have no problem with public servants appearing in the occasional video. The Los Angeles Fire Department even has a cameo in a porn production.
Our problem is that they made a shite video. For that we say fire every single person involved.