in California are under investigation after a video was released that documents an officer’s use of in an extremely unconventional approach to a citizen during an exchange between the two.
Everything was peaceful and quiet in a , California neighborhood on the evening of April 4. But things drastically changed around 11:00 p.m. when restful residents in the on the 1600 block of West Civic Center Drive awoke to the sounds of a helicopter, cruisers, and the blaring sounds of Randy Newman’s voice singing the theme song from Disney/PIXAR’s Toy Story, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
Such a presence in the was unsettling enough, but residents were shocked when they discovered that the wasn’t the work of an obnoxious neighbor, but rather the odd approach of in a .
And Woody and Buzz weren’t the only ones with show tunes playing from the Disney/PIXAR’s Coco‘ vehicle. The police officers’ repertoire also featured “ ” from , “Reflection” from Disney’s Mulan, and Encanto‘s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”
Alma Guzman was visiting her mother who lives in the neighborhood when she awoke to the noise.
“The came; I guess there was a stolen vehicle,” she told news station KTLA. “Then the started playing. I didn’t know why.”
The video in question was reportedly made by a YouTuber who was conducting a audit. auditing is a legal activity in which interactions between law enforcement ‘ interactions with residents or alleged criminals are recorded. Though the practice is legal, it can often be antagonistic toward , making the activity unpopular among .
In the , a man who identified himself as a city can be seen chastising a . Neighbors in the area identified the man as Jonathan Hernandez.
“Why are you playing this? Disrespectful,” Hernandez can be heard saying in the video. Hernandez goes on to tell the to “have some respect for [the] community.”
Donna Sanchez, who lives in the said she appreciates what the was doing.
“I love sticking up for us,” Sanchez said. “I think it’s very disrespectful. We have to wake up pretty early.” Sanchez further said there was no harm in Hernandez the video.
The told Mr. Hernandez and others at the time that he was playing the so that when Hernandez posted his video on YouTube, the platform would strike it based on the fact that was in the video, meaning YouTube would either mute the audio or take down the video altogether.
Whether there’s a lack of Toy Story fans in the or a lack of sleep among the residents, the officer’s actions didn’t sit well with everyone, and the is now investigating the situation. The department will decide if the involved should be disciplined.
released a statement on behalf of the department, saying in part:
“The is aware of a video that has surfaced involving one of our . We are committed to serving our community and we understand the concerns as it relates to the video. The takes seriously all complaints regarding the service provided by the department and the conduct of its employees. Our department is committed to conducting complete, thorough, and . My expectation is that all perform their duties with dignity and respect in the community we are hired to serve.”
Guzman, who was visiting her mother, called the actions of the “unacceptable,” saying she believes residents have the right to record the .
“We should be able to record them without a problem,” Guzman said. She explained that she thought the ‘ use of was an inappropriate response to the .
City says he plans to introduce a statute that would ban from playing loud during audits during a future city council meeting, saying he doesn’t understand why other at the scene didn’t do something about the .
“If you work for the public and there are numerous people out you, telling you to please turn it off, why wouldn’t anyone in their right mind stop that?” he said.
Hernandez said he thought it was very ironic that such as Encanto and Coco, especially since the in which the scenario took place is a predominantly Latino one. chose to play songs from Disney and PIXAR films that featured storylines about Latino families,
“Those were films that were used to bridge the Latino community,” he said, “and are using them to silence it.“
The officer has since apologized, and the investigation is ongoing at this time.