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BUSTED: NYPD caught using ‘COPS’ clip from 2003 in campaign against ‘weaponized marijuana’

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The New York Police Department used 12-year-old footage from the reality show COPS to illustrate what it called the effects of synthetic marijuana Gothamist reported on Wednesday.

The video was shown during a press conference on Tuesday concerning what Police Chief William Bratton described as a rash of encounters with people using what he repeatedly called “weaponized marijuana,” including a brand known as K2.

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While officials mentioned that the footage was taken out of New York state, it was reportedly not made clear that it originated from a 2003 episode of the show set in Des Moines, Iowa. It showed an unidentified man being taken into custody while naked and allegedly under the influence of PCP, after punching through a wooden fence. Lori Lavorato, one of the officers seen arresting him, told Gothamist that he was not arrested for PCP possession, and that he had no drugs with him at the time.

A spokesperson for the department said the footage was shown during the press conference “to depict the type of behavior sometimes associated with ‘excited delirium syndrome,’ a condition caused by use of PCP, K2 and methamphetamine, among other drugs. But when asked about documented connections between synthetic marijuana and the condition, the unidentified spokesperson said he was “not a doctor.”

Officials also showed video allegedly filmed in Brooklyn showing another nude man slapping the pavement and yelling as police approached.

The unidentified spokesperson told Gothamist that officials “never, ever said that it was K2 that the people [in the videos] were on.” However, the videos were reportedly emailed to local news outlets with K2 being used as both the file name and subject line.

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Watch the footage, as posted online, below.


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White House pulls new FEMA nominee for barroom brawl — but not for his boss’ bribery

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow began her Wednesday show detailing that Jeff Byard, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead FEMA, has withdrawn his name from nomination because of an "altercation" previously reported.

Already Trump's FEMA is having problems because of the lead FEMA officials being named in serious bribery scandals. Byard's boss, in particular, is under a 10-count indictment. To make matters worse, a former deputy is also under indictment, but for a completely different case involving a 2013 Navy scandal.

"Any mystery around that part of the guy’s past would have been cleared up this past year in August when he was indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged involvement in that Navy bribery scheme," Maddow reported. "He was arrested thereafter."

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Congressman blasts Trump administration’s ‘lawless’ move to quash whistleblower: ‘He does not have the authority’

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) previewed what he expects to learn about the developing Director of National Intelligence whistleblower scandal at the hearing with the inspector general on Thursday.

"In tomorrow's hearing with the intelligence community's inspector general, who forwarded this report, saying it was an urgent concern, what exactly is the inspector general going to be able to talk about?" asked Cooper. "I know it's behind closed doors, but is he going to be able to tell you what is actually in the complaint or who is instructing him or who's instructing the DNI not to hand it over to your committee, if that's what's happening?"

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White House is preparing for a ‘big fight’ with Congress over whistleblower scandal: CNN reporter

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," reporter Evan Perez said that the White House is gearing up for a showdown with the House Intelligence Committee over a whistleblower complaint of "urgent concern" for national security that President Donald Trump's officials appear to be covering up.

"Evan, this has been developing through the day. [Intelligence] Chairman [Adam] Schiff was very quiet, and now suddenly there's going to be this briefing, and what's really going to happen at the briefing tomorrow?" asked anchor Erin Burnett.

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