On Wednesday afternoon, NYPD chief Bill Bratton held a press conference to discuss the dangers of synthetic weed (a.k.a. “K2,” “spice,” and “$5 pouches of dried plant leaves laced with unpredictable chemicals“), the use of which is on the rise in New York. “These individuals, many of them under the influence of this drug, are totally crazy,” said Bratton. To prove his point, he then showed two videos of New Yorkers high on “weaponized marijuana.” In both clips, the users are totally naked: One punches through a wooden fence, and the other squats in the street and screams. But, as Gothamist first reported, it turns out that the fence-puncher hadn’t taken K2 after all. Instead, he’d taken PCP in Des Moines in 2002 — and COPS was there to film it.
Asked how the COPS excerpt made it into Bratton’s presentation, an NYPD spokesperson claimed that the videos were only “shown to depict the type of behavior sometimes associated with ’excited delirium syndrome,’” which can be caused by “methamphetamine, PCP, K2, LSD and other types of drugs.” Pressed on whether excited delirium syndrome is actually associated with synthetic weed, the spokesperson replied, “I’m not a doctor.” Eh, whatcha gonna do?