The NYPD is frequently deceitful, but rarely is it as hilariously so as it was yesterday, when Commissioner Bill Bratton, during a press conference about the perceived dangers of synthetic marijuana, showed video he said was of “out-of-state” officers arresting a man under the influence of the drug, but which was actually a dude on PCP pulled from a 2003 episode of COPS.

At the briefing, held at One Police Plaza, Bratton called the synthetic substance “weaponized weed,” and went on to describe its users as “totally crazy.” To illustrate his point, he screened two videos that purported to show violent and unhinged users of the drug. “The videos might be disturbing,” Bratton intoned.

Here is one of those clips, which shows a half-dozen officers struggling to subdue a nude and bloody man who punches a hole through a picket fence.

After watching this video, you may have a number of questions, mainly, “Hmm, does synthetic weed really fuck you up that badly?” The answer, as Gothamist first reported, is “maybe not,” considering the footage is a clip from COPS, shot in Des Moines in 2002 and broadcast in 2003, that shows a man on PCP. That would explain why this particular Youtube video (uploaded in 2006) opens with a graphic that delivers the salient advice, “Don’t Smoke Dust.”

Neither the NYPD or Bratton specifically has commented on how exactly he ended up stupidly misrepresenting something you might catch on TV if you were desperately stranded in a hotel. The charitable reading would be that the NYPD made an innocent mistake in its attempt to show the effects of synthetic weed. The more sinister theory, of course, is that Bratton and his people thought nobody would know they were just showing some random shit from COPS.

Either way, Bratton said that any “violent” synthetic marijuana users will be shot with stun guns, so, uh, just smoke real weed, I guess.

[image via Getty]

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