usa today investigation finds widespread retaliation against whistleblowers Archived Message
Posted by assassin on November 17, 2021, 11:54:53, in reply to "I was challenged on here when I said cops were the worst. But I hold fast to my position."
Add stress balls to the list of innocuous items that have landed innocent citizens in jail due to shoddy police work and unreliable drug field tests.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled last week that two Atlanta police officers are not entitled to qualified immunity from a civil lawsuit brought against them by Ju'zema Goldring for malicious prosecution. Goldring says the officers falsely accused her of jaywalking and cocaine trafficking, based on a field test of a powdery substance inside a stress ball she had in her purse.
Goldring spent nearly six months in the Fulton County jail because she couldn't afford bail and told local news outlet NBC 46 that she was occasionally put in solitary confinement. What's more, she was left in jail for four months after a crime lab concluded that the mysterious powder was sand, not cocaine.
According to the 11th Circuit's opinion, Atlanta police officers Vladimir Henry and Juan Restrepo stopped Goldring on October 10, 2015, for allegedly jaywalking. Goldring claims she wasn't jaywalking. In any case, the officers took Goldring to the police station and proceeded to cut open a stress ball they found in her purse and test the powdery substance inside using a Nark II field test for drugs.
As Reason reported earlier this year, such drug field test kits are manufactured by several different companies and are used by police departments and prison systems across the country. The test kits use instant color reactions to indicate the presence of certain compounds found in illegal drugs, but those same compounds are also found in dozens of known licit substances. And although the tests are fairly simple to use, they're still prone to user error and misinterpretation.
Last year in Georgia, for instance, a college football quarterback was arrested after bird poop on his car tested positive for cocaine. A Florida man was wrongfully jailed in 2017 after a field test confused his donut glaze with meth.
In 2016, sheriff's deputies in Monroe County, Georgia, arrested Macon resident Dasha Fincher after a search of her car turned up a plastic baggie of blue crystals. A NARK II field test of the substance returned a presumptive positive for methamphetamines, and Fincher was charged with trafficking and possession of meth with intent to distribute. Fincher sat in jail for three months until a state crime lab determined that the substance was blue cotton candy.
A follow-up investigation by a Georgia news station found that the NARK II test kit produced 145 false positives in Georgia in 2017.
And last year, more than a dozen Massachusetts attorneys said they were falsely accused of sending drugs to their incarcerated clients, who were then put in solitary confinement for receiving legitimate legal mail. (One way that synthetic opioids are smuggled into prison is by soaking papers in the drug.) A class-action lawsuit followed, challenging the Massachusetts Department of Corrections' use of Nark II field tests to detect contraband and punish incarcerated people.
Message Thread: | This response ↓
- I was challenged on here when I said cops were the worst. But I hold fast to my position. - ATL November 17, 2021, 8:19:01
- Aurora, Col. taxpayers write $15 million check because their PD killed an unarmed black man - ATL November 18, 2021, 9:51:14
- Hate to dox, but here's a pic of ATL. - osklister November 18, 2021, 8:27:06
- Now attorneys……only benefit all of us* - jumpingdan November 18, 2021, 6:07:24
- T. Greg Doucette is a good Twitter follow for this stuff.* - Memphian November 17, 2021, 19:51:11
- They really are the worst* - HeatMizer November 17, 2021, 17:28:47
- cop shoots 2 dogs for no reason - ECEIllinois November 17, 2021, 12:47:06
- usa today investigation finds widespread retaliation against whistleblowers - assassin November 17, 2021, 11:54:53
- i did not know "licit" was a word* - suburbanmyth November 17, 2021, 11:52:25
- Chicago pd has billboards out that are designed to basically humanize police officers - Taz November 17, 2021, 8:59:37
- For the thin blue line confederates, I'll just place this here. - Chilango November 18, 2021, 6:49:19
- they're paid by Chicago Police Foundation - Poldark November 17, 2021, 11:45:30
- I don't really have a problem with that* - ATL November 17, 2021, 11:41:21
- She would not try to humanize police officers for some reason? * - haighter November 17, 2021, 11:30:33
- Couldn't you say the same thing about the IDPH Billboards that say "All In Illinois"? - HectorVillanueva19 November 17, 2021, 11:30:09
- Maybe because the Mayor, State's Attorney, etc. have trashed Chicago's Police's image? - HectorVillanueva19 November 17, 2021, 11:28:36
- I saw on fb the other day that the most racist person I’ve ever met in my life - illini21 November 17, 2021, 8:53:59
- I would dispute the assertion that ALL cops are the worst... I know a few that are not. However, I - Wotcher November 17, 2021, 8:36:03