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Title: Man Busted for Meth That Was Actually Donut Glaze Gets $37,500 for His Trouble
Source: Reason
URL Source: https://reason.com/blog/2017/10/16/ ... -for-meth-that-was-actually-do
Published: Oct 16, 2017
Author: Jacob Sullum
Post Date: 2017-10-17 06:06:07 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 94
Comments: 6

The Krispy Kreme Caper illustrates the limits of drug field tests and the cops who perform them.

Krispy Kreme

A man who was arrested for possession of "methamphetamine" that turned out to be donut glaze recently received $37,500 from the city of Orlando for his trouble. The payment settles a lawsuit that Daniel Rushing, a 65-year-old retiree who used to work for the city's Parks Department, brought after a traffic stop that illustrates the limits of drug field tests and the cops who perform them.

Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins pulled Rushing over on the afternoon of December 11, 2015, ostensibly because he did not make a complete stop as he pulled out of a 7-Eleven parking lot and subsequently exceeded the speed limit. But those offenses seem to have been pretexts. Riggs-Hopkins had been keeping an eye on the convenience store because of "citizen complaints about drug activity" and thought it was suspicious that Rushing, who was giving a lift to a friend, left without buying anything, in the company of a "black female employee of the 7-11."

When Rushing opened his wallet to retrieve his driver's license, Riggs-Hopkins noticed that he had a concealed-carry permit and asked if he was armed. He said he was, and she asked him to get out of his car "for my safety." At that point Riggs-Hopkins "observed in plain view a rock-like substance on the floor board where his feet were." The eagle-eyed, street-savvy cop recalled that she "recognized, through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer, the substance to be some sort of narcotic." The suspect "stated that the substance is sugar from a Krispy Kreme Donut that he ate," but Riggs-Hopkins knew better: Two field tests of the "rock-like substance" gave "a positive indication for the presence of amphetamines."

Rushing said Riggs-Hopkins initially was not sure what "sort of narcotic" she had discovered. "I kept telling them, 'That's…glaze from a doughnut," Rushing told the Orlando Sentinel. "They tried to say it was crack cocaine at first. Then they said, 'No, it's meth, crystal meth.'"

Adding insult to injury, Rushing was accused of possessing meth "with a weapon" (his legally carried handgun), which made a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, into a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. He was handcuffed and taken to the county jail, where he was strip-searched and locked up for 10 hours before being released on $2,500 bail. Three days later, after a lab test found no illegal substance in the evidence recovered by Riggs-Hopkins, the charges against Rushing were dropped. The lab test was not specific enough to identify which brand of donut the glaze came from, so we'll just have to take Rushing's word that it was indeed a Krispy Kreme.

Rushing told the Sentinel he had tried to start a security business but could not find work because "people go online and see that you've been arrested." The Orlando Police Department (OPD) initially defended the arrest. But according to the Sentinel, the OPD "ended up training more than 730 officers on how to properly use the field test kits," and "Riggs-Hopkins was given a written reprimand for making an improper arrest."

In addition to the city of Orlando, Rushing sued the Safariland Group, which made the test kit used by Riggs-Hopkins. Although the OPD evidently attributes the two false positives that preceded Rushing's arrest to Riggs-Hopkins' inept performance of the drug test, such field kits are notoriously unreliable and may react to a wide range of legal substances. Faulty field tests were at the center of a 2012 Kansas marijuana raid triggered by loose tea, a case that last summer resulted in a rebuke by a federal appeals court panel. One of the judges faulted "junk science" as well as "an incompetent investigation" and a thirst for publicity. (1 image)

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#1. To: Deckard (#0) (Edited)

test kit used by Riggs-Hopkins. Although the OPD evidently attributes the two false positives that preceded Rushing's arrest to Riggs-Hopkins' inept performance of the drug test, such field kits are notoriously unreliable

In-field test kits are PRESUMTIVE ONLY. They provide probable cause towards making the arrest. A certified lab test determining the substance ID and weight would be required for a conviction.

Personally, I've field tested over 5,000 items on the streets... maybe 500 of those items never indicated a narcotic after the test... so those items were returned without arrest or placing the person in a custodial state. The other 4500 items (approximately) that I've tested with in field presumptive pouch like test kits, showed a positive for the narcotic being tested. I've never had any substance I've arrested for and tested positive for with a PRESUMTIVE test, not have a positive certified lab test.

They aren't as reliable as a lab test... but they are damn reliable... and no scientist has found a better roadside alternative.

Officers are human... humans will error from time to time. That's why we've built in a due process that favors the defendant... and in this case, those safeguards worked and he pocketed some cash.

This country has the best criminal justice system on the planet... your poorly written bias article proves that officers can enforce constitutionally sound drug laws and the wrongfully accused are afforded their due process... because while this unfortunate person was getting the due process he deserved, THOUSANDS of meth dealers were rightfully arrested and removed from society.

I'm the infidel... Allah warned you about. كافر المسلح

GrandIsland  posted on  2017-10-17   7:17:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: GrandIsland (#1)

The article simply points out the abject stupidity of cops - someone who can't tell the difference between crack cocaine and sugary donut glaze should be flushed from the gene pool.

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-10-17   7:21:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Deckard (#2)

The article simply points out the abject stupidity of COPS

No... that was the authors AGENDA, and yours.

The article pointed out the error (or stupidity if it makes you feel better) OF ONE COP.

And you just pointed out your AGENDA.

Thanks.

I'm the infidel... Allah warned you about. كافر المسلح

GrandIsland  posted on  2017-10-17   7:31:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: GrandIsland (#3)

Right - because all cops are Mensa candidates.

This certainly isn't the only cop who has demonstrated a complete lack of common sense.

The eagle-eyed, street-savvy cop recalled that she "recognized, through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer, the substance to be some sort of narcotic."

Sure thing honey - your years of training are a joke.

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-10-17   7:42:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: GrandIsland (#1)

...officers can enforce constitutionally sound drug laws and the wrongfully accused are afforded their due process... because while this unfortunate person was getting the due process he deserved, THOUSANDS of meth dealers were rightfully arrested and removed from society.

Hundreds Of Cases Dismissed Thanks To Baltimore PD Misconduct

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-10-17   8:03:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Deckard (#5)

Hundreds of cases

Out of the 1.5 million drug arrests a year. "Hundreds" is about as significant as Ron Paul's ability to pass legislation.

lol

I'm the infidel... Allah warned you about. كافر المسلح

GrandIsland  posted on  2017-10-17   21:54:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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