Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“They (the emperors) frequently abused their power arbitrarily to deprive their subjects of property or of life: their tyranny was extremely onerous to the few, but it did not reach the greater number; .. But it would seem that if despotism were to be established amongst the democratic nations of our days it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild, it would degrade men without tormenting them.”     Alexis de Tocqueville

August 20, 2009

Chew A Rolaids, Go To Jail

by Doug Mataconis

The War On (Some) Drugs has reached the ridiculous stage:

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A man is suing the Kissimmee Police Department for an arrest over mints. When officers pulled Donald May over for an expired tag, they thought the mints he was chewing were crack and arrested him.

May told Eyewitness News they wouldn’t let him out of jail for three months until tests proved the so-called drugs were candy.

May said he was just minding his business, driving home from work, when a Kissimmee police officer pulled him over near 192.

“I don’t know how it occurred,” he said.

May was pulled over for an expired tag on his car. When the officer walked up to him, he noticed something white in May’s mouth. May said it was breath mints, but the officer thought it was crack cocaine.

“He took them out of my mouth and put them in a baggy and locked me up [for] possession of cocaine and tampering with evidence,” May explained.

The officer claimed he field-tested the evidence and it tested positive for drugs. The officer said he saw May buying drugs while he was stopped at an intersection. He also stated in his report May waived his Miranda rights and voluntarily admitted to buying drugs.

May said that never happened.

“My client never admitted he purchased crack cocaine. Why would he say that?” attorney Adam Sudbury said.

Obviously, he was high on antacid.

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  1. Exactly how do you field-test for crack? I’m not even being accusatory or sarcastic here. I want to know how you field-test for crack.

    Comment by Justin Bowen — August 21, 2009 @ 9:51 am
  2. They have little kits with chemicals that change colors in the presence of various drugs, it’s not rocket science. I am curious why he got a false positive. If they are going to incarcerate people for possesion of certain substances, they should be using “failproof” tests for all but the newly discovered or exotic.

    Comment by John222 — August 21, 2009 @ 9:58 am
  3. Those tests are notoriously unreliable. They typically have large false positive rates.

    Comment by M. Dragon — August 21, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

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