I wonder what would happen if you field tested a field test?

Radley Balko’s title shows just how bizarre this is…

Sage, chocolate chip cookies, deodorant, billiards chalk, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, patchouli, spearmint, eucalyptus, breath mints . . . . . . and now, motor oil.

In April, Janet Goodin of Warroad, Minn., was crossing into Canada for an evening of bingo with her daughters when an officer with the Canadian Border Service conducted a routine search of her van. The officer found an old bottle of motor oil, did a field test and told her that it contained heroin. […]

The motor oil was sent to a Canadian federal laboratory, which eventually determined there was no heroin in it. After 12 days behind bars, Goodin was released.

Given how often these field tests false-positive on such a wide range of substances, it is absolutely unconscionable to jail people based solely on field tests.

How do they give 12 days back to this woman?

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7 Responses to I wonder what would happen if you field tested a field test?

  1. pt says:

    yes and I’m sure now her friends, coworkers, family, ect. all think “well, the cops wouldn’t have locked her up for nothing. there must have been SOMETHING there…”

  2. rita says:

    The police show up at your house with this big suitcase, supposedly their “field test kit,” but it looks for all the world more like a portable bar, and with it they can test the residue on a piece of plastic that they dig out of your trash, but when they find actual dope, it’s listed in the inventory of your things they steal as “unknown white powder.” (And their precious dogs can’t smell meth from 6 inches away, either.)

  3. Duncan20903 says:

    A tax exempt $10,000 a day straight out of the arresting agency’s budget wouldn’t cover it, but it would be a good start.
    ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ———
    I recall reading a news report on July 30th about two guys that were busted in a bass ackward, unsophisticated ex-urban community in flyover country. The local rag’s reporter actually decided to make fun of these two guys because they said that it was they had “fake” merrywanna and the presumptive test said it wasn’t. Oh my, these presumptive tests are never, ever wrong. The give away that the presumptive test is probably wrong in this particular case is the fact that the cops separated the two suspects and both independently said it was “fake” merrywanna.

    My money is on the lab tests coming back negative and the charges dismissed.


    Gosh, when they separate suspects and get different stories it’s “proof” of something or other but responses that agree with each other but contradict the perception of LE are obviously to be completely discounted.

    Oh, I see that a couple of these ignorant rednecks also decided to make fun of me because I pointed out that presumptive tests aren’t proof, are often wrong, and aren’t used in court as proof of anything.

    I do hope I’ll manage to stumble across the final results when the actual lab tests come back.

  4. Ben says:

    Another great example of how there is no justice for Americans who are wronged by police.

  5. Paul says:

    “How do they give 12 days back to this woman?”

    Well, they can’t of course, and most of the time they refuse to apologize for their mistakes.

  6. DdC says:

    Field Impairment Testing (FIT)
    FIT 2000 Series
    Impairment Screeners
    30-second test. PMI has developed a unique technology to measure human impairment. It’s proprietary technology can assess whether a person is significantly impaired by fatigue, legal medications, illegal drugs, alcohol, sleep deprivation; alone or in combination.

    PMI has developed a mobile and fixed location device that permits an individual to self-administer a quick, non-invasive assessment test. The technology measures a person’s involuntary eye-reflex reactions to light, and compares key eye measurements to the person’s own baseline. These measurements can be used to track changes in the person’s alertness levels and levels of impairment.

    Critics Sound Alarm Over Secret Drug Tests of Injured Drivers
    The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has raised serious concerns on behalf of 3,000 injured B.C. drivers whose blood will be tested for marijuana without their knowledge for a $1-million study on drugs and driving. full story

    12 Days in Jail Over a Faulty Drug Test
    Warroad woman was held in Canada after a motor oil bottle tested positive for heroin. full story

    Systematic Discrimination Boycott List

  7. DdC says:

    Illinois School District Teachers Strike Over Drug Testing
    Teachers in one Illinois school district went on strike Wednesday after the district failed to remove contract language demanding they submit to random, suspicionless drug testing.

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