There is a bizarre case in Orlando where Daniel Rushing was arrested after a police officer declared that she recognized meth on the floor of his car from her extensive experience. It not only turned out to be icing from Rushing’s Krispy Kreme donut but Rushing told the officers what it was when they asked. To make matters worse, a field test registered positive for meth — another false positive in a long line of such cases.
Rushing was stopped on a clear pretext stop. He was told that he did not come to a complete stop in exiting a 7-11 (which was under surveillance for alleged drug activity). He was also cited for going 42 mph in a 30 mph zone — another ubiquitous violation. In a controversial case from over twenty years ago in Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806, 812–13 (1996). The Court ruled that police could conduct a pretextual stop, such a stop for minor traffic violations, to achieve a search so long as there is probable cause or reasonable suspicion to justify a traffic stop.
Once they stopped Rushing, the officers asked to search his car and he consented. Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins, an eight-year department veteran, she spotted “a rock like substance on the floor board where his feet were. . . I recognized through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer the substance to be some sort of narcotic.”
That alone was dubious but then the officers said that they did two roadside drug tests and both came back positive for the illegal substance. Rushing was handcuffed, arrested, strip searched and jailed. Only later did a lab test show that the substance was not drugs.
Conveniently, the police department insisted that it has no data on the number of false positive from field tests. That would seem an example of willful blindness since the department should be interested in whether it is getting false readings. The New York Times has found that data showed that 21 percent of the time, drug evidence that was listed by local authorities as methamphetamine turned out to be wrong.
A lawsuit in such a circumstance would not only be advisable but potentially beneficial in deterring such abusive arrests.
40 thoughts on “Rushing To Judgment: Officers Declare Icing From Krispy Kreme Donut To Be Meth and Arrest Orlando Driver”
Typical knob-head police, getting ready too rail-road this guy saying the icing tested positive for meth. Additionally, I have been on this planet for 5 decades and have never been helped by the police, harass, yes helped, no
Texas, I don’t understand your first question as I don’t remember saying that. Regarding your second question, suing a person almost always relies upon getting compensation through their insurance. Now, if they are a wealthy person then it is not as important to receive your compensation via their insurer. Most people would be surprised what a homeowner’s insurance policy covers. However, I don’t know if a homeowner’s policy would cover any acts by a cop while they’re on duty. That would be a question for an attorney here. However, going after a person’s “coffers” is not what you want to do unless you need to. It is difficult. Insurance money is easy if you win a lawsuit.
You suggested that people sue the police officers directly instead of the police department. Do you know how you came across the conclusion that if police officers were directly sued, they have virtually no protection from the State?
Secondly, if I were to sue a police officer, how would one directly impact the police officer’s coffers if I had a ‘potential’ lawsuit?
@Nick Spinelli The story about the guy trespassed from his work almost a hundred times.. Is true.. One might think it an Onion parody from the absurdity of it.. Sad to say, it really happened.. It got so bad the store owner installed a state of the art security system. Not to defend against robbers.. But to protect his customers, and employees from the police. Look it up..
JH – were the police trying to close down the guy’s business or what? You cannot trespass if you are on the clock. That is insane.
The Republic is in its declining years, and we should expect things like legalized road piracy. It will get worse. One day, in the next few years, an even bigger group of crooks will claim the highways as theirs, due to unpaid bonds. They will either physically charge you to enter and use the road, or perhaps put a dongle on your vehicle that simply records the data, and deducts the amount from your bank account. Because cash is going out of style.
But in the interim, expect more of these minor rip offs and fees. After all, the Elite need their little piece of the action!
Nick – Thanks!
Slohrss29 – thanks for the heads up. Darren made great points in his post. I also wonder what the storage temperature tolerances are. 25% false positives is a problem. We need to find out if it’s user error, storage error, dishonesty, or maufacturing problems.
Also, I’m a point and shoot person. My lack of tech savvy is at laughable levels. I know how to clear the internet cache, but not the front cache. I’ve been hesitant to use any of those speed up your computer programs online because I don’t know which are valid and which are phishing. Is Cocktail one of those, or a cool refreshing beverage that will make my this incessant rainbow wheel an amusing feature of computing? 🙂
The “pretend traffic stop” often comes first…..when that stop is productive as far as turning up something else, then there will be a record of the “victory”.
If the pretend/ pretext traffic stop produces nothing, and there is no traffic citation issued, then there may be “no record of any encounter” to show that the stop, K-9 search, etc. even occurred.
This distorts the true “batting average” when “productive stops” are counted, and those stops that turn up nothing are conveniently “lost”, or not recorded at all.
That’s a problem with pretext stops, especially in jurisdictions that push it to the max.
Most people are willing to give the police wide latitude in performing their legitimate duties, but there has to be some reasonable limits.
I also referred to the DESERT SNOW/BLACK ASPHALT program in my earlier post.
That ties in with the related issue of civil asset forfeiture.
It’s interesting that Homeland Security subsidizes the costs of the Black Asphalt/ Desert Snow
IMO, funding road piracy is not a legitimate function of Homeland Security.
What would help is if for each of these bizarre occurrences they could be contrasted against the number of routine and inoffensive encounters between the police and citizens. On the one hand this cop should be taken aside, educated, therapy, whatever. However, you only hear about these. Given the job and the range of types, there are bound to be some that slip through the cracks.
This kind of LEO criminality is nothing new. There’s a well known case in Miss. where a dealer convinced another person to deliver what he was told was paint in gallon buckets – to a state narc. Mule gets busted & is convinced by his atty ( a well-known crooked lawyer) to cop a plea. Turns out the “PAINT’ was fake pot – dried/shredded cabbage.
“ALL the cops are criminals”…Mick Jagger. DARREN is the only one I’d trust.
True, but it is a question of which came first, the pretend chicken, or the pretend egg? Cops have to pretend that blacks don’t commit the majority of crimes, so they pretend the black guy crossed the center line, or that the black guy’s tail light must have shorted out, but it’s working now! So that they can pretend they aren’t profiling.
Then, black people, and their lawyers pretend that there is no rational reason at all to stop and frisk black guys, or suspect black drivers, because they pretend that black’s don’t commit a vastly disproportionate number of crimes, and therefore their clients are just being racially profiled, and then pretend that OMG! that black thug the cops just shot wasn’t a black thug at all, but was a gentle black giant who had his hands in the air and was begging “Don’t shoot”, and go on to pretend that they warn their black sons about white cops, but don’t warn them about black thugs. . . etc. etc. etc and then pretend that the racial profiling doesn’t disproportionately save black lives!
Meanwhile, certain white politicians (HRC!) pretend that black drug pushers are victims of racism, and pretend that they just love them some black people sooo much that they are going to turn a bunch of convicts and drug pushers loose in the hood, which they pretend is suffering from a shortage of drug pushers and petty criminals.
Oh, please hurry 12:01PM. . .
In addition to the WHREN case, the Supreme Court has also ruled that the initial pretext traffic stop does not have to involve an actual traffic violation ( HEIEN V. NORTH CAROLINA).
The DESERT SNOW/ BLACK ASPHALT program also incentivizes these fishing expeditions.
The Court has gone out of its way to trash 4th Amendment protections for motorists.
Karen, get Cocktail and clear out the font and Internet caches. Maybe run repair disk permissions too. That should help. Also, did you see Darren’s informative post?
Steve, We are simpatico regarding cops. We both know they run the spectrum, from great to bad, w/ most being in the middle. The ubiquitous bell curve that reflects all professions. However, as a department, SD is in an upper stanine IMO. I have gotten to know several who work w/ the homeless in Mission, Pacific, and Ocean Beach. Good men and women. And, the SD Police went all in protecting the most vulnerable, in rather quickly apprehending that sh!tbird killing the homeless. Chicago PD is the lower stanine in that regard. Homeless would have been put on a back burner in Chicago. They don’t have clout.
It was a little heartening to see the DNC acknowledge the evil in Chicago by making Rahm Emmanuel person non grata @ the convention. Part of it was he embarrassed them.
Karen, Great to see you back. Good comment as always.
I am very troubled by the high rate of false positives in test kits. Are officers not keeping a clean field and contaminating the samples? This is chemistry, probably titration. It can’t react to something that’s not there. However, as cops make drug arrests all day, their vehicle and even their person may contain traces of drugs that may contaminate the kit. Or the officer may not be properly trained in how to use the kit, or even be partially color blind. I knew someone in lab who just couldn’t do a titration successfully. It turns out he was partially colorblind.
A 25% false positive rate with a kit that has won awards for QC is a problem, and they need to get to the bottom of it ASAP.
Geez, I keep getting rainbow wheel after every few letters. Anyone know how to speed up a Mac?
Also we need a court challenge to 2 things.
1. We need a challenge to the blind protection prosecutors see from bad prosecutions. We need to be able to sue incompetent or corrupt prosecutors who are enabling the bad cops.
2. We need a challenge of the same to the immunity that judges receive as well from being sued.
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