Man, the number of people who owe Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts an apology after mocking the kid for being arrested for having a substance on the hood of his car that field-tested positive for cocaine…
Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Southern Football
To be fair, cocaine crapping birds are probably a thing now, like the meth Gators in Florida. They probably have Coke possums and meth raccoons in alabama. The darkness is coming.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Being a black kid in the south truly has to suck.
I mean this is literally a Chappelle skit. Pour some crack on the body
(I know this isn’t the Play Pen, so delete away)
He must’ve had the special kind of cocaine that stays on a car’s hood even when you’re going 80 miles an hour.
Exactly. The facts were absurd on their face and anyone with a functioning brain knew better than to jump to a conclusion of guilt.
This whole situation is bizarro. Kid gets pulled over for speeding. Cops look at white substance on the hood and think, hey, we need to test this. So they test this substance with two field kits and they both come back positive. So the kid gets charged. Then the substance goes to the lab and it’s not a controlled substance.
In my mind there are two problems. One, what was the logic that was behind the cops thinking a white substance on the hood was a controlled substance, aka cocaine?
And two, and this one is the biggest problem for Saluda county and maybe others, is how do two different field test kits give false positives. I’m not a lawyer, but if I were a defense attorney, in my mind, this could create a lot of problems with regard to probable cause in similar situations.
Unless I missed something in that article, it never tested negative. There was in fact cocaine on the hood of the car, but the prosecutor determined proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt would be impossible because there was no way to prove he knew there was cocaine on the hood or that it was his, so he dropped the charges. Doesn’t mean it was or wasn’t his or he did or didn’t know about it, just that it couldn’t be proven.
So to your questions: Cops know what cocaine looks like. If they see it, they test it; if it tests positive, they act accordingly.
As to probable cause, it appears they had it to pull him over because he was speeding. If you can see drugs in or on (that’s gotta be rare) the car, you have probable cause to test/search. They did see cocaine, they tested it, it was positive. Twice. So there was probable cause to arrest or ticket him.
The prosecutor is right. There appears to be no basis to pursue a lawsuit against the cops here.
The story here isn’t one of a kid being unjustifiably harassed by police. They did their job. In fact, the prosecutor deserves credit for giving the case this kind of attention so quickly, realizing there wasn’t a good case, and just dropping it instead of threatening the kid with a trial to try to squeeze some sort of plea out of him or to get him to throw someone else under the bus. The system worked well here, in my opinion. As well as it can.
The problem is the public jumping to conclusions so quickly. Could have been the kid’s blow. Could have been someone else at a party that dipped out and used the hood of his car to do some lines. The public didn’t know squat but was willing to bury the kid over an arrest. THAT’s the problem.
Just my two cents.
“South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) tests were conducted on the substance samples collected from the hood of Werts’ 2016 Dodge Charger, but the results confirmed that no controlled substance was present in the samples.”
Brain clearly ain’t working right today.
Boy, do I know that feeling. 😉
Good post. Well-reasoned and without hyperbole or invective…. which begs the question: what are you doing on the internet?
My question is. Why would someone use a car hood as their blow plate? Surely there would be a more convenient surface around. Also, if I read the follow up story correctly, Werts requested a drug test and that came back clean.
One, cops are trained to view every stop as a drug investigation. That’s where the big bucks are. Civil asset forfeiture means they can seize your car, any significant amounts of cash on you, etc. So speeding or an expired tag is just the pretense for (hopefully) a drug bust.
Second, field test kits are notoriously unreliable. Some of that is inherent in the uncontrolled environment. The side of the road isn’t a lab. Poor lighting, or flashing cop lights, don’t allow proper interpretation of the color of the test solution. Cops also aren’t chemists, so they administer the tests incorrectly. And the tests must be cheap and easy. So a $2 test that will test positive for cocaine will also test positive when exposed to a hundred other substances.
I get all of that. Here is where the problem lies. I pull you over and test the hood of your car for cocaine. It comes back positive giving me access to your vehicle. I find 40 lbs of cocaine in your vehicle. IF the test is bad that gave me probable cause to search your vehicle, then that is a really bad proposition for a lot of court cases.
Let’s say for instance that you had two delicious Coors Lights (12 oz each) before you drove to see UGA beat the crap out of ND. Cop pulls you over and give you a breathalyzer that comes back at .16 vice the.04 you should have blown. You go to jail. You now have to defend against the fact that the breathalyzer is bad. In what world does you having to spend $1200 on a defense attorney for something that should never have been charged make sense?
I’m with you. Drug dogs give false alerts around 80% of the time. But the courts still accept a dog alert as probable cause. If I’m ever on a jury where the evidence of guilt is a dog alert, or a roadside drug test, or testimony from a police officer that can’t be corroborated, like a defendant seeming nervous (like anyone wouldn’t be nervous when being investigated), I would disregard the evidence.
Sadly, most people believe in the infallibility of the state. And if you have to spend a few grand beating false charges (if you’re lucky), well it’s just the price we pay to live in a civilized society.
As an aside, many (most?) DUI lawyers advise clients not to do field sobriety tests and not to consent to the roadside breathalyzer. The sobriety tests are designed to be failed and the breathalyzers are inaccurate.
Last paragraph in the article – “Until officials do notify Georgia Southern, the school will continue to operate under the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct protocol which states that all athletes convicted of misdemeanors could be subject to a one-game suspension.”
So unless something changes he’s going to miss the LSU game for driving with bird shit on his car?
Hasn’t been convicted, so I should think not.
He might prefer to miss the LSU game..
Raise your paw if you can’t identify bird shit on a car hood.
A young black kid in SC speeding (80 in a 70 or 65 zone…c’mon) and the cops assume he has cocaine on the hood of his car?? I’m no social justice warrior, but WTF? That’s pure b.s. I wonder if the same cops would work the Buckhead beat and pullover a white dude in a Maserati with a couple of hookers and powder on their faces. Sadly, I think I know that answer. (“Enjoying your powder doughnuts, sir?).
I…. didn’t know I couldn’t do that.
Hell yeah they would. Cocaine is a Maserati means it’s now a police Maserati. Civil asset forfeiture for the win!
I don’t do cocaine, but I thought it was totally a thing to spread it out on the hood of your car and then speed down the highway.
And you stick you head out the sunroof, tilt back and have 75 cubic feet of air jam party dust into your sinuses.
I mean, he clearly decided to do a line off the car while waiting for them to approach him!
You know this will just enable the bad guys, right? Have a gun? Strap it to the bumper. Bag of weed? Stuff it in the tailpipe. Gram of meth? Throw that shit out, meth’ll ruin you quick.
“Every guy on our team is a potential cornerback right now.” — Kirby Smart, AB-H, 3/2/21
Subscribe in a reader