Oviedo, FL — An innocent man got a harsh dose of the incompetent police state recently after cops mistook his drywall for cocaine. He was subsequently kidnapped and thrown in a cage for months solely because of the ignorance of these officers and the faulty nature of their test kits.
To those who constantly say, “if you don’t want to get arrested, then don’t break the law,” consider the following.
In March of this year, Karlos Cashe was pulled over for a minor traffic ticket after he forgot to turn on his lights. However, it quickly went south after police saw drywall powder on his seat and floorboard and mistook it for cocaine.
Aside from thinking the innocent man had drugs, police also misread his terms of probation (for an unrelated drug charge years ago) and accused him of being out past curfew. However, hours later — after they arrested him — they realized they were wrong. But the false drug charges stuck.
During the arrest, police obtained a ‘positive’ result for drugs on the drywall using one of the known-faulty field drug test kits.
As The Free Thought Project has previously reported, the field tests, conducted by minimally trained police officers, are criminally flawed.
The $2 field drug tests, manufactured by The Safariland Group, have been proven to be unreliable. And according to the manufacturer, should not be used as a stand-alone test for convictions related to drug possession. But that’s precisely what happened to Cashe.
“I know for a fact (that) it’s drywall because I’m a handyman,” Cashe said. “I said that continuously during the arrest stop.”
As WFTV reports, a K-9 unit arrived at the scene and the dog alerted on Cashe’s vehicle and an Oviedo Police Department sergeant field tested substances he believed to be marijuana and more cocaine.
Both the dog and the kits were dead wrong. However, when those tests came back positive, Cashe was taken to the Seminole County Jail.
To make his unlawful kidnapping even worse, because he was accused of violating probation, he was denied bond.
“I sat there 90 days knowing I was innocent,” Cashe said.
After rotting in a cage for three months, a lab test eventually came back showing that there were no drugs inside Cashe’s car at the time of his arrest and he had broken no law.
Last week Cashe walked out of jail with no charges and has a new mission. He wants to raise awareness to make sure this injustice doesn’t happen to anyone else.
— Ty Russell (@TRussellWFTV) June 27, 2017
“This is what I want to stop,” he said. “I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”
Sadly, if history is any indicator, this will happen — again, and again, and again.
As The Free Thought Project has reported on several occasions, there is a dire need for the federal government to end the drug war, which is only still continuing because locking people up is big business for cities across the country who balance their police departments’ budgets by citation writing, jail fees, court costs, and plea deals.
The steady stream of inmates going into the corrections system feeds the prison industrial complex with fresh meat. But when individuals like Small are arrested, while not being guilty of any crimes, the costs to cities and boroughs from lawsuits and settlements is quite astounding.
Cases like this are nothing new, in fact, we report on them on a regular basis.
Earlier this year, Ross LeBeau, of Houston, was cleared of drug charges after he was arrested for possession of Methamphetamine. It turns out that LeBeau was actually in possession of kitty litter, not meth. However, this made no difference to the cops who kidnapped and caged him for it.
On May 8 of last year, Gale Griffin and her husband Wendall Harvey, who’ve been driving trucks together for the last seven years were wrongfully charged with possession of cocaine. They were targeted by incompetent cops who used criminally ineffective drug test kits on a white powdery substance found inside the couple’s truck. The kit identified the substance as cocaine. But it was not cocaine. It was baking soda Griffin used for stomach problems. However, they were caged for months while the reckless cops ignored their pleas of innocence.
Also this year, Alexander Bernstein of Brooklyn was jailed and had his life ruined after cops mistook soap for cocaine.
Wenonah resident John Cokos recently settled a lawsuit against the Gloucester County police department for $35,000. The lawsuit comes after an arrest for drug possession because the officer claimed that his crackers were crack rocks.
In October, college student John Harrington was thrown in prison after police, with one of these field drug test kits, tested sugar, and came up with a false positive for cocaine.
“Really, I’m really in jail right now for powdered sugar, ” John Harrington thought after it happened.
We’ve also seen the case in which police mistook Jolly Ranchers for meth and jailed an innocent man. Love Olatunijojo, 25, and an unidentified friend purchased Jolly Ranchers at the It’Sugar candy emporium in Coney Island in June of 2013. Several blocks away, cops stopped and searched the friends and mistook the candies for crystal meth. Olatunijojo was then thrown in jail.
In August, we reported on the story of a man who was held in prison for over four months because police falsely identified salt as crystal meth.
And the list goes on….