Brickbat: Modern Technology


Drug lab
Angellodeco /

Two years ago, in a report to the federal Department of Justice, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said that the drug field tests it used were unreliable. Legal substances caused false positive results, and the officers using them misinterpreted the results. In fact, the department's crime lab has wanted to abandon the kids since 2010. But the department continues to use those tests. Indeed, it has even expanded their use since that report was written.

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  1. the department’s crime lab has wanted to abandon the kids since 2010

    The DCS might have something to say about abandoning the kids …

    1. Dammit, I was going to make a comment about that typo!

      1. “Are they still kids after 6 years?”

        1. goats at that point

    2. way to double down on the stupid..

  2. Two years ago, in a report to the federal Department of Justice, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said that the drug field tests it used were unreliable.

    They weren’t complaining, they were bragging.

  3. ‘it’s a very effective ‘tool’ to get ‘probable cause. You don’t want to take ‘tool’s ‘away from the ‘heroes’ do you?

    1. It is pretty easy to understand, they are simply operating under a different definition of what “works” means.

  4. What happened to the cop that could stick his pinky nail into the powder and say, “That’s pure Colombian, right there”?

    1. Don’t the put it on the tip of their tongue first? Do they have a taste testing class in their training?

      1. These field test kits come up + for positive and a thin blue line for negative.

  5. To be sure, most field tests are accurate and most drug defendants who take plea deals are guilty.

    Is Saove moonlighting at Propublica?

    1. Judging form reports I’ve seen, ‘The Hair’ is wrong about the accuracy of field test kits.

  6. The department destroys samples after pleas are entered

    Nope, nothing suspicious about that, no-sirree.

  7. So, how many people were convicted or pled guilty based on these tests after the lab protested against the tests’ use?

    Were the defendants in these cases informed of what the lab said? Or were they simply hastened to their conviction or their guilty pleas under the impression that the tests were reliable?

    1. It doesn’t matter what the tests say, you agree to plead guilty and you’ll get sentenced to time served and you’re on your way home. You want to plead Not Guilty? You’ll sit in jail 8 or 10 months awaiting a court date, at which point if there’s no evidence they’ll drop the charges. It’s how they get a 97% conviction rate on these things.

  8. From the “here’s what all of this ‘enthusiastic consent’ stuff results in” file, an Australian dude was acquitted of murder after a Tinder hookup went wrong because he used an app on his phone to record the entire encounter.

    The same smartphone recording that was used in court to argue his guilt was also used to prove his innocence.
    The audio reveals Mr Tostee saying: “You’re lucky I haven’t chucked you off my [expletive] balcony, you goddamn psycho little [expletive].”

    The 30-year-old carpet layer revealed that he often recorded his nights out “just in case” something happened.
    “I used to go out quite a lot drinking, I don’t have the best memory when I drink,” Mr Tostee said.
    “It’s better off having something and not needing it than needing it and not having it.”

  9. Shit like this makes you wonder just how fudged the numbers are on your average roadside breathalyzer.

    1. “It says your blood alcohol content is three hundred proof.”

      “So one hundred and fifty percent alcohol by volume?”

    2. Yugely.

      1. Breathalyzers have an error range like every other instrument. Just because it says .08 doesn’t mean you’re not actually at .06 (or .1).

      2. They’re set up with a set of *assumptions* about your race, sex, metabolic rate and size and whatnot – one size fits all. Except that it doesn’t.

      3. It doesn’t actually measure *alcohol*. It measures the existence of a methyl ring that the molecular structure of alcohol has – as do many other substances. Like acetone. Which you might be producing if you’re a diabetic.

      The reality is that breathalyzers are junk science if not quite on par with bite-mark analysis, at least as bad as drug field-tests.

      1. “methyl ring ”


        1. m…e…t…h…y…l r…I…n…g. what you give to your methyl when you want to get married.

  10. Still haven’t fixed the typo …

    So –

    I can’t imagine the cops abandoning the kids just ‘cos they failed a failed drug test.

    1. Perhaps they’ll just drop them off at the local public pool.

  11. No worries, Harry will have lots of free time to look into this on behalf of the people.

  12. Seems like a good attorney could get every conviction that relies upon those results thrown out.

    1. I suspect that like a roadside breathalyzer, the field tests can not used as evidence.
      They can be used as a cudgel to compel someone to plea rather than wait for a proper lab result.

    2. AJB-
      And everyone who can’t afford a good attorney but plead out, or else.

      1. Dammit! Make that, “better plead” for a damn edit button.

  13. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….


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