Man spends 3 months in jail for possession of breath mints

Postby RaharuAharu » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:03 pm

http://www.wftv.com/irresistible/20435114/detail.html

Mints Believed To Be Crack Land Man In Jail

Posted: 5:27 pm EDT August 17, 2009Updated: 11:30 am EDT August 19, 2009
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- A man is suing the Kissimmee Police Department for an arrest over mints. When officers pulled Donald May over for an expired tag, they thought the mints he was chewing were crack and arrested him.

May told Eyewitness News they wouldn't let him out of jail for three months until tests proved the so-called drugs were candy.

May said he was just minding his business, driving home from work, when a Kissimmee police officer pulled him over near 192.

I don't know how it occurred," he said.

May was pulled over for an expired tag on his car. When the officer walked up to him, he noticed something white in May's mouth. May said it was breath mints, but the officer thought it was crack cocaine.

"He took them out of my mouth and put them in a baggy and locked me up [for] possession of cocaine and tampering with evidence," May explained.

The officer claimed he field-tested the evidence and it tested positive for drugs. The officer said he saw May buying drugs while he was stopped at an intersection. He also stated in his report May waived his Miranda rights and voluntarily admitted to buying drugs.

May said that never happened.

"My client never admitted he purchased crack cocaine. Why would he say that?" attorney Adam Sudbury said.

May was thrown in jail and was unable to bond out for three months. He didn't get out until he received a letter from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney's Office that test results showed no drugs were found.

"While I was sitting in jail I lost my apartment. I lost everything," he said.

While May was behind bars, the Kissimmee Police Department towed his car and auctioned it off. He lost his job and was evicted. Now May is suing the city for false arrest and false imprisonment. He wants to be compensated for the loss of his car and job.

May's attorney and the city of Kissimmee discussed a possible settlement last year, but failed to reach an agreement.


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Re: Man spends 3 months in jail for possession of breath mints

Postby Coda » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:24 pm

... the heck.

There should be laws protecting people from losing jobs/property due to being arrested and held before trial, similar to the laws that protect you from getting fired or evicted due to serious injury.
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Re: Man spends 3 months in jail for possession of breath mints

Postby RaharuAharu » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:26 pm

Coda wrote:... the heck.

There should be laws protecting people from losing jobs/property due to being arrested and held before trial, similar to the laws that protect you from getting fired or evicted due to serious injury.


There is no profit in such laws.
Its a tough time for the department's budget.
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Re: Man spends 3 months in jail for possession of breath mints

Postby Mitsukara » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:39 pm

In addition to compensating the poor man for this abomination, the officer that arrested him needs his badge taken away. Forever.
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Re: Man spends 3 months in jail for possession of breath mints

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:46 pm

The sad thing is that I am no longer surprised and shocked anymore when I hear things like this.

That alone demonstrates the commonness of such abuses to me. I read about them constantly. It's background noise now.

That.

Is wrong.

But I don't have the money or the guts or the ideas to deal with this stuff. The corruption is endemic, universal, pandemic.
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Re: Man spends 3 months in jail for possession of breath mints

Postby Wic » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:00 am

Mitsukara wrote:In addition to compensating the poor man for this abomination, the officer that arrested him needs his badge taken away. Forever.


Already done.

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/osceola_news/081809_Man_sues_city_over_wrongful_arrest wrote:A police spokeswoman said any comments on lawsuits have to come from the city attorney, but confirmed that Officer Eric Rice no longer works for the Kissimmee Police Department.


I can imagine field testing can give false positives (which is why they're send to the lab in the first place), what I don't understand is towing away a car and selling it nor why would the cop lie about seeing the guy buying drugs. Nor kicking the guy out of his home.
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Re: Man spends 3 months in jail for possession of breath mints

Postby draque » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:36 am

Christ. Even if we work from the (absurd) assumption that this guy did have drugs, the drugs wouldn't have damaged his life of his contribution to society nearly as much as losing his home, car and job. CHRIST.
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Re: Man spends 3 months in jail for possession of breath mints

Postby Monthenor » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:07 am

draque wrote:Christ. Even if we work from the (absurd) assumption that this guy did have drugs, the drugs wouldn't have damaged his life of his contribution to society nearly as much as losing his home, car and job. CHRIST.

At that point you might as well turn to a life of crime. Actual crime, I mean.
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