back to article Man jailed for 3 days after Texas cops confuse cat litter for meth

Spare a thought for Ross LeBeau, who spent three days in jail when Texas cops confused cat litter for methamphetamine during a routine traffic stop. Although LeBeau has since been released without charge, he claims to have lost work as a result of the arrest, and is upset at the damage to his reputation. The Houston man had …

I hope this guy gets a lawyer soon. One way to stop police using $2 tests is to make the overall cost to the police of a test $50002!

His request is very reasonable - apology for the mistake, clear his record, publish a correction. Quite cheap realy.

However the police don't have that mindset. They are above the law, so they will not do the above, and it will force him to get a lawyer, who will find other affected people, turn it into a class action, and maybe cost the police millions (hopefully).

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In the US, there should be rule that people involved in thins like this should be forbidden to run for any public office for a decade.

As they also remove the right to vote from inmates, this would be only fair (IMO).

That way, people who work they career-ladder by creating a record on being "tough on crime" would think twice before going over the top.

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Anonymous Coward

Presumptive tests are just that. Presumptive. You would in Scotland at least, seize the potential drug material, arrest and charge the person with a Section 5(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act and inform them that it will be presumptively tested and that -should- it give a positive result, that a report would be sent to the Procurator Fiscal. You then take it back to the station and presumptively test it in the office, and if you're not happy or it's not a drug type that can be tested, you send it off to forensics.

You cannot arrest someone and convey them to a custody suite to spend the night in the cells prior to going in front of a Sheriff in the morning unless it's dealer quantities, which are substantial to say the least. Only time I've ever had that was when some poor lad got on the train I and my colleague had hopped on coming back from Court. Poor sod didn't realise we were there until the doors shut, and then the smell hit us. Whoops!

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm?

Lawsuit coming?

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Combine this with the lack of access to a public defense.

Been using the same tests for decades, this happens to tens of thousands of Americans a year. Many lacking the funds for private representation have no choice but to plead guilty.

I'd post some links but I'm assuming everyone on this site knows how to use a search engine.

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Unhappy

Kitty litterer

Just more confirming evidence that the US is a police state.

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Silver badge

Taking back some of what I said..

Few days back I was talking about how US courts should not award stupid amounts of money in some claims.

However, I think that for the people behind this sort of thing, there should be an example made such that those who have profitted from innocent people going to prison will truly and for the rest of their lives know what poverty is (preferably by collectively spending the same amount of time inside as their victims, so if 1,000 victims spent 3 days each inside then there's 3,000 days worth of jail time to be used equally by the highest and lowest people who knew this was going on and didn't speak out publicly or at least in court against it - so if there's 10 of them they have to do 300 days each).

If your actions put an innocent person in prison/jail through known faulty systems (different matter if say they were found holding the weapon at a murder scene) then you should a) do the same time as them, b) have to cover ALL of the costs incurred by them/their loved ones including travelling to court/to visit them inside, any medical or funeral costs (more than one person has had a fatal heart attack or stroke as a result of news of a loved one's arrest, especially on serious charges) and a whopping wrongful death case in case of such, and also pay for a lot of full-page newspaper ads, at least 3x the coverage on TV saying the person is absolutely innocent, and a massive online campaign to remove any mention of their guilt and clearly show their innocence. If you're bankrupted through this, good. Don't put innocent people in jail and if there's a risk something is producing even 0.1% false positives then stop using it.

</rant>

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Silver badge

Re: Taking back some of what I said..

"However, I think that for the people behind this sort of thing, there should be an example made such that those who have profitted from innocent people going to prison"

This is happening in _some_ areas. In one case a judge was found to be getting kickbacks from a privately run prison for sending juveniles there - in most cases they turned out to be innocents on trumped up charges.

That particular judge is unlikely to ever be released.

Corruption in the USA is at least as bad as any west african country, just slightly less blatent in most cases.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Taking back some of what I said..

That particular judge is unlikely to ever be released.

I don't know how I feel about that. On one hand he put innocent people inside, I guess a number of them, and needs to repay that debt - and it's pretty damned impossible. On the other, people can change, and they can change significantly and quickly even if the catalyst is selfish motives (in this case "I miss my authority" and or "I miss my money" and or "I miss my expensive toys" with a distant maybe "I miss my family"). I'd love to see a system where if you could convince enough people of decent change, you can get out very early whereas if you can only show that you've not changed, you stay. Of course that would need our prisons to move from punishment to rehab, and would also mean the victims can only be a part of decision (lets face it, victims especially of nastier crimes can hold a massive grudge, and a really harmful crime can come from one stupid decision where the outcome is completely unexpected - eg who ever thinks that one extra drink will impair them enough that it causes them to crash and kill someome? (no I don't excuse drunk driving and think that by the time of a 3rd offense lifetime driving bans should be a real possibility! (yes I know that sounds hypocritical)

Corruption in the USA is at least as bad as any west african country, just slightly less blatent in most cases.

There are many forms of corruption. NZ often gets voted quite highly if not at the top of the "least corrupt", yet our cops can be among the worst when it comes to things like evidence tampering, witness tampering and various other things. And a big part of that, AIUI, is that they're given significant bonuses for convictions. When you can get a (I believe but could be wrong and don't have a source handy) $20K bonus for a murder conviction, that's quite an inducement to maybe ignore some of the evidence that can show someone is guilty, and perhaps get that one tiny partial print promoted to the jury as if it's a full set of finger/palm/foot prints as well as signed confession, and a full DNA lot as well. DNA doesn't match? Well, we'll just say that no DNA tests were performed, then the defence doesn't have to know about that.

NZ cops take bribes from crims/gangs etc? Almost never, maybe not even 1 in a thousand. Tamper with evidence to help get their conviction? That may be a different story..

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When I ran a stable in the USA, I was always very mindful of traffic laws if transporting horses to and from shows. We carried an equine medical kit that would have caused a traffic cop to fall over: partital list of contents = needles, Bute, and a gallon-sized bag of white powder. The latter was aspirin powder. I wonder what would have happened if I were stopped.

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Childcatcher

Won't someone think of the children?

Another proof that cats are evil, and that we have to get rid of them.

This was an announcement by the Committee Against Cats

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