Woman Unfairly Spends 6 Months In Jail After Police Mistakes Sand From Her Stress Ball For Cocaine

Posted by Sama in Bizarre On 29th November 2021
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Ju'zema Goldring has filed a case against two Atlanta police officers after she unfairly spent almost 6 months in jail after a shoddy drug test somehow proved the sand in her stress ball to be cocaine. The police officers then locked her up after accusing her of jaywalking and cocaine trafficking. Goldring shares that even after the crime lab proved that the product was only sand and it contained no drug, she spent further 4 months in jail and even faced solitary confinement.

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The US Court of Appeals ruled a few days back that two Atlanta police officers are not entitled to qualified immunity from a civil lawsuit filed against them by Ju'zema Goldring for malicious prosecution. According to Goldring, the officers accused her of cocaine trafficking and jaywalking based on a shoddy field test of a powdery substance inside a stress ball she had in her purse.

(Design Pics / Setareh Vatan/Setareh Vatan/Newscom)
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Goldring shares that she unfairly spent nearly 6 months in the Fulton County Jail because she couldn't afford jail and later told local news outlet NBC 46 that she was occasionally put in solitary confinement. What is more infuriating is that she was left in jail for 4 months even after the crime lab confirmed that the mysterious powder was sand and not any drug.

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As per the 11th Circuit's opinion, Atlanta police officers Vladimir Henry and Juan Restrepo stopped Goldring on October 10, 2015, for allegedly jaywalking. Goldring refuted any accusation of jaywalking. Still, the officers took her to the police station and proceeded to slash the stress ball they found in her purse and test the powdery substance inside using a Nark II field test for drugs.

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As Reason reported a few years back that these field drugs tests are manufactured by various companies and are used by police departments as well as the prison systems throughout the country.

These test kits use color reactions to prove an illegal compound. However, these same compounds are found in a number of illicit substances. And although the tests are fairly simple to use, they're still prone to user error and misinterpretation.

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For example, only last year in Georgia a college quarterback was arrested after bird poop on his car turned out to be positive for cocaine. In fact, one Florida man was wrongfully jailed in 2017 after a field test confused his donut glaze with meth.

Back in 2016 the sheriff's deputies in Monroe County, Georgia, arrested Macon resident Dasha Fincher after a search of her car turned up a plastic baggie of blue crystals. A NARK II field test of the substance returned a presumptive positive for methamphetamines, and Fincher was charged with trafficking and possession of meth with intent to distribute. Fincher sat in jail for three months until a state crime lab determined that the substance was blue cotton candy. 

A later follow-up investigation by a Georgia news station found that the NARK II test kit produced 145 false positives in Georgia in 2017.

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