Donald May of Florida was driving home one afternoon when cops pulled him over ostensibly for expired tags and then things went downhill fast:
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.
That’s a pretty good question. It’s also curious that the officer says he saw May buy the drugs when he originally said he pulled him over due to expired tags. Still, it shouldn’t take long for things to get straightened out, right? I mean it was breath mints. That should be pretty easy to establish in short order.
Of course not. Don’t be silly. Most crime labs have a backlog to contend with. So they tossed May in jail, where he was unable to raise bond, so he sat there for three months until the crime lab was able to confirm that the candy was just candy. In the meantime his life went to hell as a result:
“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.
In short the Kissimmee Police Department ruined this man’s life over fucking breath mints. This is what the “War on Drugs” has come to. You can be arrested on mere suspicion, held for months until the crime lab gets around to examining your evidence, and the police can happily sell your car while you’re rotting in jail. That last fact galls me to no end. The forfeiture laws in this country are ridiculous. At the very least you should have to be convicted in a court of law before any forfeiture of property to the police is allowed.