A Florida man has received a settlement related to his arrest on drug charges in December 2015. What turned out to be donut glaze was mistaken for crystal meth by a police officer, who arrested the man when she saw the flaky substance on the floorboard of the man’s vehicle.
At the time of the arrest, the Krispy Kreme donut glaze flakes tested positive for amphetamine in two field tests conducted by the arresting officer. The man denied having used drugs and suggested that the flakes were likely to be from a donut, but he was charged with possession of methamphetamine. He was eventually cleared after laboratory testing by a state crime lab revealed the truth about what the substance was.
The 64-year-old donut eater said that after his arrest it was difficult for him to find work. He is retired from the Orlando Parks Department and was trying to start a security business. He sued the city of Orlando and received a $37,500 settlement. He told the Orlando Sentinel that he is happy with the outcome of the case. The officer who made the arrest received a written reprimand. At the time of the arrest, the Orlando Police Department said that it was legal and offered no explanation for the inaccurate field tests. Since then, it have trained many of its officers on proper use of field-test kits.
This story illustrates the fact that scientific testing is not always accurate. An arrest on drug charges even with scientific evidence to back up the police testimony is not always enough for someone to be found guilty. A criminal defense attorney could challenge the way that the tests were conducted as well as the actions of the police officers at the time the defendant was taken into custody.