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Police Throw Man in Jail After Mistaking Jolly Ranchers for Crystal Meth

October 21, 2013 in Blogs

By Tana Ganeva, AlterNet

Drug War inspired police work at its best.

For any New Yorker that still needs convincing of how essential stop-and-frisk tactics are to keeping them safe, some intrepid NYPD police work has taken hard candies off the street. 

According to a lawsuit brought against the NYPD by Love Olatunjiojo, police arrested and held the 25-year-old man for 24 hours after mistaking Jolly Ranchers for crystal meth, reports theNew York Daily News. Olatunjiojo and a friend had just made the purchase — at the It’Sugar candy emporium in Brooklyn — when police approached and searched the two men. According to the complaint, obtained by the Smoking Gun, “Finding only candy, including the Jolly Rancher candy mentioned, the officers repeatedly searched Plaintiff and told him “it was only a matter of time before they found something.'”

After the search Olatunjiojo was hauled off to jail and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree — a class A misdemeanor. Police continued doing a great job by sending the suspicious hard candy to the NYPD crime lab where a “gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis” was conducted on the ”two “red crystalline rocks of solid material” and four “blue crystalline rocks of solid material,” according to the complaint. 

When the lab found no controlled substances in the hard candy, they wrote in big block letters on the report: NO CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE IDENTIFIED, NOTIFY DISTRICT ATTORNEY. 

Despite the clear instructions, the suit alleges that the DA did nothing about this until 4 months later, when Olatunjiojo appeared in court on September 19th, 2013. That's when the case was finally dismissed. 

As the Huffington Post points out, between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, the city paid out $22.8 million to settle civil rights abuse cases against the NYPD. 

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