I've been sitting on this one for four days waiting for the Star to pick up the story. So far as I can tell, this has been reported by Channel 6 news and nowhere else.
On September 16 we were informed (by the Star and others) that a 10-year-old boy had been caught at his southeastern Marion County elementary school with $2000 worth of cocaine (that is, 21 grams in three bags. I'm not sure of the going rate for blow these days, but the typical police pricing equation is, uh, suspect). The boy was suspended from school, he and his siblings were removed from their home, and police, armed with a warrant and a drug-sniffing dog, searched the house. Suspicion was cast in the direction of his 14-year-old brother. The boy later told investigators that the goods were actually wall shavings and chalk. But it tested positive for coke.
Oh, good golly. It was chalk. It's the third such error in three months, or since local LE turned testing over to civilian employees of the police department after a week long training program. Channel 6:
"I'm sorry that his family had to go through a search," said Marion County Superior Court Judge William Young. "I'm sorry that they had to go in and go through all their stuff, bring a dog in and do all those things. But, again, that could have been avoided if this young man did not run around the school saying he had cocaine and showing it off."
According to Judge Young, anyone can petition the trained chemists in the crime lab to conduct a so-called confirmatory test.
And, just like that, get their children and their lives back. No problem-o. But tell me, your Honor, who do they see to get the Star to print a retraction?
Did you enjoy how the judge blamed the kid for acting like a goofy kid. Too bad he didn't blame the crime lab for acting like the Houston Crime Lab.
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