In a monumental decision last week, the Supreme Court ruled that a citizen can sue for malicious prosecution for being jailed due to the police falsifying drug test results.
In Joliet, Illinois, police stopped Elijah Manuel for a traffic violation. Manuel was subsequently searched. Law enforcement officers located a vitamin bottle containing several pills. The police suspected that the vitamins were illegal drugs and decided to perform a field test on the substance. The field test came back negative for any illegal or controlled substance. Nevertheless, the police decided to go ahead and arrest Mr. Manuel and charge him with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Manuel was taken to the police station. At the station an evidence technician tested the pills again and received the same negative result. However, in his report he stated that one of the pills tested, “positive for the probable presence of ecstasy.” One of the arresting officers stated in his report that, based on his “training and experience,” he “knew the pills to be ecstasy.”
Ecstasy or “Molly,” or MDMA is a synthetic drug that can alter your mood and your perception. The chemical formula is similar to both stimulant and hallucinogenic drugs. MDMA and its derivatives can produce distorted time and sensory perception, excessive emotional warmth, and feelings increased energy and pleasure. The drug achieves these effects by altering the levels or dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The effect of the drug can last anywhere from three to six hours.