Unreliable and Unchallenged: Police Field Drug Tests Are Sending Innocent People to Prison

Las Vegas police know their field drug tests return false positives, yet they still use them. They're not alone, and innocent people pay the price.

Field drug test kit
Photo Credit: The Free Thought Project



Unreliable and Unchallenged

This story was co-published with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. At the outset of the 1990s, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department began making thousands of arrests every year using inexpensive test kits meant to detect illegal drugs. Officers simply had to drop suspected cocaine or methamphetamine — taken from someone’s pocket or the floorboards of their…

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Ryan Gabrielson reports for Pro Publica.