Boston cops fired for testing positive to cocain reinstated ...

Falldog

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#1
Six Boston cops fired after testing positive for cocaine have been ordered reinstated — with back pay — after a state board struck down hair tests as 
unreliable in a bombshell ruling that could have a far-reaching impact on how city workers are drug-tested.

In a stunning, 134-page ruling, the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission this week ordered the six cops back on the job, finding that “the present state of hair testing for drugs of abuse ... does not meet the standard of reliability necessary to be routinely used” to fire someone.

“Hair testing for drugs of abuse has not achieved general acceptance within the scientific or law enforcement communities,” the board wrote. “A reported positive test result is not necessarily conclusive of ingestion and ... may or may not justify termination.”

The six ex-cops — Richard Beckers, Ronnie Jones, Jacqueline McGowan, Shawn Harris, Walter Washington and George Downing — failed drug tests when cocaine showed up in their hair samples in the early to mid-2000s, records state. They all appealed and the board ruled that all should be reinstated with back pay to October 2010, which is when Civil Service took on the case.

For McGowan, the positive test was her second — and she testified before the commission that she was formerly a “regular” cocaine user, the ruling states. Attempts to reach all the officers last night were unsuccessful.
Their union-paid attorney, Alan Shapiro, called the ruling “enormously gratifying.”
“Finally, somebody that has looked at all the science of this has said, ‘No, you can’t do that,’ ” Shapiro said last night. “The science is not the holy grail that it was held out to be.”

Dot Joyce, spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said the city is “weighing its options for appeal.”
“This decision could have impacts across the city,” she said.

Four other former cops who appealed over their failed drug tests — Preston Thompson, Oscar Bridgeman, Rudy Guity and William Bridgeforth — had their firings upheld, according to the commission.

Some of them made excuses for their failed tests, including Bridgeforth, who told the commission he may have had false positive tests because he brushed white powder off the seat of his cruiser, which he “assumed was confectionery powder from doughnuts.” He also said he lived in a townhouse that shared a heating vent with neighbors who were crack smokers, records state.

Bridgeman, meanwhile, told commissioners he believed his positive test was because he had a “habit of putting drugs ... from suspects in his pocket where he also kept cookies to eat.”

Guity, who once served on the drug unit, blamed his positive tests on lidocaine he was prescribed after surgery. The state unemployment board found the claim “credible” and awarded him benefits. Several of the others also have been granted unemployment pay, records show.
http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/03/cops_firing_for_drugs_reversed
 

Lord Zero

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#2
Six Boston cops fired after testing positive for cocaine have been ordered reinstated — with back pay — after a state board struck down hair tests as 
unreliable in a bombshell ruling that could have a far-reaching impact on how city workers are drug-tested.
But they'll continue allowing cops to use drug-sniffing dogs whose accuracy rate sits below 50%.
 

Lord Zero

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#6
i didn't get the memo about how to get other people memos.
Clearly, we have a communication breakdown here. We'll need to send a memo to whoever sends the memos informing them that we have no way of receiving or sending memos.
 

KRSOne

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#7
I had to take blood tests before going on a work trip to Africa and I tested positive for opium use, but it was all because of a muffin with poppy seeds.

And cops are above the law so no one should be surprised by this. The state protects the state, and throws the book at its subjects.
 

Party Rooster

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#8
I had to take blood tests before going on a work trip to Africa and I tested positive for opium use, but it was all because of a muffin with poppy seeds.

And cops are above the law so no one should be surprised by this. The state protects the state, and throws the book at its subjects.
You expect us to believe you went to Africa? Or is that what you're calling the bad part of Denver? :haha7:
 

mascan42

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#9
Bridgeman, meanwhile, told commissioners he believed his positive test was because he had a “habit of putting drugs ... from suspects in his pocket where he also kept cookies to eat.”
He was fired almost a decade ago, and in all that time, this weak shit is the best excuse he can come up with? "I keep my evidence next to my afternoon snack?" He deserves to be fired just for thinking that up.

Although, if it were true, I imagine him also having to explain how that chocolate chip got in the cocaine.
 

KRSOne

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#12
You expect us to believe you went to Africa? Or is that what you're calling the bad part of Denver? :haha7:
Weren't you listening? I didn't get to go. My Boss, Mr Peterman allowed me to take it again but on the day I was supposed to retake the test I ate some chicken and I found out it had poppy seeds on it so I had to get my friends elderly mother to pee in a cup for me. When the tests came back they found out I was menopausal from the urine and I couldn't go.

Am I the only one?

edit:

Ballbuster got it
 

VicVinegar

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#14
He was fired almost a decade ago, and in all that time, this weak shit is the best excuse he can come up with? "I keep my evidence next to my afternoon snack?" He deserves to be fired just for thinking that up.

Although, if it were true, I imagine him also having to explain how that chocolate chip got in the cocaine.
If anything he should be a fired for coming up with such a pathetic lie.

And "regular" cocaine use in someone's past could keep them from working in my field, and we don't get badges and guns.
 

BIV

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#15
But they'll continue allowing cops to use drug-sniffing dogs whose accuracy rate sits below 50%.
Big difference. Drug dogs can't be used as evidence, just to establish probable cause for a search. I'm no fan of the drug war, but if the laws are one the books, I see no problem with using dogs.
 

Creasy Bear

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Big difference. Drug dogs can't be used as evidence, just to establish probable cause for a search. I'm no fan of the drug war, but if the laws are one the books, I see no problem with using dogs.
Probable cause for what kind of search? Search of a person in public? Search of a car? Search of a private residence?
 
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#18
I love how the cops involved can only come up with excuses that play right into cop stereotypes. "I brushed white powder off the seat of my squad car and assumed it was from a powdered donut." Notice that this excuse doesn't explain how the coke got on his seat in the first place. "I keep drugs found on suspects in my pocket. I also keep cookies in my pocket." Who the hell is running around with cookies in their pockets?
 

Creasy Bear

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#19
I disagree. I think probable cause to search a private residence should be a fuckload more substantial than "The dog sensed skullduggery therein".

If you're going to allow a dog's say so as probable cause to search a private residence, then you might as well just hand all cops a blank search warrant that applies to every house in their jurisdiction.

How could you ever call out the cops on a bogus search? It's not like you can ask the dog or check the calibration on the dog's nose. It's basically just the word of the officer... "Yep. Rover's spidey senses were tinglin'. I could tell because he popped a boner."

The cops have little enough respect for the sanctity for private property as it is, and letting them use a dog as a basis of probable cause to search is basically just handing them a magical dowsing rod that they can't point at any door they feel like kicking down.
 

Lord Zero

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#20
Big difference. Drug dogs can't be used as evidence, just to establish probable cause for a search. I'm no fan of the drug war, but if the laws are one the books, I see no problem with using dogs.
Drug-sniffing dogs are just a (grossly inaccurate) way to get around securing a search warrant.
 

NuttyJim

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Feb 18, 2006
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#21
I had to take blood tests before going on a work trip to Africa and I tested positive for opium use, but it was all because of a muffin with poppy seeds.

And cops are above the law so no one should be surprised by this. The state protects the state, and throws the book at its subjects.
You have to eat like 5lbs of poppy seeds for days on end to test positive lol.
 

Floyd1977

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#22
So what's the big deal? Our current president, by his own admission, was a former coke user. And Marion Barry got reelected after being busted smoking crack with a hooker.
 

Floyd1977

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So what's the big deal? Our current president, by his own admission, was a former coke user. And Marion Barry got reelected after being busted smoking crack with a hooker.
 

Party Rooster

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#23
So what's the big deal? Our current president, by his own admission, was a former coke user. And Marion Barry got reelected after being busted smoking crack with a hooker.
So what's the big deal? Our current president, by his own admission, was a former coke user. And Marion Barry got reelected after being busted smoking crack with a hooker.
Reported. BIV
 

JonBenetRamsey

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#24
I love how the cops involved can only come up with excuses that play right into cop stereotypes. "I brushed white powder off the seat of my squad car and assumed it was from a powdered donut." Notice that this excuse doesn't explain how the coke got on his seat in the first place. "I keep drugs found on suspects in my pocket. I also keep cookies in my pocket." Who the hell is running around with cookies in their pockets?