Report: Inaccurate drug field tests led to unfounded arrests

Photo: MGN Online

A Georgia news station's investigation has found that some officers relying on field drug tests made unfounded arrests based on false positives.

WAGA-TV reports the field test kits known as NIK tests can misidentify things like sweetener and air freshener as heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, meth or other illegal drugs.

The station says dozens of test results were reversed by state crime labs, but only after arrestees have been jailed and given criminal records.

It says on the package of each test that findings should be confirmed by an approved laboratory, but some departments weren't waiting.

Now the false positives have prompted some agencies to delay charging people without crime-lab confirmation.

The head of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, Frank Rotundo, also says officers shouldn't rely on the tests.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off