State orders city to reinstate six cops fired after positive cocaine tests; says tests were unreliable

The Herald reports, adds the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission upheld the firing of four other cops who tested positive, in a 134-page ruling (which you can read in the attachment to this post).

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

    Free tagging: 

    AttachmentSize
    Civil Service Commission ruling0 bytes

    Comments

    Fighting the war on drugs

    By on

    Fighting the war on drugs while on drugs!! Does anyone know where I can get an application?

    Also, do you think dunkin's sell the coke covered doughnuts to everyone, or do you have to flash a badge to get one?

    up
    12

    twinkie defense redux

    Officer Snowball sez "I thot dat was powdad sugah from my dunkins."
    Officer Nosebleed sez "Its from keepin drugs in mah pocket with mah cookies!"

    Take notes and learn from the best.

    up
    15

    maybe

    ... somebody mixed some in with the anabolic steroids?

    One article

    One article, over ten years old.

    If you read through the opinion you will find that hair testing for certain drugs is not a settled science.

    In fact the document above states that the FBI stopped hair testing after a study by the Research Triangle Institute demonstrated problems with external contamination (like that which could happen in the evidence room or during a drug bust:

    101. The lack of a reliable benchmark for quantification of the potential for external contamination was one of the core concerns expressed in the 2009 RTI study performed for the Department of Justice which led the FBI to suspend cocaine analysis that year in hair for most cases: The extent of surface contamination is poorly understood for environments where exposure may occur such as for law enforcement who work in areas where there is known drug usage. Better estimation of the extent of surface contamination and the quantities of drug that could be realistically transferred to hair is a central component to understanding if contamination models are using quantities of COC that are too low or too high to be realistic.

    Furthermore, testing 40 people in a single lab trial with careful handling procedures is a world different from all of the steps which must be followed for full-scale testing of a large number of people. Cross contamination, mishandling, misidentification, etc. happen.

    First - this is from the

    First - this is from the person who always demands citations?

    Second - the results of the above paper don't change because they were done ten years ago.If you think they do, you suffer from a fundamental misunderstanding of the scientific method.

    Third - any procedure can go wrong in the wrong hands. That doesn't mean we have to sit on our hands and never to anything. Testing of our water supplies go on, despite the fact that they could be done poorly.

    Fourth - I like your confidence in the FBI. When the time comes, I'll remind you of the faith you put in them.

    Not faith in the FBI

    Faith in RTI ... the ones who aggregated the information on the reliability of hair testing. The FBI just did the right thing given scientific reality.

    The scientific reality is that there are a lot of vendors of drug testing "solutions" and promoting their work and hiding its limitations behind "trade secrets", and not a lot of scientific veracity or accountability - that's what I'm about here.

    Note as well that the FBI stopped using this method BECAUSE the evidence SINCE 2001 has shown it to be unable to discern external occupational exposures from internal exposures - an issue not covered by your citation.

    I do science for public policy for a living ... so I think I would know the difference between a single limited citation (from the time before researchers were required to declare conflicts and funding sources, mind you) and the larger trends from the entire body of evidence which have been unable to either quantify or exclude external occupational exposures.

    So it is good that you provided a citation, and a valid one. However, it is a problematic one - it comes from a study that was very possibly funded and conducted by people with a financial interest in the company that owns the technology and does the testing and not good that it did not address the problem of environmental contamination in people who are likely to handle cocaine as part of their job. Were I doing a meta study or research synthesis, I would identify such an article, but it might not survive a systematic inclusion for these reasons.

    up
    12

    134 pages of subjective bullshit

    I skimmed this report. Looks like in the end it was merely the eminent Paul Stein's personal opinion of the "credibility" of the applellants that carried the day. In other words, whether he liked them or not.
    Not sure whether they should all have been kept or all fired, though.

    You have actual data on contamination?

    By on

    Really? I'm sure the company that makes millions on junk science and feeds at the war on drugs teat at the expense of ruining innocent peoples lives would love to hire you.

    Any data produced by your favorite girl Ms. Dookhan doesnt count.

    up
    12

    Alls I'm saying, is that if the method is truly bunk,

    then all of the cops should have been reinstated. Along with any other public employees who flunked the same test and were fired. And also, anyone who's in jail on account of these tests should be let out. This guy Stein basically goes out of his way to affirm the general reliability of the tests, while reinstating only his six favorite appellants (those whose exculpatory evidence seemed to consist mainly of their asserting, "in a firm manner", that they "don't do drugs") and throwing the other four under the bus.