A Florida man who was arrested in 2015 after police mistook doughnut glaze in his car for methamphetamines has received a $37,500 (£28,269) settlement.
Daniel Rushing, 65, sued the city soon after being arrested in December 2015, reports The Orlando Sentinel. He had been pulled over for a traffic violation when Corporal Shelby Riggs-Hopkin spotted a “rock-like substance” on the floor of his car.
Rushing told the officer the substance was just flakes from the glaze of a Krispy Kreme doughnut he’d eaten, but the officer wrote in the arrest report that she “recognised through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer the substance to be some sort of narcotic.”
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A roadside kit tested positive for narcotics and Rushing was taken to prison where he spent 10 hours maintaining his innocence.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab analysis then proved Rushing correct and showed that the flakes did not contain any illicit substances.
Rushing, said the arrest made him feel like a criminal.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I’ve never even smoked a cigarette before, let alone meth.”
But he bears no ill-will toward the city's police department and told The Sentinel that the arresting officer was “very polite and nice.” He worked alongside the police as a parks department employee for more than 25 years, and his brother is a former Orlando policeman.
He said the issue is that the department keeps using the roadside kits, despite well-documented problems with using them.
“These kits give a false positive 1 out of every 5 times,” he said. “I'm thinking about running for statehouse next year. And if I do, I'd like to get something done about these kits.”
Rushing, a retiree who’d worked for decades with the city’s parks department, told the Sentinel that he’s had trouble finding work since the doughnut incident.
“I haven’t been able to work,” Rushing said. “People go online and see that you’ve been arrested.”
Still, he continues to eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts regularly. “He just doesn’t eat it in his car,” the paper notes.
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