May 26, 2022

A woman just sued after being imprisoned for four months over cotton candy

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There’s no better story to illustrate the excesses of modern American law enforcement than the sad tale of Dascha Fincher, who is now suing a Georgia county for being forced to spend four months in jail for having…cotton candy.


Fincher was pulled over by the police for having “tints” on her windows, which were entirely legal, on New Year’s Eve 2016. She was reportedly very nervous, as one usually is when they get pulled over at night by the cops — especially young women, who are vulnerable to sexual assault at the hands of police officers.

They then seized a bag of cotton candy that she had in the car and tested it for drugs. The test somehow came back as positive for methamphetamine.

Fincher was arrested and charged with possession and trafficking of meth with the intent to sell and given a $1 million bail, which she obviously could not afford to pay — so she had to spend four months in jail before further lab tests discovered the bag of cotton candy was just a bag of cotton candy.

The charges were dropped, but that doesn’t make up for the trauma of having to spend four months in jail for no reason whatsoever — which is why she’s suing the county.

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The lawsuit argues that the field test, Nark II, was notorious for giving false positives and the blue food coloring set it off. It also alleges that Deputies Cody Maples and Allen Henderson were clearly not trained in the identification of street drugs nor trained in proper use of the Nark II test.

There’s a reason the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world, and it’s because of how the war on drugs has opened the door for prisons to be monetized into a for-profit venture. Needing to fill stat sheets and cells with bodies, police routinely ignore laws and manufacture reasons to arrest people, no matter how preposterous they might be — as this case clearly shows.

What would happen to you if you were improperly jailed for four months? You could be kicked out of your rental, have all your stuff mysteriously disappear into the eviction trucks, lose your job?

Lives are ruined by this kind of casual abuse from the police, who then make the taxpayers pay for it with a huge cash payout.

Original reporting by Zachary Hansen at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.

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