Just Say No To Drug Test Kits | June 7, 2017 Act 3 | Full Frontal on TBS

Just Say No To Drug Test Kits | June 7, 2017 Act 3 | Full Frontal on TBS

Tonight, we bring
you a true story from the front lines
of the drug war, and a lesson learned
the hard way– if you can’t do the time,
don’t leave the house. ROSS’S FATHER: They
were labeling it as the biggest drug
bust in Houston and that they had
gotten the kingpin. I’m Ross, I’m 24, I’m
from Houston, Texas, born and raised– H-Town baby, that’s
how we do it. It was just a
beautiful day outside. We were driving around in my ’06
Acura TL silver bullet model. I was at a four-way intersection
going to take a right turn and I guess I forgot my blinker. And I see the cop
hauling ass towards me. Comes up over to, like, the
door, you know, leaning on it– Mr. Cool Guy. While they’re
searching my vehicle, Nico and I were chilling
in the back of the cop car. And he just comes
back from the car and he’s got this big old
sock and he asks me, what’s in the sock, and I
say, your guess is as good as as mine, you know. You’re the police, you
know, figure it out for me. And he came in there
with two field tests and that’s when they
tested it twice. Sure enough, he
came back and he was like, you’re going to
be arrested for having 252 grams of methamphetamine. And I said, bullshit. When Nico’s parents
called me and said that Ross was arrested
for meth, I already was thinking, that’s the sock. It has to be. It’s a life hack– I read about it online, about
putting kitty litter in a sock and putting it in the car. It would act as a
dehumidifier and a deodorizer. So he had no idea it was in
there in the first place. CORRESPONDENT: Does kitty
litter look like meth? Well, I haven’t seen
meth since college more than 30 years ago. From what I remember
of meth, it’s oily and it smells to high heaven. That makes me think that the
police officers themselves– that certified
narcotics officer– is a moron. [CAT MEOWING] Field test kits are
not reliable to confirm the presence of
illegal substances, but they also can give
positive reactions to common household products– common household items like
nasal spray, cleaning supplies, pain reliever, BC powder,
blood pressure medicine, anti-depressants,
Sudafed, Benadryl, roach bait, flour, baking
soda, antihistamines, and dehumidifiers. CORRESPONDENT: All
right, OK, great. Um, aspirin, Dr. Bronner’s
soap, pasta sauce, chocolate, sage, acne medications, tortilla
dough, cheese, deodorant, Krispy Kreme donut glaze,
billiard chalk, motor oil, breath mints, soy milk,
anything with sugar, loose-leaf tea, even just
exposing the bag to air. Drug field test kits are
used essentially universally and they’re widely
accepted in courtrooms. In three years, my unit
identified over 100 cases where individuals had pled
guilty to drug possession and were innocent and that’s
just in Harris County alone. My name is Barry
Demings and I was wrongly convicted of drug possession. I was driving in Northwest
Houston to pick up a coworker. You know, I had an Explorer. I had my turn signal
on and before I could get in the left lane, I
was surrounded by police cars. The next thing I know, you know,
they’re searching my vehicle and I had a gun
magazine in the back and somebody hollered “Gun!” CORRESPONDENT:
Wait, a mag– like a magazine that holds bullets? Right, it was just the mag–
no, it was a magazine that you read, Guns and Ammo magazine. And I was thrown to
the ground, handcuffed. They had their knee
on my neck and stuff and I was telling them, hey,
I don’t possess a weapon. All of a sudden, this guy
came up to say, uh, I– ha, I got something. A minute amount in the corner of
a baggie is what he showed me. They tested it and they
said it came back cocaine. If you’re at a traffic stop
and an officer is scraping crumbs off of a
floorboard, there’s no telling what could
also be present, but things work out
differently based on kind of your lot in life. ROSS: My mugshot
was pretty cool. It was just a
quick little smirk. Mugshot of the year. What else can you say? Whenever you hear that
your son is in jail, is that you’ve got
to call a lawyer. Luckily, one of
my oldest friends is one of Houston’s best
defense attorneys, George Reul. GEORGE REUL: I’m a little less
stuffy than a lot of lawyers. I’m a little more relaxed
than a lot of lawyers. [SINGING] It was only
cat litter, literally. George was so cool, probably
like the coolest lawyer on the block. George introduced
me to friends of his who run a bail bonds company. Howdy. They got it down to $4,000,
which was pretty sweet. [SINGING] Then the case
was dismissed with the use of a more definitive test. I got a court-appointed
lawyer because I didn’t have the money to pay. I tried To explain
what happened, but I wasn’t given
a chance, you know. The prosecutor wanted
20 years or more. The judge told me if y’all
want to play with me, when you get out of jail,
they have flying cars. They may consider
a plea bargain offer to get out of jail faster than
waiting for the real drug tests to come back. I took the lesser of the two
evils to have to say “I did it” and you didn’t do it. It was just a nightmare,
to be honest with you. You know, I’m sitting here
now thinking about it. When I got out, I found
out that they were going to have an auction
that Wednesday and they auctioned my vehicle off. When I came out, it
was kind of going my way. I got my car back, I
got to go home and get some Whataburger or something. I was so hungry. Because of my
drug conviction, I– I couldn’t receive
public assistance. I couldn’t get food stamps. So in Barry’s case, almost
a year after he was released from prison, the lab report
came back and it was negative, but it took another five years
before Barry was exonerated. It’s not that I’m unlucky. This is, uh, part of
a black man’s life. I am lucky in this situation. I mean, other people in there
have been there for months and they couldn’t afford to get
out– their bond is too high. It’s become like an epidemic. It’s bullshit. INGER CHANDLER: Jeff Sessions
and the administration dismantled the National
Forensic Science Commission– the very commission that would
address issues like the ones we’ve been talking about today. Today, most cities
in America still accept plea bargains on
cases where a real lab result hasn’t come back in. Well, my pops and I, we want
to eventually take this kitty litter sock and we
want to mass produce it to something that
can help everyone out with their foggy windshields. I don’t want to make
lemonade out of lemons– I want to make filet
mignon out of lemons. So watch out for Fog Dog. Oh, wait, I can’t say
Fog Dog, it’s taken. Watch out for The Fog Dog,
coming to a store near you. Don’t smoke The Fog Dog. We’ll be right back.


  1. This story was amazing!! I love it so much that I want to work for you guys. In a year I will apply

  2. It's disgusting that people in law enforcement and the justice system care more about procedure and processing than they do about justice or the truth. The very first first time these field tests showed to produce false positives they should have been pulled from use.

  3. Black, stopped and searched for no reason, no lawyer friends or connections, convicted without real evidence, took years to be exonerated, lost rights, treated like a criminal. This is a recurring problem. I wish people could open their eyes. How do people like Sessions sleep at night? It's yet another case of GOP "logic". Their policies end up causing exponentially more problems, and they don't seem to notice or care. Apathy? Stupidity? Sociopathy? Some things I'll never understand.

  4. this makes me hurt because I was victimized in the same way when I was in highschool for having rubbing alcohol in my car the cops believed it was drinking alcohol tested it and took me to jail. then gave me the choice of staying the entire weekend in population for my first time being in jail and with no phone rights……or to plead guilty Pay the charge and have the jail time on my record for life. which one do you think I chose?

  5. "It's not that I'm unlucky, This is part of a black man's life"

    This is so deplorable. I can't even imagine being instantly judged as guilty just based off my skin color.

  6. jesus the last 4th of this got dark. Like it stopped being satire and started just being a really depressing commentary on society

  7. Drug field test kits, Lie detectors, and blatant Racial profiling. Just adds to the list of how our boys (and girls) in blue end up victimizing us instead of serving the public.

  8. This show is really well made. Great segment. Not sure what you can compare it to.

  9. Why are we still using those field test kit?
    Also if you like this I suggest John Oliver's Last Week Tonight on Mandatory Minimum and Court Appointed Attorney.

  10. i imagine if I was black or brown I might even be upset at the white kid's attitude. So cocky, carefree, not the least bit affected because he never felt he was in any real danger. The other guy, a middle aged man, broke down and cried. Terrible what our "justice" system does to people.

  11. This the first Samantha video at which I couldn't even raise a chuckle. It makes you think that being black is in itself criminal intent.

  12. Anyone else have a hard time deciding whether or not this was satire while watching? Cuz I went back and forth so many times, what really got me was the gun magazine thing…

  13. Am I the only one thinking, I need to clean out my car so there is NOTHING to drug test, and I don't even do drugs.

  14. The objective way to look at this would be that it was a rich-poor issue, and not a white-black issue. You can't just assume everyone who convicted the poor man was racist.

  15. I'm so confused by this video. Why is there random canned laughter? Was this supposed to be some sort of failed attempt at a skit…?

  16. Anyone who thinks we are living in "post-racial" America is truly living an American Dream and it's time to wake the f- up. But it goes beyond race today. It could have been a person of any ethnicity if they made the mistake of being poor. Remember, Lincoln didn't abolish slavery, he just made it illegal to enslave someone who isn't a felon.

  17. America puts profit over its people. They literally lock people up for nonsense and basically give them to slavers. I can;t wait for the day to come when real change comes. y'all know what we gotta do.

  18. Its more than just being black I think its the poverty too. I'm sure if he could get a halfway decent private lawyer he would have done better. Public Defenders just care about getting the case dealt with fast.

  19. I'm accepting this as more of a report. But, to me, because it was presented within the Samanthaverse, it came across more as an exaggerated satire. Nice try, but rather than a needed grand slam against the renewed WoD, the mixed metaphors barely made a field goal.

  20. If this upsets you, go watch "13th" on Netflix and learn about how keeping black people in prison is literally the purpose of mandatory minimum sentencing.

  21. People should make sure John Cornyn knows about this. He's been highly involved in evidence-based exoneration, and as a Republican, he'll probably have more influence over Sessions and Trump than others.

  22. Sessions needs to be put in jail for treason with no bail until his case can be heard in court. It kills me how these conservatives want to enforce the law their way but when they are accused of a crime they get to say that what "they believe is true" or my political service is enough proof that I should not be accused of committing a crime. What makes them think they are more American than the rest of us. Would Sessions commit a crime to harm America…probably not, but would he commit a crime if he thought he could get away with so he and his party would win…most definitely. Winning & profits over people the conservative way.

  23. Barry's story reminds me of "don't be a menace to south central while drinking your juice in the hood" Where the one Wayans brother is arrested for being black on a Friday.

  24. Hey I know the donut glaze story! I was just thinking about it moments before Discount Bill Nye mentioned it

  25. This is soooooooooo Unfair…………….. It must be very scary to be black. You must live in constant fear !!!!
    There is no doubt in my mind that people who put people in jail for so many years for this type of accusation, are Evil, …….
    plain and simple.

  26. You know, I really wish that we could just sick people like Samantha onto the politicians and have it broadcasted on a major news network so that people can see just what the big wigs are like. To have the lies exposed and be unable to have enough time to mount a defense of answers that aren't really answers and misdirection's.

  27. ok i know its not his fault or anything but i wanted to give that white boy a slap each time his situation was put side to side with the black man.

  28. I like how he got pulled over for not signaling while driving in Houston. I bet only 25% of drivers regularly in H-town use their blinker on the roads. The cops could pull over people all day if they really cared.

  29. I live in Houston, and let me tell you something, the police are completely corrupt. The city has had to call in the Texas Rangers and the federal government several times to investigate evidence tampering in police labs here. A large number of people have died in HPD jails, mostly the old one downtown. Oh, and our city council is full of Democrats who act like far right wing Republicans. They keep crafting anti-homeless ordinances, essentially making another crime to be poor just like this.

  30. But we're in Texas, Guns & Ammo is in most waiting rooms next to Texas Monthly and Redbook. It'ssold at most grocery stores and many convenient stores. Not exactly rare here by any means.
    Maybe if it was a firearm specific shopping catalog- one of those that sells Guns & apocalypse supplies, I might buy it, but Guns & Ammo? Nope!

  31. This works on so many levels. Super illuminating while still being a great Thin Blue Line homage

  32. The sad thing is, to this date, most police training is still based on basically hunches from centuries ago that became traditions, that then became law because nobody tested their validity…

  33. The U$ has the largest incarceration rate on Earth. Addiction is a public health problem & not a criminal act in the sense that it victimizes anyone.
    There is a loophole in the 13th amendment that abolishes slavery, unless you're a "criminal" & guess whose unproportionally targeted.. People of color!

  34. Somewhere around the 5 minute mark, when the audience laughter stops, it's really haunting. The contrast between the privileged white kid and the working class black man is harrowing and profoundly uncomfortable. I really hope Barry has good things from now on and I really hope we end the war on drugs.

  35. I hope you don't mind being eaten. Cake is scarce around theses parts…. But seriously people just dive in. Good to have another opinion out there

  36. The fact that they pull people over for not using a blinker, when no one is around, is absurd. I got pulled over and ticketed for the first time since I was 16.5 yrs old (decades older now) and BOTH were BS tickets! This past summer I was driving back to my apartment from a short vacation. I had to go the bathroom very badly on a drive home. I knew one was a few miles ahead and so I sped up for about 30 seconds, but when I saw an oncoming car (couldn't even tell it was a cop car) I slowed down.

    He had clocked me from so far away that I couldn't even see that it WAS a cop car. There were no cars, driveways, people or houses around and I have driven that stretch of road hundreds of times. There were no trees lining the road where deer could jump out from. It was a sunny day and in the afternoon. I wasn't endangering anyone, yet I was ticketed and then charged MORE by the state.

    It was total extortion and I would have fought it but I got the ticket about 2.5 hours from home. I couldn't afford to make the TWO trips that it would take to fight the ticket, and doing so would also cause a lot of physical pain due to undiagnosed illness. So, they basically took all my food money for two months. So, I haven't been eating much all winter. One meal a day.


  37. It's just a profit making venture for the courts, cities, and bail bonds. They don't get that $4k bond back! Well, these guys probably did b/c they were connected.

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