A Georgia woman just spent three months behind bars for illegal possession of cotton candy.
The incident took place in Monroe County, where Dasha Fincher was pulled over on New Year’s Eve 2016 for having tinted windows in her car. As WSOC-TV reported, the deputy who stopped Fincher said that her car’s window tint didn’t violate the law, but deputies still searched her car and found what they described as a “plastic bag with a blue crystal-like substance” in the floorboard of the passenger side.
Fincher told deputies that it was just cotton candy, but they claimed she was “shaking” and “very anxious.” After administering a roadside kit to test the substance, it came back positive for methamphetamine and Fincher was brought to jail on a charge of trafficking the drug with intent to distribute. She was given $1 million bond, and remained behind bars when she was unable to pay.
But three months later, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation completed an investigation that showed the original roadside test was incorrect and that Fincher indeed had a bag of cotton candy in her car. She was released from jail.
Dasha Fincher is now suing Monroe County, the two deputies who arrested her, and the manufacturer of the roadside drug test that gave the false positive result. She claimed that the deputies should have known that the kit had a history of false positive results and that it was unlikely she would keep such a large bag of methamphetamine in plain sight. The suit claims that if the deputies had been properly trained, they would have been able to correctly assess the situation and Fincher would have been free.
The arresting deputies are also accused of stretching the truth in order to arrest the woman. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, the lawsuit also claims that the dashboard camera footage showed Fincher acting calm during the encounter, not nervous as deputies had claimed when arresting her.
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Fincher’s lawyers also claimed that the three months she spent in jail significantly impacted her life, causing her to miss the birth of two grandchildren and her daughter suffering a miscarriage.
The lawsuit has gotten national interest, with a number of nationwide news outlets picking up the story. It also gained some viral interest online, with many speaking out against the overzealous tactics that have often been taken in drug-related arrests.
Dasha Fincher is seeking court fees and unspecified punitive damages in her lawsuit.