Via Radley Balko…
She prayed for peace that day.
But the sage that Robin Brown carried on a bird-watching outing in Weston landed her in jail on felony charges of marijuana possession.
Now she is suing over the wrongful arrest. [...]
Sheriff’s Deputy Dominic Raimondi, 51, mistook Brown’s sage for marijuana, then searched her car and found more. His field kit said the sage — purchased at an airport gift shop in Albuquerque, N.M. — tested positive for marijuana.
He did not arrest her that day in March 2009, but sent the 50 grams of “contraband” to the crime lab for a more definitive test.
Assistant State Attorney Mark Horn ordered Brown’s arrest without having the sage tested, court records show.
Three months later, Raimondi showed up at the Massage Envy in Weston where Brown works and took her away in handcuffs.
“Our policy is to make sure the evidence is tested at the very least before trial,” said Ron Ishoy, spokesman for the Broward State Attorney’s Office. “Looking back now at this specific police report, it would have been the better practice to test the evidence before filing a formal charge.”