Drugs at Burger King?

On May 7, police officers in St. Petersburg, Florida, searched a woman in a Burger King restroom. They found seven syringes containing a clear substance. Charges were later dropped. You can read the story and the report here: http://thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/syringe-case-update-764829

I’m concerned about one sentence in the report: subject showed several indicators of narcotics usage. That is a subjective statement (an opinion). It needs to be backed up with details.

What unusual behaviors did you see? For example, was the woman agitated, confused, or lethargic? Were there physical signs of drug use? They might include nausea, bloodshot eyes, slow speech, a seizure, a dull stare, or uncontrollable shaking.

In this case, police were called because the woman was agitated. What did she say? Was her voice shrill? Uneven? Were there long gaps between words? Writing the exact words and the way she spoke could indicate confusion or paranoia. At that point you might have probable cause for a search.

When a report doesn’t give objective facts, a district attorney might decide to drop charges. Always list your observations (not your opinions, hunches, or conclusions!) when you write a report.

an empty syringe for injections

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