NYPD Sgt. Tracy Gittens is claiming that she failed a hair follicle drug test for marijuana due to a hair weave.
“I was shocked. I do not do drugs,” said Gittens. She said that the only thing that she could think of that might have caused her to fail the hair follicle drug test was the fact that she wears a hair weave.
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Gittens paid out of her own pocket to have a genetic test done to prove that the hair that was tested must have been from the hair weave and not her hair.
However Jeanie Moran from the NYPD Department Advocate Office said that the genetic test showed that the hair sampled belonged to Gittens or a close relative of Gittens’.
Gittens also paid for a second hair follicle drug test to be performed which came back negative. Additionally, she also had a urine test done the same day she she received notice that she had failed the original hair follicle test which also tested negative for marijuana.
Gittens has been suspended for 30 days while she awaits a decision from NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill who will decide her fate after hearing recommendations from a Department Trial Commissioner.
This is not the first time police officers have tested positive for drugs and denied ever using any drugs. Perhaps if enough drug test lab errors or simply faulty drug tests are documented, authorities will finally understand that not only are these drug tests unreliable but the potential consequences can be life-altering.
For nearly any other piece of forensic evidence, a independent test that showed discrepancies would be cause for doubt about the original test. It seems highly unlikely that one could fail one hair follicle drug test and then pass it a few days or even weeks later. According to the drug test labs that sell politicians and others on the accuracy of these tests, and their infallibility, such a result would be impossible.
Yet, there are documented cases where a person has failed a court-ordered or employment drug test and shown proof of a negative test days or weeks after the original test, only to have it ignored.
Let’s just hope that NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill uses some common sense and Sgt. Gittens can put this whole incident behind her.