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Star QB Cleared After Cops' Drug-Test Mistake

Officers insisted white stuff on Shai Werts' car was cocaine; he said it was bird poop
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2019 10:07 AM CDT
Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts sets back to throw in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., on Sept. 2, 2017.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

(Newser) – Cops claimed the white substance on Shai Werts' car was cocaine. The starting quarterback for Georgia Southern University said it was bird poop. "I play football, so I don't do cocaine," the 21-year-old told officers July 31 as he was pulled over for speeding in South Carolina. Nevertheless, he was charged with cocaine possession and suspended from team activities after a field-testing kit indicated the presence of cocaine. "He's about to be s--- out of luck," the arresting officer says in dashcam footage of the incident, per WTOC. As of Thursday, however, the 11th District Solicitor's Office said drug charges had been dropped as lab tests on the white substance came back negative for any controlled substance, per the Savannah Morning News. It was, presumably, bird poop after all.

The situation is hardly unique, per the Washington Post, which reports field-testing kits have returned false positives "on everything from Krispy Kreme doughnuts to deodorant." Werts was in handcuffs less than a minute after officers stopped him in Saluda. The quarterback had refused to pull over initially, but called 911 to explain he was only trying to find a better-lit area. "You know what's been going on in the world," Werts, a black man, told a deputy. Officers then searched his vehicle, finding little more than a backpack. "That's all that is in there?" an officer asked shortly before attention turned to the unknown substance partially cleared with wiper fluid, per WSAV. "I think he must of threw it out at the front," the arresting officer says. Werts missed two practices but was back playing with the Eagles this week after passing a drug test. A speeding charge remains. (Read more Georgia stories.)

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