ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Watch Live at 6:30 p.m. PST: The Way Forward for Unreliable Police Drug Kits

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. PST (9:30 EST), ProPublica and the Las Vegas Review-Journal are presenting a live event, “Unreliable and Unchallenged: The Way Forward for Police Drug Kits in Las Vegas.” This program will be broadcast live on the ProPublica and Las Vegas Review-Journal Facebook pages.

This evening’s discussion will take a deep dive into issues spotlighted in a recent ProPublica investigation about how the Las Vegas criminal justice system uses $2 roadside drug kits, known as chemical field tests, to jail thousands of people annually — years after the city’s police crime lab flagged them for producing false positives.

Expert panelists include Judge Joe Bonaventure, Chief Judge of the Las Vegas Justice Court; defense attorney Laurie Diefenbach, a member of a Nevada committee looking for ways to challenge how chemical field tests are used to gain drug convictions; and attorney Rick Werstein, whose client was wrongfully convicted through one of these kits (a particle that tested positive for crack cocaine was later identified as food debris). ProPublica reporter Ryan Gabrielson will moderate the discussion.

Tune in tonight at 6:30 p.m. PST (9:30 p.m. EST) by following the event’s Facebook Live broadcast on ProPublica or the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and join the conversation online.