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In an Unusually Brutal Arrest, a Palm Coast Woman Is Charged With Child Abuse Over Minor Pot Possession

| January 29, 2014

Beckner Lane in Palm Coast, the quiest residential street where Sophia Zhudro's detention and arrest unfolded on Jan. 24.

Beckner Lane in Palm Coast, the quiet residential street where Sophia Zhudro’s detention and arrest unfolded on Jan. 24.

Update: Sophia Zhudro entered into a pre-trial intervention agreement, which she completed satisfactorily, leading to all charges against her being dropped as of Oct. 20, 2014.

The 30-year-old mother of a 15-month-old girl was arrested on Jan. 24 on a charges of marijuana possession and child abuse over a minor pot possession. As she was being arrested, Sophia Zhudro, 30, a resident of Beuford Lane in Palm Coast, said she was shoved and pulled by cops while her child, who, according to Zhudro, screamed for 20 minutes during the search and arrest, was traumatized and turned over to the Department of Children and Families.

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At the Flagler County jail, Zhudro said she was denied a phone call and given a faulty pin number, and would not have been able to call out had it not been for another inmate’s pin number. DCF almost immediately returned her child to Zhudro’s mother—with no signs of abuse—while Zhudro herself bonded out the following day.

During the ordeal, Zhudro protested that the arrest was unjust, and that it was a matter of time before Florida would legalize recreational use of marijuana. A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana will appear on the Nov. 4 election ballot, but the legalization of recreational marijuana is not yet on Florida’s horizon.

That aside, the arrest on a quiet residential street points to an unusually brutal use of force by four deputies over a minor charge, and in the presence of an infant.

A Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy noticed Zhudro’s car just south of Beechway Drive, on Beckner Lane—a few blocks from Zhudro’s home—parked on the residential street opposite a wooden lot, with the window open and the door slightly ajar, according to a police report. It’s not clear how the car was, according to the report, “illegally parked,” as it is not illegal to pull off on a residential street where “blocking” traffic is not likely, when traffic is extremely light and there is no emergency. Nevertheless, the car’s position prompted the deputy to intervene.

Zhudro says she was in the grass, parallel to the wooden lot, and that her door was not ajar. Her window was cracked open a couple of inches. “The car was not parked illegally, it was not in the middle of the road, it was on the side of the road,” she said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

The deputy smelled pot emanating from the car, and noticed an infant in the car seat. Zhudro was detained in the deputy’s cruiser, “for officer safety,” according to the report, then spoke with deputies while her car was searched. She was given the child to hold during the search, according to the report.

Sophia Zhudro

Sophia Zhudro

That’s not how it went down, Zhudro said. “He went and searched my car for 20 minutes and had my baby strapped to the back of my car for 20 minutes, crying,” Zhudro said. It was only because the child was terrified that the deputy finally had her unstrapped and turned over to her mother in hopes that she would calm her down, Zhudro said. Those details are not in the police report.

An orange and black marijuana pipe, less than 20 grams of marijuana wrapped in a clear plastic bag and a blue lighter were recovered from in or near the car seat.
Zhudro was then told she was under arrest and asked to hand over the child. Zhudro refused, moving, according to the police report, to the center of the rear passenger seat of the cruiser to keep the cops from taking the infant. According to the report, she eventually agreed to exit the car.

That, too, is untrue, Zhudro said. She said one deputy shoved her from one side and another grabbed her arm from the other, forcing her out of the car—a detail not in the police report.

It is almost routine that, between the word of a police officer written in a police report and the word of a suspect, the word of a police officer will be taken as true or valid, and that of the suspect as not, regardless of the actual truth. It is also well documented that police officers will sometimes lie even under oath to protect their case. Arrest reports are written with such certainties in mind.

With the four deputies intervening, Zhudro said, her child was pried from her hands. “Oh my God, she was screaming the whole time, she couldn’t even breathe,” Zhudro said.


“Ms. Zhudro,” her arrest report states, could not understand what she did wrong, or why she was being arrested. Ms. Zhudro acknowledged that she knew marijuana use is illegal in Florida, but thought that the arrest was unjust as it was just a matter of time until the state of Florida legalizes its recreational use. Ms. Zhudro stated that she didn’t feel she was putting her child’s life in any danger by smoking marijuana and operating a motor vehicle, or smoking marijuana with her infant child.”

In fact, there is little evidence tying recreational—as opposed to “acute”–use of marijuana to traffic hazards. And only one study’s conclusion that “acute” smoking could impair driving concluded that the acute smoking had to have taken place within three hours. Zhudro was arrested at noon. She told police she had smoked in her car at 7 a.m. There is also comparably little to no evidence indicating that smoking marijuana in the presence of a child carries the second-hand smoking dangers of the far more frequent, accepted and legal smoking of cigarettes in the presence of a child. But Florida law makes no such distinctions and cops are required to apply the law even when their judgments may compel them to do otherwise.

Yet the arrest affidavit does not explain the child-abuse charge other than by way of a dot-connecting assumption that relied more on the deputies’ subjectivity–and judgment–than on law. What abuse or trauma to the child may have taken place was likelier the result of the child being pried away from the child’s mother, as described in the affidavit, than by the mother’s actions by the side of the road.

Zhudro admits to having “barely a gram” of marijuana in her possession, but said she would “never smoke with my baby in the car,” and wasn’t smoking that day. She’d pulled over, after returning from Publix, to pry open a snack for her child.

Zhudro was charged with marijuana possession under 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, child abuse, and resisting arrest without violence. She was released on $2,000 bond. Her daughter, she said, cried for two days, but is calmer now.

Unemployed for now, Zhudro has an 8-year-old son who attends third grade. She said an attorney told her he would take her case for $5,000, a sum she cannot afford.

“This is very wrong, and I have every intention of suing them for this,” Zhudro said of her arrest.

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62 Responses for “In an Unusually Brutal Arrest, a Palm Coast Woman Is Charged With Child Abuse Over Minor Pot Possession”

  1. Outsider says:

    It is well documented that cops lie to protect their case? You also fail to mention that perpetrators lie all the time to keep their asses out of jail. Boiling it all down to known facts, she was in possession of a currently illegal substance. It makes no difference what she believes the law will say in the future. I’m sure the dash cameras and recordings of the event would shed some light on who was telling the truth. I’m not saying the police never lie or are always right, but why are you slanting this story in her favor when you were not even there?

  2. m&m says:

    And now they want to legalize it.. What a great place we live in..

    • NortonSmitty says:

      So this incident is better for society?

    • The Truth says:

      Please explain to me how marijuana differs from alcohol. I would love to hear it.

      • Me says:

        You want to hear a few things different about alcohol and marijuana? How many people have died to alcohol related deaths? Does alcohol help or prevent seizures actually no they cause seizures. Can you walk a straight line. Will you start a huge fight on marijuana I don’t think so but will you on alcohol yes. I can go on and on. Except the fact that marijuana is not as bad as everybody makes it out to be. Yes she was wrong for having it in a state the doesn’t have medical use yet.

  3. Someguy says:

    She looks high in the mugshot. The officers obviously believe the’d been smoking with her toddler in the car. And then she had to go off about how pot will be legalized and refuse to comply when they were trying to arrest her.

    Pot will be legal. It’s only a matter of time. These laws don’t stop a thing. We’re just blowing billions of dollars a year, enriching organized crime, causing every problem caused by our failed experiment with alcohol prohibition and more. It will be legal and should be legal for the good of us all, but this lady was just dumb here and I can’t feel all that sorry for her. Was she smoking weed with her kid in the car? That’s not cool. That almost makes me want to rough her up.

    And why do people argue with cops? She was busted. She needed to comply, but she had to get belligerent. That rarely turns out well. They’re already mad because they think you were smoking weed with your kid in the car and then you’re going to bow up to them? She’s begging to get her rear kicked and if she was a man she’d have probably ended up being a bloody mess and would have been charged with assaulting a police officer for bloodying their knuckles.

    I’m not saying I agree with police brutality. Some of these guys are bullies who have no business carrying guns or badges. I have a cop son in law who brags about all the people he beats up. You run, they’re going to beat you, bow up and you’re going down hard. He’s kind of young and dumb and great big gung ho military man too aside from being a new cop. I worry about him.

    I deal with cops all the time though. Some are really bad. Many are great guys I’m proud to know. All are human. I’m a criminal defense attorney and I’ve handled an awful lot of cases in the past couple of decades. I’ve even prosecuted some too way back when. So what do I tell my clients who act like jerks and get roughed up by the cops? Usually I tell them not to be so stupid next time. In the courts they’ll believe the guy with the badge and even if they don’t they’ll probably think this person who was being a jerk deserved what he got and they won’t do a darned thing about it. That’s kind of the reality you tough guys (and girls) out there need to get your heads around. Don’t be a jerk to the cops because not only will they not give you any breaks that way, but you’re liable to get the book thrown at you and get roughed up and 99 times out of a 100 there is nothing you can do about that. It makes it hard for your lawyers to get you a good deal too because the prosecutor is going to hear the whole story and not want to give you any breaks either. Use some common sense when dealing with the police, please.

    • Rick says:

      ….common sense….?
      You mean just kiss their hotheaded immature butts & do what they say? Yea, that’ll work.

      “Some of these guys are bullies who have no business carrying guns or badges.”
      You got that right . Not only do they have no business carrying guns or badges, but when some of them can suck their way into that position the gun & badge just go to their little
      insignificant adolescent noggins. Therein lies the problem.
      I’d like to think there’s not too many of these bozo type driving around as the ones I’ve spoke & dealt with were very professional with no dumb arse BS.

    • Unionized says:

      She looks high in the mugshot?? She looks like she is upset, as most people are if they are arrested. Cops should not have the authority to arrest someone because that person argues with them. Give me a break. Cops are not superhumans. They are humans who also make stupid decisions, who say and do things wrong all the time. I grew up with friends whose fathers were cops. I can name multiple situations in which I was in the car with their father and step-fathers who were drinking. Anyone who lives in Flagler and has had the unfortunate run in with a cop will pretty mush say the same thing – Flagler cops are idiots. And they are.

    • liberal says:

      Finally, a comment that is not totally one-sided. puts things into a better perspective. I wonder if Capone ever argued that Alcohol was ‘going’ to be legal soon, as a defense. You made many good points.

  4. Steve D says:

    [Comment disallowed. Offensive.–FL]

  5. truth monitor says:

    Another example of law enforcement manipulating their reports by altering facts,deletions and leaving out information that would make them out as fool’s in uniform.

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      Based on what?

    • Common Sense says:

      anybody who’s ever smoked or been around weed and common sense would tell you that if they smelled weed it certainly had to have been smoked recently and the only manipulation is in the words of the composer as the only known facts are that between the lady arrested and the officers who were there. Don’t be so quick to buy in to what you read and maybe have a little respect for those who are willing to come and help us out when we are in need.

      • Genie says:

        Not when they are beating people to a pulp around the country. When they act as thugs, they get no respect from anybody.

        There was no reason to manhandle this woman during this arrest.

  6. Palm coaster says:

    What I read here is she smoked pot in her car which still smelled of pot so I’m sure it wasn’t 7 hours earlier. Then she was going to drive stoned with her toddler in the car. She refused to let the cops arrest her by trying to move in her car so they could reach her. She argued about pot being legalized and that although people are arrested for it all the time because it is against the law they just shouldn’t arrest her. She wouldn’t let the take her toddler which in turn scared and traumatized the toddler even more. Whose fault is it? Um hers whether we agree with the law or not it’s illegal and the cops were doing their jobs. Had she cooperated it probably wouldn’t have gone down so traumatic for her child. Shame on her.

    • Obama 2014 says:

      So true.

      I am sure the officers at the scene would have allowed for her to call her mom instead of taking the child into protective services if she would be been honest.

  7. Mary Cannady says:

    Not trying to defend this woman, but ‘ some guy’, if you really are a defense attorney I would run the opposite way from you with your attitude. Who are you to say she looks stoned? She looks perfectly fine to me. I hope this arrest was recorded so the truth will come out.

  8. Geezer says:

    She’s lucky that she wasn’t bloodied or shot.
    I believe her.

  9. Steve Wolfe says:

    She kind of invited the trouble on herself. I feel for her after going through the trauma, but since women want equal rights, and everyone is supposed to be equal under the law, women can’t very well expect to be treated any less harshly than guys who resist. I don’t think moms should get intoxicated OR smoke cigarettes around their little ones. Parents should provide the healthiest environment for their children that they can. and getting intoxicated in the kids’ presence sets the bar pretty low for their kids. It’s a bad example from the ones who are supposed to care the most for them.

    BTW, if she didn’t buy dope, she might have 5 grand to her name…

    • Zigie says:

      Steve Wolfe – I’m not defending this woman in the least bit..when you have children, they should come first..drinking or smoking in any form should not be in the life of a parent ..I’m appalled at her actions..however I must take notice of the comment..” BTW, if she didn’t buy dope, she might have 5 grand to her name..” I don’t buy dope, didn’t as a young mother..and I don’t have 5 grand sitting around to my name..

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        Yeah, I didn’t express that as well as I could have. I was just remarking based on the high cost of pot and even cigarettes for that matter. If people skip bad stuff, they can spend the money elsewhere or save it. Either way, cigarettes and pot are money up in smoke, and in return for what—a buzz? Too bad we can’t all get high on life, like the feeling of seeing your healthy, happy children when you get home from work, being able to breathe freely and not gag from your own phlegm, and having a nest egg when you retire. I think any of those beat a buzz from a chemical or the “pleasure of smoking.”

  10. A.S.F. says:

    I used to work in the first federally piloted drunk driving program in the country, back in the 1980’s. It was not my experience that marijuana does not impair drivers. It alters spatial perception and timing–both which are crucial components in safe driving. The fact that this young woman was engaging in any of this activity with her child in the car speaks to her poor judgment. To say that it’s OK because, even though she knows it to be illegal now, it will probably be legal sometime soon, is disingenuous. To make a difficult scene even more traumatic with your child so close to the action does not speak well for her maturity or her mothering skills. If you are not habituated to marijuana in some way or to some degree, you probably would not be smoking it in your car in front of your child– or in the kinds of situations in which you are highly likely to be arrested. The degree of legality is not really the issue of importance here–What she did was clearly illegal, whatever her rationale. It is not even an issue of whether you feel pot should be legalized or decriminalized. This woman was putting herself and her child at risk with her chosen course of behavior and with the way she responded on the scene when she was caught. THAT calls for some major reflection on her part (which, I fear, she probably will not do without having to pay consequences if she doesn’t.) I hope both she and her child get all the help they need. I feel especially sorry for the baby.

  11. Sendglow says:

    The point here is that you’ve got an infant, pot, and a car. These three things don’t mix well. You can debate the merits of recreational marijuana legalization another time; even NORML will tell you that these circumstances do not represent responsible use. She’s getting off easy with possession charges because there’s probably enough evidence for a DUID if they do a urine test. If you want to sit in the privacy of your home and smoke yourself silly, fine, but it’s time to start enforcing Florida DUID laws for marijuana and get these reckless stoners off the road.

  12. The Silver Surfer says:

    Why the heck don’t they just leave people ALONE ! Mind your own darn business, she wasn’t hurting you or anyone else. The window was down so the child wasn’t getting smoke in her face. Its nothing but pissed off cops who know by this time next year they won’t be able to BUST anyone ever again for pot !!!

  13. confidential says:

    If the cops smelled the weed and then searched the car and found it is because she was smoking with the infant in her car. Why she didn’t smoke at home instead of while at the steering wheel? And in her mug shot her eyes look stoned to me as well. We are not supposed to drink or smoke weed and drive specially with a child on board. After she was caught with the illegality she should have obey the cops orders. Hopefully the sheriff cruisers had cameras on to prove if there was a brutal arrest or not. If she is unemployed how can she afford the costly marijuana?

  14. JoJo says:

    Just great, another State to legalize mush heads. It won’t be red light runners but also mush head runners.

  15. j says:

    Florida will be the last state to legalize it, it’s F*$&’n 1950 down here.
    I’m glad our tax payer money is hard at work busting the real criminals out there, a woman smoking a little pot. would be nice to see them put this much effort into sorting out who broke in my house and stole my possessions while my family was asleep.
    the war on drugs YAY!

  16. barbie says:

    The point here was that you had an infant and a car. The only reason you know there was pot AT ALL is because of a nosy cop. Those of you who hint this woman is somehow an unfit mother are just being ridiculous. Dear God, get a grip! IT’S A PLANT. It’s not a Drug.

    • A.S.F. says:

      @Barbie says–Marijuana most certainly IS a drug! It’s active component is THC. A lot of pot on the street is laced and “cut” with other substances as well. Let’s just say that alcohol is just a liquid…Cocaine is just a powder…Heroin is just a poppy…Do you get my drift? Substances, in general, can be used benignly or badly. Used judiciously, Marijuana can be a useful complementary medicine. Derivatives of Cocaine can be useful in eye surgeries. Opioids can relieve suffering but, used badly, can CAUSE suffering and cost lives instead of helping to save them.. It’s all in how these substances are used. This woman is NOT using Marijuana wisely. Her child will be most likely be the one paying the costs for her immaturity (and other issues, if she has them), in the long-term. Her child is the truly innocent party here.

  17. Mario says:

    Wow, what a story!

    She was evidently high, so I would imagine her ability to apply rational thinking could have been clouded during this event.

    I am not sure I could rely on her testimony, considering her frame of mind while smoking weed.

    She should not have been smoking pot, behind the wheel of a car, parked in a public roadway, with her child in the back seat. That was reckless, careless, foolish, and placed the child in immediate danger. I would surmise that the child was feeling the effects from the pot smoke as well.

    I don’t really care what happened next and I’m not sure any of us will really know, until a time when the deputies are issued those lapel camera’s, so we could see for ourselves.

  18. dnfb says:

    Unemployed but can afford weed. Interesting.

  19. James says:

    Even if she was doing something illegal, or any of the other negatives about her behavior, there could still have been unnecessary force by the police. She should go the the ACLU where they will look at the case, I believe, and represent her in a civil rights action if there is a case.
    For the lawyer to agree to take the case for $5,000 is not realistic for the costs and fees of litigating a civil rights case, and there would be much more money demanded from her. Shame on him/her if the report is correct.

    • A.S.F. says:

      If the police used unnecessary force, their actions should be investigated and appropriate action taken. That is not an excuse for her behavior. And she is evidently looking to cash in…To be able to afford more “benign substances”, perhaps?

  20. Kurt says:

    “Well documented that police lie”…sure it is, I’m certain that it’s documented that everyone of every profession lies, but is it not more well documented that defendants lie, to further their own interest?

    The Deputy gets NOTHING to lie and take this woman to jail, he gets exactly the same pay he would have gotten had he just driven by, yet we point out that he may be lying because “cops have been known to lie” are you SERIOUS??? Yeah, marijuana should be, and will be legalized, I believe that…but legalized while this woman smokes cannabis in the car with her baby??? DId she refute the fact that she was high? Was it out of the question for her to get high AFTER she dropped her child off at the babysitter? Are you insinuating that officers should not keep an eye out for things like this in “quiet residential neighborhoods”? Did you not post an article just yesterday about a trooper who found a woman having a seizure and saved her life? Could an interaction like this not have resulted in the deputy saving someones life? What if the deputy saved this womans life? DO you know for a fact that the impaired woman would not have driven off and killed herself and the baby had the deputy not stopped?

  21. The Truth says:

    I agree that marijuana should be legalized but at the same time, it is illegal at this time and this lady should have known that. To assume it’s okay to have marijuana because “it’ll be legal soon enough” is just ridiculous. You have a child that relies on you to survive. When marijuana becomes legal (if it does) than feel free to smoke it (responsibly) but to use the excuse that it’ll be legal soon enough doesn’t cut it.

    As for the way she was treated, if that is the case, it was completely uncalled for. I hope for an investigation into this happens very quickly.

  22. Gia says:

    Just another PC vermin who wants to infect the city with their drug. NO DRUG in the city. Go somewhere else.

  23. jl says:

    I don’t know why anyone would want to be a cop these days. Everything you do is critisized. This woman was smoking an illegal substance with her baby in the back seat. Probably drives stoned. And I don’t care if it became legal tomorrow, if it’s illegal the day you do it, it’s illegal. But she’s obviously too stupid to understand that. Sorry, but I don’t think a fit mother smokes pot, or smokes pot and drives with baby in the back. I commend the officers and only wish they could get all of the drug users and dealers out of Palm Coast. This used to be such a nice town. We need to clean it up and throw out the trash. I have no care or concern for people who knowingly participate in illegal activities.

  24. Just Plain Dumb says:

    It’s only a matter of time..legalizing marijuana is plain dumb and this is going to cause the officers a LOT of future problems.. mark my words.
    With a child in the car is even worst. She needs her child taken from her because she will continue to smoke this stuff without regard to her childs health or well being…

  25. Nancy N. says:

    Anyone who thinks that police don’t lie in their reports has never been the subject of one.

    Police reports are not unbiased investigative tools. They are the first step in the evidence chain of charging someone with a crime – the first step towards a victory in the us vs them world that the police and prosecutors live in. Police reports are thus written to support an eventual prosecutor’s case in court, to be as incriminating as possible and as useful as possible for the prosecutor.

    Anything exculpatory to the defendant is left out, of course.

    Did the car really smell of marijuana, or did they just put in the report that it did, after they decided to hassle her and search the car because they didn’t like the looks of her and found some? I defy you to find a single DUI arrest report that doesn’t say that the defendant smelled of alcohol. There is a formula to these things, people.

    • just saying says:

      Police reports are to document crimes, not document people acting correctly. If everyone acted within the scope of the law, then they wouldn’t need to write reports.

      The arrest affidavit is to show the judge that probable cause existed to deny a person their freedom. Then the judge agrees that probable cause exists, the state files official charges and the process comes to a grinding halt while attorneys get the information you feel the police left out. Of course it’s only documenting it bad stuff, that is what is required to get the ball rolling legally, then you have the constitutional right “to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense”

    • truth monitor says:

      Bless you Nancy N. Law enforcement can ruin lives because of slanting the report to their views and leaving out other facts. Let’s face it. Cop’s do risk their lives for us. But that does not mean they won’t change their stories to justify beating people to a pulp or murdering unarmed people. They are human and the strain of seeing recently arrested repeat offenders set free might put them over the edge or seeing mangled bodies because of drunk driving will take its toll on them mentally. Cops are not above the laws they are to enforce. It’s when they use their immense power of arrest or letting off people they know sickens me to no end.Once the cops go inside their fortress,meaning police station, they are free to get together and fabricate events to justify their abuse of power. I respect the law but many of these cops should be evaluated frequently and take lie detector tests to find out if they are still honest or crooks in uniform.

  26. ted bundy says:

    just another pot head minimalizing her illegal actions..boohoo

  27. My Daily Rant says:

    Finally a crime Flaglers finest could handle, all four.I as a Taxpayer in Flagler for the last 30 years always wonder why they send so many of these CLOWNS to a crime like this.Funny thing is if she was any color other than white they probly would have let her go.I don’t understand with all the violent crime in Flagler 4 cops go to arrest a mother and her child, why are they not in a area like Rimfire where there is REAL crime.
    I guess we just have to put up with the fact we now have under the watch of the great Manfre the
    KEYSTONE COPS. PEACE

  28. FB citizen says:

    I don’t understand people defending her…the tone of the story even seems to defend her. Regardless of what your personal feelings are about marijuana (I also think it should be legalized), it still speaks against her credibility when she was pulled over on the side of the road with her kid in the car, sparking up. I don’t believe her story, and I can’t believe anyone would, when the smell of weed is why the cops even stopped in the first place. Pulled over to open a snack? Right around the corner from her house? Justifying the whole thing by saying it’s okay because it is going to be legal eventually? Come on…defending this girl just because some of you smoke as well is just plain silly.

  29. Charles "Bub" Robson says:

    How would you feel about this story if she was under the influence of pot and a crash occurred and the child was killed or injured. Quit beating up on the LEO’S who make a case that will be decided by a judge/jury, not by what you read on line.

  30. D. F. A. says:

    No matter what your personal belief is, she freely admitted to you, the reporter that she knows Marijuana is currently illegal.
    I know how I will vote when this issue comes up so I will not argue with anyone ore than this: Any substance that alters your way of thinking or feeling fits the definition of a DRUG. As it states in the Florida law book, your normal faculties are impaired. There are cases of people being killed because of marijuana impairment just like there are from alcohol. The problem is that it is easier for the ME to blame it on alcohol because we have scientific studies to show how much alcohol is needed fin your system to be considered under the influence. There is no documented research of how many nano grams of THC does it take for your normal faculties to be impaired. The fact that the majority of those who are DUI probably have some other type of drug in their systems whether it is legally prescribed or not. Again, it is much easier to say it is because of alcohol because when can get a number (.08) or above to justify it.

    Setting all of this aside, all of you who are backing this author should just step back and try to understand that the deputies are doing a job none of you have chosen to do. You may not agree or like the outcome but understand this, you same people would criticize these deputies had she drove away from the scene and killed her child, herself or one of your family members.

    I just don’t understand how these deputies are automatically wrong and dirty when you do not know them and she is automatically right and telling the truth when you do not know her either. It just sounds to me like your picking e side of one because you have a beef with deputies in general. Hell I will even go as far as agreeing with you that some officers lie. But guess what so do people who are arrested. At least be smart enough to figure that out.

  31. jim jones says:

    I hope some officers who are upset at the slant of this story realize that when THEY slant a report, it is a worse offense then slanting a news story.

  32. Zeus says:

    Why are there Liquor stores if its ILLEGAL to be in public drinking ? TAX MONEY !!!! Its all about the money. The judicial system is a MONEY MAKING SCAM….From the Judges, Prosecuters, Public Defenders, Correction Officers, Police……Its all a BIG SCAM to make you think you have committed a CRIME so they can arrest, prosecute, jail and collect LOTS of MONEY !!!!!

  33. Ed says:

    We do not have dash cams in Flagler County; never have. I think there is a reason why and it’s not about the budget.

  34. D. F. A. says:

    Jim Jones I would never disagree with you about the importance of a true and accurate Police report. If a cop lies he should be fired immediately. But you too owe the public the courtesy to tell the story accurately. Unfortunately for a cop,they lose credibility within the courts their career, and rightfully so, is over. Hell if a judge doesn’t believe you, why would a jury.

    Again bad cops need to be held responsible, but don’t do it in the media, do it in the court room the way things should be done.

    • Genie says:

      @ DFA — Then afford the victim the same courtesy……INNOCENT until proven guilty.

      • Dana says:

        Genie, who would the victim be in this case? The mother that admittedly smoked pot, drove under the influence and then hid the illegal substance under her daughter’s car seat? The only victims in this case are the 2 children that are subjected to a mother that has no regard for their safety based on her behavior and the horrible example she is setting for them. They are the true victims, not her.

  35. Obama 2014 says:

    I am all for legal pot

    However since it isn’t legal the 1st thing if you don’t do is use in your car and don’t do it around your newborn. Once it is legal in Florida, don’t do it in you car and don’t do it with your newborn around. You need to treat Pot like Marlboro and Alcohol.

    People need to be more responsible when they are not alone.

    lf you leave drugs, weapons, porn, chemicals or alcohol out in the open or within the reach a child something bad is bound to happen.

    I guess my point is Don’t be stupid you moron!

  36. Tired says:

    Regardless of ones opinion on the legalization of marijuana, this woman clearly made poor choices apparently putting herself’s desires before her childs welfare in each instance. We do not know what really happened between her and the police. However, we know she smoked marijuana on a public street with her young daughter in the car. Just a few blocks from home she could have waited to open a snack for her child or light up, either one, until she was home. What were the circumstances surrounding her arrest late last year for battery? Was that incident the fault of the police as well? Instead of financing this womans legal expenses, consider supporting her in rehab so she will have a clear head to make better choices pertaining to her young daughter in the future.

  37. D. F. A. says:

    Genie, first and foremost, “SUSPECTS” are innocent until proven guilty. This woman by her own admissions to the author of the article states she knew Marijuana is still illegal in Florida at the time she was arrested. Make no mistake, at no time during this encounter with the deputies was she ever the “VICTIM”!

    I will help you out here and agree that all SUSPECTS are innocent until proven guilty, I agree with that. I only ask that you do not refer to this woman as a victim. She is the SUSPECT end of story and a judge or jury will determine if she is innocent or guilty.

  38. WLK says:

    How can anyone justify 4 men, pushing and pulling on a woman holding a child? How can anyone justify forcibly taking a child from a woman’s arms? More could have been done to talk her into giving the child up. Anyone who has been in contact with a law enforcement officer knows if you don’t do as you are told, and right now, they will use justified or unjustified force to make you comply. How dare you tell them you will not do as you are told right or wrong. Any child abuse committed here was done by the officers. Law enforcement officers are suppose to be professionals not thugs. If you agree with this woman’s treatment you also agree that your mother, sister, or wife should be treated thusly in similar circumstances. Shame on you.

  39. anonymous says:

    Yes cops lie to get arrests.no one is innocent until proven guilty its guilty until proven innocent

  40. Oni says:

    For those that think smoking pot impairs your driving…i would recommend going and doing a little bit more research before formulating an opinion. In states that have it legalized there have been government tests done by the dmv which proved it does not impair you to the point of reckless endangerment. With that being said, i still think you should not drive when stoned. I do however support the full legalization of marijuana mostly because I know the facts and do not appreciate draconian mindsets that have no idea what they are talking about.

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