Agreed. The people I teach are more likely to become lab techs rather than officers, so I try to remind them to remember that even though all they see is a sample and a number, that it represents a real person and can affect their life.
I can't comment on if anyone will get arrested on a positive test, false or otherwise. What the Scott's test is, however, is a general chemical reaction. Multiple different compounds can cause similar reactions. That's why this test is meant to be a screening test, ie is it worth pursuing for the more expensive but more specific lab tests?
However, it appears that in the interest of saving money, time and perhaps increasing win ratio's prosecutors are pushing defendants to plead only on that info. I have no problem with police officers trained to use the kits performing the test in the field as intended. The problem arises when perhaps untrained or under trained officers use these tests for trace evidence, and/or the results being treated as gospel.
As for the results of the test, it is a 3 step process, with potentially different colors at each step. Diphenhydramine will give similar first and last steps, but a somewhat different third step. It's similar enough that only but a few of my students have ever caught it, as they tend to focus on the more vibrant first and last step. I chose it on purpose for that reason, so that the ultimate lesson will hit home, hopefully. I just use this as an example, as there are multiple compounds that can either yield a false positive or be interpreted as a false positive.
I teach a forensics lab every year, and the first lab I do is a Scott's test to test for cocaine, which is likely the test performed here. One of the possible unknowns I give them is a sample of Diphenhydramine, aka Benedryl, which shows a positive similar to cocaine. We then later perform tests of increasing specificity specifically to show that screening tests are just that, screening. I then break into a lecture of how important their jobs will be and that they have to remember, while their jobs will seem routine and boring after a while, that everything they do will have consequences for people's lives and freedoms.
Perhaps some of these people need to take my class.
Actually what they are testing by doing that is if their tongue feels numb. Cocaine is similar to lidocaine in that it will produce a numbing sensation. It's also the reason John on Person of Interest put a bit of it in a bullet wound on one episode.
Here's the problem with exploits, once it is known one exists, it's only a matter of time before someone else goes looking for it and finds it. That's why it's important to apply security patches as quickly as possible, because the updates are reverse engineered to discover the flaw and new exploits created from that. Now that it is known that a 5c, at least, can be cracked, the clock is ticking.
Of course they don't want to help. Every phone that is out there that a LEO want's into, is another chance to find a judge willing to order Apple to do it. At which point they get exactly what they wanted in this case. If they keep throwing it at the wall, eventually one will stick.
On that same note, the states require seat belt use. If there are terrorists in the US, the government has taken steps to keep them alive long enough to carry out an attack. Isn't that supporting terrorism? If we're going to go crazy, we might as well dive in head first.
Honestly, just consider the minority of users who use ad blockers as loss leaders. Odds are, if the article is good enough, it may be shared and bring in other users that would not have normally come to the site and probably don't use an ad blocker.
Either way, there are enough news sources these days, if they want to actively encourage people not to use them as a source, somebody else will be welcoming.