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California Woman Sues Los Angeles Police For Mistaken Detention

In a case of mistaken identity, a California woman named Bethany Farber was arrested and held for 13 days, NPR reports. Farber was waiting to board a flight to Mexico at Los Angeles International Airport when she heard her name being called. She was arrested by security officials on the basis of a fugitive warrant from Texas. Farber, who never has been to Texas, pleaded with agents to double check the warrant, but they "completely blew [her] off." Farber's attorney maintains that Los Angeles police, who jailed Farber from April 16 to April 28 of last year, did not try to verify Farber's identity. He maintains that they could have used various measures to verify Farber's identity, such as checking her phone, verifying her Social Security Number, performing a fingerprint check, or performing a visual comparison with a picture of the actual fugitive from Texas. Had authorities checked a photo of the wanted Bethany Farber, they would have seen that she is a brunette with brown eyes, while the Bethany Farber they took into custody is a blonde with blue eyes.

Farber's attorney maintains that LAPD was contacted by the Texas court system three days before her release from jail. Why she was not released sooner is not known, but the fact that she could have been released a few days sooner is very painful to Farber, whose grandmother was suffering from a stroke she succumbed to only a few days after Farber was released. This fact, coupled with her arrest, interrogation, and the detention itself, have led Farber to suffer from anxiety. She has filed suit against LAPD for wrongful arrest and detainment in violation of her Fourth and Eighth Amendment rights.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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