Falsely Arrested Woman Told She Should Thank The Police For Realizing Their Error

from the heckuva-job dept

We've seen all sorts of stories about identity fraud and how it really is a pretty horrible crime -- one where the victims are often left entirely on their own to unravel the resulting mess. However, there are times where things get even more ridiculous. Mitch Wagner points us to a case where a woman who had her identity used by a petty crook/coke addict was picked up by the police, believing she was the scammer, leading to this victim of identity fraud being jailed, strip-searched and de-loused, until she finally convinced police to look at a photo of the actual crook. Even then, they kept her in jail for an additional 24-hours.

And, now, the police responsible have added insult to injury.

After the woman sued the police over this, she was told that that she should thank the police for realizing their mistake. I'm not joking:
Instead of suing Seminole, Shields should thank its employees for "doing a great job," discovering the error and turning their findings over to a judge, who ordered her release April 25, 2002, the day after her arrest, [Defense attorney Tom] Poulton said.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
    icon
    ofb2632 (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    really?

     

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  •  
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    ofb2632 (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 10:17am

    really?

    oh!! you should thank me for shooting you in the back. It was a perfectly good bullet. At least i wont charge you for stealing the bullet from me

     

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    •  
      icon
      Ron Rezendes (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:12am

      Re: really?

      If I give the bullet back you shot me with isn't that only infringement? How dare you call me a thief!

      Medic!! Hurry I need to return the projectile before the cops get here so I don't get arrested for theft after I was shot in the back!

      ;P

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Medic, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re: really?

        Sorry sir, the projectile passed clean threw. The owner will have to file suit with the manufacturer of that wall you were standing in front of.

        Now, I need you to carefully read and sign this 450 page waver before I start first aid.

         

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    •  
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      interval (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

      Re: really?

      In the last few centuries many countries charged the cost of the bullets used in capital punishments meted out firing squad to the victim's families, often even though the victim may have been later found to have been innocent.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 10:29am

    If you has read all the article you would know that it is an un-factual software sales promotion.

     

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  •  
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    SUNWARD (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 10:44am

    secured link

    the first link goes to a secure site. Not a good thing to do, in my opinion.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Jeff, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    She should get a lawsuit and sue their asses.

     

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  •  
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    Overcast (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:02am

    That's just STUPID. She SHOULD sue them.

    Innocent until proven guilty seems like a lost concept anymore.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Cipher-0, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    My job...

    ... is to install fingerprint scanning machines. These scan prints, package them up and send them off to the FBI. In less than two hours they have proof-positive ID if someone's in the system based on those prints.

    The local criminal courts are starting to demand the police provide the responses from the FBI before they'll talk about charges on a suspect - and if the PD doesn't have them, forces them to get such.

    I'll bet the PD spends more on discovery for the lawsuit than this system costs - around US$40,000.

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:56am

      Re: My job...

      Somehow I don't think that'd help. If you can't convince police to look at a fraking picture in a timely manner, imagine how difficult it'll be to convince them to double-check a false positive in a 'proof-positive' system that they've been sold.

       

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        identicon
        Cipher-0, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re: My job...

        ... imagine how difficult it'll be to convince them to double-check a false positive in a 'proof-positive' system...

        True enough - it's not a panacea, but it also provides proof-positive ID on who in the PD needs their personal ass kicked and sued; the system puts their ID all over the fingerprint record, and (at least in the state where I do installs) the officer is required to check the responses.

         

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      interval (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

      Re: My job...

      My wife works a Sheriff's clerk for the county, part of her job is finger print processing and data base look-ups, and her mother is a shift super. Part of her (my mother-in-law) job is being sent out on trips to other jurisdictions (sometimes even international) to stay with the current finger printing technology or demonstrate the county's finger print technology to other jurisdictions. The impression I get from her is that there is still a lot of work to get all American jurisdictions working with finger print technology at the same level and getting them to share information at the same level. Apparently some backwaters still use index cards filed in a shoebox, others don't use the same nomenclature, or a whole host of weird issues that you wouldn't think would come up in a supposedly technologically advanced nation. Its kinda funny to hear her talk about people she has to work with in other jurisdictions who don't seem to have a clue what she's talking about with regard to finger printing (this is LA county, CA, I can only assume we're on the cutting edge or something.)

       

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    identicon
    known coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    Maybe the police

    Could bill her for room and board for the time she was there?

     

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    TriZz (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    De-loused?

    ...If she was lice infected, then ridding her of those lice is a thankful task.

     

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      interval (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

      Re: De-loused?

      Yeah. Whenever I feel the need for a good de-lousing I get arrested. My criminal record is shot to hell and I've contracted TB from being put in a cell with a carrier, but by God I am louse-free.

       

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    Jay (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Convincing argument

    I'm more and more convinced that as people gain power, they abuse it for the most inane reasons possible.

    Odds are, if we got rid of lawyers and politicians, the entire world would prosper quite well without them.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    Police = uneducated jocks with guns that have now joined the government gang. Aren't we lucky that such great, upstanding, people are "protecting" us?

     

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    identicon
    R K, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 3:47pm

    Date of arrest

    The article says she was released in April 25, 2002. I know justice moves slowly but a pre-trial hearing 8 1/2 years after the incident? And once she was ordered release still handcuffing her until she was processed out 3+ hours later - if the Sheriff's office ackmnowledged the mistake, the Judge ordered her release, is she a flight risk? "Poulton said it takes several hours for jail employees to run through all their checks and process out an inmate. Shields, he said, was treated no differently than anyone else." Under the circumstances, she certainly should have been treated differetly!

     

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    identicon
    Johnny, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 5:01pm

    And the police wonders

    And the police wonders why people hate them so much, and why they are perceived as violent and power hungry primates with one brain cell.
    It also doesn't help that they always try to cover up the crimes of other officers.
    A cop can kill you or seriously injure you and face nearly no penalty.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    bshock, Sep 15th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    why not?

    Isn't this just a standard reaction for authorities?

    When a drunken Dick Cheney shot someone in the face, wasn't it the victim who apologized to him?

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Sep 15th, 2010 @ 11:57pm

    "Shields also contends that she should have been set free as soon as Seminole County Judge Carmine Bravo ordered her release around 2 p.m. She wasn't. She was handcuffed, led from the courtroom and held for another three to 3 1/2 hours.

    Poulton said it takes several hours for jail employees to run through all their checks and process out an inmate. Shields, he said, was treated no differently than anyone else."

    Sounds to me like that's the jail employee's problem. Don't see why their byzantine procedures should result in keeping someone in custody. For all it's flaws, when you are set free by a judge in France, you walk out without handcuffs or anything.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    D0M1N8R, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 6:47pm

    I havent read into this story beyond this article but it would make since that if there is a arrest warrant the Police must honor it. So was it a Police mistake or just another fault of the legal system?

     

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