A Southern California woman filed suit against the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles Airport Police Tuesday, alleging in federal court that her civil rights were violated when she was held in jail for nearly two weeks after she was mistaken for a fugitive with the same name.
Bethany Farber was waiting for a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Puerto Escondido, Mexico, last April 16 when she was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers. She says she was escorted to a private room for questioning, placed in handcuffs and told that she could not board her flight because there was a warrant for her arrest out of Texas, CBS Los Angeles reports.
KTLA reports despite repeatedly telling authorities that there had been a mistake and that she had never even been to Texas, Farber was accused of lying and was taken to Lynwood Women’s Jail, where she was held without bail for 13 days, her lawsuit alleges. Jail records show she was released on April 28, 2021.
Farber and the wanted woman -- also named Bethany Farber -- "had nothing in common besides their name. (The plaintiff) is a young woman with long, blonde hair, while the other woman is older with short brown hair," according to the complaint.
The defendants "failed to do the bare minimum to confirm plaintiff's identity. By looking at a picture of plaintiff and a picture of the other Bethany Farber, city defendants would have realized plaintiff should not have been arrested at all," the 22-page suit states.
"This was an experience that no one should go through, especially a law-abiding citizen," Farber told reporters Tuesday. "You know, this is why we have our amendments in place to protect us -- we shouldn't be fearing law enforcement."