Skip to comments.Officer, you've got the wrong person [false arrest]
Posted on 02/15/2010 11:56:58 PM PST by Slings and Arrows
(CNN) -- Three police cars pulled into Christina FourHorn's front yard one afternoon just before she was supposed to pick up her daughter at school. The officers had a warrant for her arrest.
"What do you mean robbery?" FourHorn remembers asking the officers. Her only brushes with the law had been a few speeding tickets.
She was locked up in a Colorado jail. They took her clothes and other belongings and handed her an oversize black-and-white striped uniform. She protested for five days, telling jailers the arrest was a mistake. Finally, her husband borrowed enough money to bail her out.
"They wouldn't tell me the details," she said.
Later, it became clear that FourHorn was right, that Denver police had arrested the wrong woman. Police were searching for Christin Fourhorn, who lived in Oklahoma.
Their names were similar, and Christina FourHorn, a mother with no criminal record living in Sterling, Colorado, had been caught in the mix-up.
FourHorn went public about her case more than two years ago, filing a lawsuit that alleged the arrest violated her constitutional rights. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from arrest without probable cause.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
I hope that department gets sued into oblivion. Maybe, just maybe, some jobs should be lost over this.
“...she won’t get back the $3,500 her husband borrowed to bail her out...”
They should deduct that from the pay of everyone connected with the arrest...and make it triple damages for missing the tattoo.
I know the police do the best they can, but there is a concept known as DUE DILIGENCE!
Dearheart - Sue SUE SUE. Every damned one of them. If the detectives were too busy to check on basic facts then that is negligence. Big time.
And, as everyone knows, I am a big supporter of Law Enforcement. But this is wrong from every and any possible perspective.
The cynic in me says they kept her in jail for five days to try to find something to charge her with for CYA. Hope I’m wrong.
It's been a while ...
During George Washington's presidency, the government decided to tax whiskey in order to pay off the national debt. This infuriated the citizens and led to the Whiskey Rebellion.
Traffic violators do.
How many mistaken-identity arrests does it take to make you angry?
For me, one was enough a mom snatched from her home in Sterling and jailed in Denver because the city figured she was someone she isn't.
Then came another case, and another and another. Victim after victim has told how they were arrested and thrown behind bars because of sloppy police work.
A former city worker was mistaken for a man who was long dead. A student was held for a week without a court appearance and forced to answer to another man's name. And a 21-year-old was jailed more than four months on a warrant for a suspect with a discernibly different physical description.
In the two years since Christina FourHorn, the Sterling mom, went public about her ordeal, the city has tried to shrug off its screw-ups as anomalies. Officials estimate only a few ID errors have been made among thousands of inmates.
"Handling so many people as we do, a couple mistakes are bound to happen," the undersheriff once told me.
But Denver's little problem may be far bigger than the city admits. Since 2002, 219 more people seem to have been wrongly held, court documents and sheriffs' records indicate.
For every hour some were held, they probably missed work, school and other responsibilities. For every day some spent behind bars, someone at home probably was panicking. And for every week the city's mistakes went unacknowledged, taxpayers' bills in potential civil rights settlements were rising.
"Wrong defendant brought into court. A female. The defendant Jamie Sandoval is male," one court order reads.
"Called Def(endant's) Wife. Valerie is upset because her husband keeps getting arrested for another person named Vasquez," reads another.
And here's my favorite: "Def(endant) brought in was wrong defendant . . . Go figure!"
Dozens of apparent errors have been made since the city pledged to mend its ways in 2007 after settling a lawsuit for jailing a woman whose identity it had mistaken. Innocent people continued to be misidentified after Safety Manager Al LaCabe said sheriff's deputies are making "every effort to ensure they are correctly identifying suspects." And problems persist long since John Hickenlooper deigned to address the issue, albeit minimally.
"We are committed to preventing this type of situation from happening again," he told me a year ago this week.
The mayor who now wants to be governor has been all too tolerant of his safety department, especially his police ID bureau, and its continuing failure to make sure it locks up the right people.
His office questions the scale of the problem, arguing "There is no way to know without going through each case how many of the cases in the documents involve actual ID problems that involved a deputy or court mistake."
Hickenlooper is being suckered by safety officials who blame errors on the fact that some arrestees, big shock, lie about their identities.
Since deputies finally started logging wrongful identity complaints in August, 24 inmates have claimed they were hauled in on somebody else's warrant. As it turns out, eight were telling the truth.
That's 33 percent, hardly a statistical anomaly. The dozens of other people who apparently fell victim to Denver's snafus don't exactly qualify as "a couple mistakes."
Again, the question goes how many of the wrong people will Denver lock up until the public gets outraged and officials finally feel the heat?
I go right back to what I’ve been saying for the past decade....wannabe cops. We’ve got huge issues in small towns across America with them....and I can now see that these wannabe guys have finally arrived at major cities.
As for the legal case....if I were the city manager...I’d start to pull out the city insurance package and take a guess on what she will ask for. Since she spent at least three days in jail...I’d put the magic number up around $15 million and as they offer $12 million...take it.
As for the cops involved? I would probably go ahead and terminate them for their performance.
Well, I'm not. It all started going downhill when the concept of peace officers disappeared and the strong arm of the revenue collectors appeared.
I mostly support all law enforcement, but their political leadership I detest. Rank-in-file cops are mostly good moral people with integrity, much like I view the military. But when the political element in them got successful in making a police officer worth more in crime than any other human being I stopped supporting them rotely. They are not...they never will be. Our constitution clearly defines us as all equal. Their life is not worth more than mine. I DO belive they are worthy of greater honor than most due to what they are willing to do for us but that is also true of the military and we see NO laws giving the crimes against military members greater punishment.
Worse, there are cops who are starting to believe that they alone are the good guys with guns and that all citizens with guns are somehow suspect. The politicians who make laws creating this environment have as much understanding of freedom and liberty as they do about global warming...NONE!
Don’t know, but the way it’s supposed to work is that you sit in jail until a court appearance which is usually the next business day after the arrest or you post bail. If the warrant is an out of state warrant then you sit until you post bail, the out of state agency says fuggetaboutit, or comes and gets you or you get a hearing in front of a judge who releases you for some reason.
As much as it pains me to say this, my son was arrested while away at school. He was arrested for a Minor in Possession of Alcohol, basically he was drunk and therefore he possessed within his body, also urinating in Public (he was behind a bush) And men I am warning you on this one, you can be charged as a Sex Offender for that. Anyway, yes he is dumb and he admits it. Anyway he is joining the military, so I told him to go down to the Police Station and get a backround check on yourself to see how it comes up. Well, he fills out a form, the backround check comes back with the right charge and name but wrong SS# Wrong state of Birth and wrong address.
SSSHHHHHH. No prob. Say he was born in HI and print any of the myriad of editable BO birth certs. Join Army, no problem.
In all seriousness though, I would not say a thing.
“And men I am warning you on this one, you can be charged as a Sex Offender for that.”
Reality is looking more and more like the dystopia in the movie Brazil.
“Anyway he is joining the military”
Good on him. Is he looking at the Navy?
“the backround check comes back with the right charge and name but wrong SS# Wrong state of Birth and wrong address.”
That might be good. I’ll bet a good lawyer could get that whole thing wiped clean because of the mistakes.
Yall would not believe what we have been going through with this nonsense. The charges are being dropped because he had never been in trouble before, he did however have to serve some community service, at the Moose Lodge, which he loved and he knows he was a bonehead. He wanted the military right out of HS but we talked him into trying school first. Wanted to go to the Marines but it is almost 1 yr. wait to get to bootcamp, so he is going into the Army, wants to be a Ranger.
The world has gone insane. Part of the first offender Intervention was a 40 minute interview with a behavioral psychologist. He had up to 6 months to complete all of this stuff and he did it all in 5 days. He calls to get his paperwork to bring to the recruiter and they say they are waiting for the report from the psych. Calls the pysch, they will call back, when they do I answer the phone. They call back and I ask if everything is good to go and the guy that runs the program tell me no, that my son needs 8 weeks of treatment. Excuse me? So you are telling me that in 40 minutes you determined that my son is an alcoholic? He said no but having been in the military I can tell you that the military is known for their alcohol problems and we believe the 8 weeks will give him the education he needs to be better able to handle the influences he will be around in the military!
All I can say is that it was a good thing that this was over the phone and not face to face or I would be in treatment for anger management issues! If yall could have heard what this man was saying your head would have exploded. How can people be so stupid and live.
Anyway, my son then called the counselor because I was about to have a stroke and he was extremely professional in making his case to her and they rescinded the recommendation and he is now good to enlist this week!
I’ll tell ya about the BC. My son washed his original BC in his jeans, it was from SC 1990, all the information, weight, place, hospital, Dr. name, time of birth etc. Have to get a new one and they send me something almost identical to what Obama is showing. I will say that the SC, although even lacking what I believe is pertinent information, Will’s is a lot more official looking, gold raised seal and watermarked paper.
I called SC to request what I consider a normal long form and they said that they don’t issue those anymore, what I received was the long form. In GA they still give you the real long form.
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