A woman was wrongly arrested while she was waiting her flight at the airport and spent nearly two weeks behind bars after the authorities mistook her for a woman by the same name who was wanted by police from another state. The victim recently announced she filed a lawsuit against the city and the local police department for the incident that happened last year.
According to multiple reports, the 30-year-old B. Farber filed a lawsuit against the city of LA and the LA Police Department following her arrest last April while she was waiting for her flight to Mexico. For no apparent reason, Farber was initially detained by Transportation Security Administration agents, who escorted her to a private room, where she asked why she was stopped. As per the lawsuit, Farber, who is from California, waited for nearly two hours before she was told there is a warrant for her arrest out of Texas.
Farber tried to explain the officers the warrant must have been a mistake since she had never visited TX before, but the airport officers and staff took her claims for granted. The airport officers didn’t even try to confirm her identity, they waited for the LAPD officers to arrive and she was arrested. Farber spent the next 13 days in jail before her attorney proved Farber was not the actual Farber the police was looking for once he showed the authorities her cellphone data indicating his client was in California the day TX authorities alleged the crime occurred.
The local police department and the airport security officers mistook Farber for a woman with the same name and surname who was wanted by the TX authorities. According to Farber’s attorney, the client and the woman wanted by the police only shared the common name.
“Plaintiff informed the TSA officers who prevented her from boarding her flight that she had never been to Texas, and she certainly was not wanted for any crime there. Plaintiff repeatedly asked the TSA officers to check again, and further informed them that if there was in fact a warrant for her arrest it was identity theft,” the lawsuit said.
“It could happen to anyone,” Farber said late last month of her nightmarish ordeal, New York Post reported. Farber’s attorney, Rodney Biggs, said he thinks she was viewed as a flight risk since she was headed to Mexico, but claims authorities could’ve cleared her with just a few simple checks.
“The fact no one checked her middle name, her birth date,” Biggs said. “No information representing her person … they didn’t even check basic information that Bethany was not the other Bethany Farber. This was an experience that no one should go through … we shouldn’t be fearing law enforcement,” he added.
While being wrongly in jail, Farber was so cold that she had to use hot food to warm herself. The lawsuit in addition claims that she was forced to share toilet paper and soap with other inmates. In the federal civil lawsuit against the local police department and the city of LA, Farber claims she had suffered “severe stress, anxiety, emotional injury and mental anguish” due to her unjust arrest. Due to stress from the incident, Farber’s 91-year-old grandmother died just days after she was released from jail.
“This is an experience that no one should go through,” Farber told NPR.