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A woman in southern California who was mistakenly jailed for 13 days after she was misidentified as a suspect being sought by Texas authorities last April is suing the city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department. Bethany K. Farber, 30, was arrested while trying to board a flight from Los Angeles and was headed for Mexico at the time she was apprehended at the airport.

According to the New York Post, Farber was detained by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the time over a warrant that was issued out of Texas. Upon her arrest, she was escorted to a private room where the agents said she was wanted by authorities for property damage in the Lone Star State. However, Farber said she had never set foot in Texas and is not aware of any crimes she had committed. Despite her explanations, LAPD and LAX ignored these statements and proceeded to make the arrest without confirming her identity.

From there, Farber was transferred to a police station and sent to jail for 13 days. She was released on April 26 only after her attorney presented cellphone data indicating she had been in California on the day authorities said the crime took place in Texas.

In a news conference last Tuesday, Farber announced her lawsuit in front of the LAPD headquarters. Her attorney Rodney Biggs pointed out how police failed to check on her middle name or her birthdate from her identification cards even in the light of side-by-side photos of Farber and the real suspect who had the same name as hers. The photos showed very little resemblance between the two women.

The lawsuit claims Farber suffered severe stress, anxiety, emotional injury, and mental anguish and had even caused her grandmother a stress-induced stroke upon learning of her situation. Her 91-year-old grandma passed away soon after she was released from jail. While incarcerated at Lynwood Women’s Jail, Farber recalled how other inmates tried to touch her and asked her for “favors”.

Farber seeks a $2.5 million claim for emotional distress for every day she was kept incarcerated. As of today, no one from the City of Los Angeles, LAPD, and LAX have made any comments on the pending litigation. Farber’s lawyer said authorities could have well-handled the arrest by making just a few simple protocol identity checks.

A passenger checks the departures board at the Hamad International Airport in Doha on July 20, 2017.
A passenger checks the departures board at the Hamad International Airport in Doha on July 20, 2017. Getty Images | STRINGER/AFP

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