Bethany K Farber: California woman, 30, wrongfully jailed for 13 days after ID mix-up
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A 30-year-old California woman spent 13 days in jail after she was wrongly identified as a suspect with the same name wanted in Texas. Bethany K Farber is an aesthetician from Agoura Hills who is now suing the city of Los Angeles and LAPD for arresting her at LA International Airport as she waited to board a flight to Mexico last April.
At first, Farber was detained by Transportation Security Administration officials who escorted her to a private room while she waited to board a flight to Mexico last April. Upon asking why she was stopped, the TSA agents told her about the warrant out for her arrest in Texas, as per the lawsuit.
Wrongly detained Black man sues Valdosta police for slamming him to the ground, breaking his wrist during arrest
Farber told the TSA that she had never been to Texas and was surely not wanted for committing a crime there, but the LAPD and LAX police still “proceeded to arrest her” right in front of airport staff without even confirming her identity or checking her driver’s license, according to the lawsuit filed. The “LAPD then held [Farber] in jail for the next 13 days until April 26, 2021,” based on the filing.
“Plaintiff is a young woman with long, blonde hair, while the other woman is older with short brown hair,” the filing reads. “Furthermore, the warrant was for a woman in the State of Texas and Plaintiff has never been to the State of Texas.”
Farber announced her lawsuit in front of LAPD headquarters on Tuesday after she was released from custody. Rodney Biggs, Farber's attorney showed her mobile phone’s data to the LAPD that proved she was in California on the day when the crime in question happened in Texas.
Biggs revealed that the authorities allegedly considered her as a flight risk as she was headed to Mexico, but maintains that LAPD could’ve cleared her with just a few simple checks. “The fact no one checked her middle name, her birth date, no information representing her person … they didn’t even check basic information that Bethany was not the other Bethany Farber,” Biggs said.
According to Farber's lawsuit, she was forced to share toilet paper and soap during her 13-day jail time at Lynwood Women’s Jail, where she was so cold and had to witness feces being thrown and smeared on the walls. Due to the incident, Farber suffered “severe stress, anxiety, emotional injury, and mental anguish”. Farber's 91-year-old grandmother also went through a “stress-induced stroke” after the news of her arrest reached her, the lawsuit alleges.