Julie Hudson: Innocent Philly PhD student wrongly arrested for shoplifting case spends 6 days in jail

Julie Hudson: Innocent Philly PhD student wrongly arrested for shoplifting case spends 6 days in jail
When Julie Hudson went to a Philadelphia police station to find out why she had a criminal record, she was arrested and taken into custody for six days (NBC Philadelphia/video screen grab)

WEBSTER, TEXAS: A BLACK Philadelphia woman who was innocent was imprisoned for almost a week after being wrongly accused of committing a crime in Texas due to mistaken identity. In a shoplifting case in May 2022 that took place at a sports store in Webster, Texas, near Houston, police identified Julie Hudson as the alleged suspect. 

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Unfortunate coincidence led to the discovery that a surveillance image of the suspect resembled online photos of Julie Hudson, a 31-year-old Philadelphia-based PhD candidate. Unaware that she had been misidentified as the stealing suspect, Hudson quickly noticed that she was getting turned down for employment on a regular basis and even had a criminal record to her name. 

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Who is Julie Hudson?

A PhD student Julie Hudson, 31, spent almost a week in jail for a crime she did not commit. Police arrested her in the 2022 shoplifting case due to mistaken identity. When she went to a Philadelphia police station to find out, she was arrested and taken into custody for six days on January 5. Hudson stated in an interview, "When you know that you didn't do anything wrong, it makes you feel crazy." She went on to tell, "Everybody is sure that you did something, that you're a criminal, but you know that that's not who you are." The innocent woman continued, "I want to find out what happened. I want to find out how this happened and I want it to not happen to anyone else ever again," as per NBC 10. 

In an effort to secure her release, Hudson's family contacted law enforcement in both Philadelphia and Texas. Texas' Harris County District Attorney's Office submitted a motion to drop the accusations made against the woman, alleging inadequate evidence. "We accept charges based on the sworn evidence presented to us by law enforcement," a spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney's Office stated, as cited by Daily Mail. "Tuesday, Webster Police notified the court of the error. We dismissed the case within five minutes and immediately contacted Philadelphia Police to release our hold on Ms. Hudson."

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The Philadelphia Police Department has also issued a statement justifying its actions. "Philadelphia police became aware of the warrant being dismissed on 1/11/23 at approximately 5om after receiving a media inquiry," a Philadelphia police rep stated. "At that time, we immediately requested that Ms. Hudson be released from custody and are actively working with the Philadelphia Department of Prisons to process her release in as expeditious a manner as possible," reported the outlet.

Hudson and her family are now thinking about pursuing legal action and demanding an explanation for how the situation occurred so it won't happen to anyone else in the future. "Julie just so happened to have a family that was able to get the information together, if we needed to get the funds together," Hudson's sister, Charon, told NBC News. "So many people out there that don't have that. And that's what struck a chord in me." Despite Hudson's release late on Wednesday, January 11, the family said that they still have to have the mistake removed from her record.

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