A woman who said she spent nearly two weeks in jail after being mistakenly identified and arrested last year announced a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, the LAPD and L.A. Airport Police Tuesday morning.
Bethany Farber said she was at LAX last April, getting ready to travel to Mexico to see her brother and goddaughter, when she was detained, “aggressively interrogated about her identity” and taken into custody by the TSA due to an arrest warrant for a Bethany Farber in Texas.
Despite repeatedly telling authorities that there had been a mistake and that she had never even been to Texas, Farber was accused of lying and was taken to Lynwood Women’s Jail, where she was held without bail for 13 days, her lawsuit alleges. Jail records show she was released on April 28, 2021.
While she was in custody, Farber’s grandmother suffered what her family described as a stress-induced stroke that ultimately led to the grandmother’s death.
Farber says she now suffers from anxiety and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. She is seeking monetary compensation, but also calling for reforms within the judicial system.
“This has caused me a lot of distress in my life, a lot of anxiety. It has set me back financially. It’s impacted my business,” Farber said Tuesday outside Los Angeles Police Department headquarters. “There’s a lot of people out there who this is happening to who don’t have anyone advocating for them. They don’t have their family fighting for them every day, and every day that they’re in jail, wrongfully, their lives are being dismantled.”
Her attorneys said Tuesday that Farber’s rights were violated because authorities didn’t properly check or verify her identity.
They indicated that not only does Farber look nothing like the wanted woman, but she doesn’t have a criminal history, unlike the other Bethany Farber.
Farber’s attorney, Rodney Diggs, said that while she was in jail, his client saw people “doing things that she could never have imagined.”
“She had to spend her nights in a cold jail cell, listening to voices of other inmates screaming, crying, she saw fights within her cell, she saw fights in the common areas of the jail,” Diggs said.
The LAPD said they don’t comment on pending litigation. KTLA reached out to L.A. Airport Police and is awaiting a response.