‘The sloppiest mistake’: Woman says CMPD wrongly handcuffed, arrested her in case of mistaken identity

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte woman says she was wrongly arrested by CMPD and is now traumatized by the entire encounter.

The woman, who asked to only be identified as J. Horne, says police officers surrounded her and even pointed a gun at her before realizing they got the wrong person.

“I reached down for something, I look back at up and there’s a police officer hopping out of his car with a gun pointing at me,” said Horne.

Horne said she was on her way back to her house after a workout class. She was sitting in her car before walking inside when police swarmed her vehicle.

“I’m like ‘What? What’s going on?’ And I don’t get a response. It’s just like ‘get out, get out, now,’” Horne said.

Horne says her first thought was that she was being framed. Her second thought was that she was going to lose her life.

“He handcuffs me and puts me in the back of a car. And at that moment, he finally asked me where’s your driver license,” she said.

She says the notion to properly identify her or ask if she was the right person was a second thought to officers. When they finally did check her license, it didn’t match who police told her they were looking for.

She says officers were trying to arrest a woman for attempted murder who had a very similar name to her own. She believes it was a case of mistaken identity, but gone horribly wrong.

”That was the sloppiest mistake,” she said. “Even I as a teacher know to cross check my references before I make a decision like that.”

In a written statement, CMPD told us Internal Affairs is looking into what happened here.

“The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division is investigating this incident to make sure that all officers acted appropriately in accordance with North Carolina State Law and the policies of CMPD.”

Horne says that’s not enough.

“The dissociation from being traumatized is there. Just making and coming to terms with the fact that I might die or that I would die and that those 28 years were so small,” she said.

She wants CMPD to take full accountability for their actions.

“I didn’t get an apology until they saw the anger on my face. I pointed out to them that the community was watching,” she said. “All they could say was ‘I’m sorry, we had to do what we had to do.’ But I’m asking, ‘Why did you have to point a gun in my face?’”

Horne says because she feels traumatized by the police encounter, she’s had to book extra sessions with a therapist. She believes the city should pay for those sessions. She’s seeking legal assistance now to help with this request.

Police say the investigation into those officers to see if they followed policy is still ongoing.

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