Stories like this make me realize why there are so many innocent people who are released when their DNA is tested: eyewitness identification is pretty close to worthless, especially across racial lines. If there hadn't been a video for a clear-eyed judge to look at, this woman might still have charges pending against her. Couldn't District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis find a black cop to take a look at the video? The problem might have been solved a lot sooner if she had.
I don't understand why some people can't apologize when they make a harmful mistake. It makes me wonder if the police and District Attorney think that it's okay for them to trample on people like this and then shrug it off. This isn't what we pay them to do. They get high salaries to do a thorough, professional job.
Woman wrongly arrested wants apology
By Brian Flores
FOX 5 San Diego
April 14, 2010
LA MESA, Calif. - A La Mesa woman who was mistakenly arrested for a series of crimes against senior citizens says she wants and apology from the San Diego District Attorney's Office and police.
Deidria Nicholson told Fox 5 News that she didn't know what she was being arrested for Thursday, but she knew it was a serious situation.
"I can tell you that at that moment, I did not fully understand the charges against me," Nicholson said. "But when I got outside and saw the media, I thought, somebody out here made a big mistake."
Earlier this month, police released a video surveillance photo of a woman responsible for a string of burglaries against local elderly people. Investigators received a phone tip last Thursday that led them to Nicholson. Nicholson said her La Mesa apartment was surrounded by 10 to 14 police officers that afternoon. She said the officers gathered evidence, including receipts, post cards, and some of her hair products. She said she was taken away in handcuffs.
Nicholson's son, Ellis Twine II, said his mother's arrest was bewildering to everyone who knows her.
"I was just shocked, and everybody I told about was in shock, thinking if it was an April fool's joke or something," Twine said.
Nicholson spent five days in custody. She was arraigned Monday afternoon and pleaded not guilty. She adamantly maintained that she was a victim of mistaken identity. Just hours after the arraignment, prosecutors dropped all charges and Nicholson was released. Authorities said they had arrested the wrong person...