The late Senator Ted Kennedy was flagged at the airport because his name was similar to someone on the No Fly List.* Delta’s CEO wants to expand the use of these lists. And of course we can totally trust that only bad people will be hassled, right? Because law enforcement doesn’t make mistakes.
Tell that to Bethany Farber who was arrested at LAX and jailed for two weeks because, police say, she had the same name as someone else with an outstanding warrant. Here’s what the two women look like, side-by-side, so you can understand the officers’ confusion. The woman on the right is who they arrested:
Credit: Rodney Diggs/Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs
Ms. Farber was at the gate waiting for a flight to Mexico. Her name was paged. TSA took her and told her to put her “things down and go against the wall and put my hands up.” She was arrested on “a statewide fugitive warrant in Texas” even though she’d never been to Texas. She explains,
All I could think was that it wasn’t me. I just kept insisting that they check … that they double check because they had the wrong person, and I made that very clear. I told them over and over again, and they just completely blew me off.
She was handcuffed to a chair while waiting for LAPD to arrive. They didn’t verify that her date of birth, photo, social security number or fingerprints matched the person sought on the warrant. She spent 12 nights and 13 days in jail. Three quarters of the way through this, LA officials were reportedly informed by Texas that they had the wrong person and continued to hold her anyway.
Ms. Farber’s 90 year old grandmother learned of her arrest, had a stroke, and died. The 30 year old victim “missed a lot of her last days in the hospital.”
* Even those that have tried to debunk Senator Kennedy’s No Fly List claim concede he was confused with someone on a different list and just argue over which secret list it was.
(HT: Eye Of The Flyer)