Northport Police mistakenly arrest woman after traffic accident

Case of mistaken identity in Northport

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A woman was forced to spend time in the Tuscaloosa County jail last year due to a mistake made by Northport police.

“All law enforcement officers need to realize that sometimes when someone says no, it’s true, I didn’t do it, the people are correct,” Northport City Attorney Ron Davis admitted Thursday. He said Northport Police were wrong when they put a woman in jail following a December traffic accident.

Some facts about her were similar to someone wanted by authorities in Jefferson County.

"The gender, the sex, and birthdates matched. But the names and addresses didn't and that should have been caught by the dispatcher or the other two officers," according to Davis.

But they didn’t, so the woman was forced to spend several hours in jail.

In March, the Northport City Council agreed to pay her $28,000 for past and continuing services of a psychologist after her wrongful arrest.

“The lady did nothing wrong. That’s why we feel we should compensate her,” Davis continued.

Davis told us the driver suffered emotional injury as a result of spending the night in jail because of her wrongful arrest.

"The reason that we agreed to keep the matter confidential is the person did not want publicity,” Davis concluded.

Davis confirmed the dispatcher and two officers involved in the incident were disciplined, but not fired.

The incident is now a part of officer training within the department.

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