NewsMilitary Wife Says She Was Wrongfully Arrested

Military Wife Says She Was Wrongfully Arrested

Jacqueline A. Smith says she was initially denied medical attention while actively bleeding in custody.

Jacqueline A. Smith, a 33-year-old woman, is working hard to clear her name after she says she was allegedly wrongfully arrested due to a name mix-up while in Virginia Beach.

According to WAYV, Smith is the wife of a military member and mother of two young kids and was moving her family to another military base. The Feb. 16 incident occurred when Smith was stopped by law enforcement on the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. She was arrested while in the car with her newborn baby. 

She told a news outlet that the police “manhandled” her so roughly while she was being arrested that her postpartum incisions began bleeding. She wasn’t told why she was stopped and nothing indicated what prompted their violent behavior. 

“I just can’t even imagine how [it] went from a traffic stop to this,” Smith said. “All I kept saying out loud was, ‘Is this how you treat a service member’s wife? Is this how you’re treating a new mother?’”

Smith’s arresting officer was K. Brewer, and he transported her to Virginia Beach Correctional Center. She was checked in under the wrong name Jacqueline Renee Smith instead of Jacqueline Alcita Smith.

Smith recalled, “The whole ordeal was literally a nightmare. Every wrong turn that could have been taken, was taken. Three different agencies failed me. The Navy Police, the Virginia Beach Police Department, and the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office. Each one had an opportunity to operate in good faith, identify me, and use the systems they had in place. Instead, they were picking and choosing when to use my correct name.”

She continued, “They fingerprinted me. They took mugshots of me under this person’s name.”

Her father and her husband had to work for two days to try and clear up the mistake. She was booked and held in lock up the entire time, actively bleeding.

“The actual process was so humiliating, so degrading. To have to strip naked, to have to spread and cough, all while I’m experiencing a medical emergency,” Smith told the outlet. She said that despite asking correctional officers multiple times for medical assistance, she was ignored for a long time.

“When I close my eyes, I’m just imagining what could have happened to me, just to be there alone and bleeding,” Smith said. 

She was taken to the hospital finally, where she claims that she was coerced into signing a medical release form after treatment. After being taken back to VBCC, she says she was put into the detox unit. 

After being released, she must now work to correct all of the legal documents related to her arrest to get it expunged from her record. She attributed her strength to those willing to listen to her and be understanding. Smith said, “I’m just thankful that there are people who are willing to listen to my story and that if this does happen to you, don’t be silent about it.”

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Source: Black Enterprise

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