As an addendum to this morning's post about the Social Security Administration's inability to accurately keep track of people's Social Security Numbers, here we have a story from the Atlanta Journal Constitution about the Atlanta Police Department's inability to figure out who exactly it is that they are placing under arrest:
Atlanta police are launching an internal investigation into the case of a woman who was arrested by mistake and held in jail for nearly two months, Channel 2 Action News reports.Well, gee, Teresa isn't exactly an uncommon name. From what I've observed, there are a lot of Teresas running around these days. Certainly, the cops have ways of distinguishing one from another. Right? Am I right? Anyone? Bueller?
Police are seeking to determine what happened and if any policies or procedures were violated in the arrest of Teresa Culpepper, who spent 53 days wrongfully incarcerated in Fulton County Jail because she had the same name, Teresa, as a woman wanted by authorities.
“Her birth date didn't match. Her address didn't match. Her description didn't match. Other than the name Teresa, nothing matched,” said Culpepper’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant.I really don't know what's the more depressing part of those last two paragraphs, the fact that the Atlanta Police Department utterly failed to do even basic due diligence before arresting the unfortunate Ms. Culpepper, or that the teevee station managed to go out and find the real culprit. You really can't make this stuff up, because if you tried no editor would ever buy it.
Channel 2 tracked down the Teresa actually wanted by police, and the woman told the TV station she had never been arrested for the alleged offense.
If the Atlanta Police Department's internal investigation ends like most such inquiries do, they will do doubt exonerate themselves of any wrongdoing. At which point, the Atlanta PD will be effectively telling the world that, yes indeed, our department is full of morons.