Julie Hudson, a 31-year-old African American woman from Philadelphia who is currently a Ph.D. candidate, was arrested and jailed for a week after being mistakenly identified as a Texas robbery suspect even though she has never been to the state of Texas.
Hudson found out about the false accusations while trying to apply for a job. She had been repeatedly rejected by potential employers as background checks apparently showed she had a criminal record.
On January 5, Hudson went to the Philadelphia police station hoping to fix the issue but she was arrested instead. She was taken into custody based on an arrest warrant sought by police in Webster, Texas.
Hudson was falsely identified as the same person who was caught shoplifting in a surveillance video based on the photos she had posted on her social media. Police also said the suspect is also a woman named Julie Hudson.
“When you know that you didn’t do anything wrong, it makes you feel crazy,” Hudson told NBC News. “Everybody is sure that you did something, that you’re [a] criminal, but you know that that’s not who you are.”
Following her arrest, her family contacted law enforcement in both Texas and Philadelphia to clear her name.
The case was dismissed after nearly a week and Hudson was finally released on January 11. It was proven that Hudson was wrongfully arrested as police concluded that she was at work in Philadelphia when the robbery happened and she had never been to Texas.
Her family said they were still working on getting the false accusation taken off her record. They are also considering taking legal action as Hudson is still searching for answers over what happened.
“I want to find out what happened,” she said. “I want to find out how this happened and I want it to not happen to anyone else ever again.”