‘It Wasn’t Me’: Black Woman Arrested for Shoplifting in Texas But Had Never Been to State

‘It Wasn’t Me’: Black Woman Arrested for Shoplifting in Texas But Had Never Been to State

A Philadelphia woman was arrested and detained for shoplifting in Texas. The only problem was, she had never been to Texas.

In a case of mistaken identity, Julie Hudson spent a week behind bars after she walked into a police station asking for assistance on Jan. 5. Applying for jobs, Hudson noticed background checks from potential employers were claiming she had a criminal record. Shortly after, she was arrested.

It turned out there was a warrant out for the arrest of Julie Hudson—but in Webster, TX. NBC 10 reported that last May, another woman with the same name was seen on camera shoplifting in a sporting goods store. A surveillance photo of the suspect looked very similar to the 31-year-old’s social media picture. “When you know that you didn’t do anything wrong, it makes you feel crazy,” Hudson said.

The PhD student was released on Wednesday after her family reached out to both Texas and Philadelphia officials. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Texas filed a dismissal motion, claiming insufficient evidence, on Tuesday. However, the Philadelphia Police Department told NBC 10 they only found out about the warrant dismissal after a media inquiry came in. “At that time, we immediately requested that Ms. Hudson be released from custody and are actively working with the Philadelphia Department of Prisons to process her release in as expeditious a manner as possible.” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement, obtained by The Insider, that Hudson’s family deserves credit for bringing this to light. “What happened to her should not have happened,” Krasner said.

Thankful for her release, Hudson still questioned how this could have happened. “I want to find out how this happened and I want it to not happen to anyone else ever again,” she told NBC 10.

While her family is considering taking legal action, Philadelphia officials, like Mayor Jim Kenney, have been more than supportive to Hudson. In a statement, Kenney applauded the PPD, commending their “rapid response” and was happy Hudson was home safely. “We are dismayed by the ordeal that she and her family went through due to an erroneous warrant from another jurisdiction, and thankful that she is now home.”