10/25/2007Louisiana: Police Grab Car from Innocent Woman
An innocent woman loses her car in Alexandria, Louisiana due to a database error. Police and DMV refuse to compensate the motorist.
Police in Alexandria, Louisiana seized the car belonging to a motorist who had committed no crime. A pair of police officers ran the license plate on Ruby Wallace's 1995 Honda Accord and found the department of motor vehicles (DMV) had listed it as canceled. The officers believed that the database was more trustworthy than Wallace, who protested that she was innocent. The officers immediately grabbed the license plate from the car and had American Towing haul the vehicle away, stranding the woman.
Wallace was without her car for days until the DMV admitted their database was wrong. As fees mounted, neither the Alexandria Police nor the DMV would take responsibility for the mistake or pay the towing company the $430 it demanded before it would return her Honda.
"It's frustrating because they made a mistake but they want me to pay for it, Wallace told KALB-TV last Friday. "The lady at the DMV told me to borrow the money."
When KALB intervened on Wallace's behalf, the towing company agreed to waive Wallace's fees. Still, Wallace has not been compensated for the time she was wrongfully deprived of her automobile.