10/30/2007New Jersey: Innocent Man Jailed 30 Days Over Traffic Tickets
An innocent man is sent to jail for a month because police thought he looked like someone wanted for speeding.
An innocent man was imprisoned for thirty days because Freehold Township, New Jersey Police mistook him for someone with unpaid speeding tickets. One year ago today, officers grabbed Kerry L. Edwards, 45, while he was walking home near Route 9 and accused him of being Rodney McFadden, a man wanted on charges of speeding and driving on a suspended license.
Edwards showed officers proper identification. He is four inches taller than McFadden and lacks the tattoos and other distinguishing marks that were part of the wanted man's description. Nonetheless, police locked Edwards up in Monmouth County Jail after claiming his fingerprints matched those of McFadden.
"To put this man in jail for thirty days and just forget about him for something as ridiculous as this is scary," Thomas Mallon, a lawyer representing Edwards, told WCBS-TV in an interview.
Edwards was released from prison on November 29 last year on $10,000 bail that Edwards' family members had posted in the name of Rodney McFadden. A final set of fingerprints taken upon release proved that Edwards was, in fact, Edwards. Still, Monmouth County prosecutors cleared police of any wrongdoing and refused to apologize to Edwards.
Edwards filed a false imprisonment suit in U.S. District Court earlier this month.