Arkansas

Woman wrongfully arrested in Fayetteville car shooting case receives compensation from police

 

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WNCN) – Call it a case of driving a white Nissan.

Lawyer Patrick Anstead said his client, 51-year-old Jacqueline McNeil, was wrongfully arrested by the Fayetteville Police Department on July 20.

Police accused her of using her white Nissan sedan in a drive-by shooting on July 18 near a vape shop on Camden Road. Two days later, McNeil was pulled over and arrested.

“They arrested Ms. McNeil without a warrant or probable cause, and that right is a void arrest,” Attorney Anstead said.

Fayetteville police identified a white Nissan sedan leaving the direction of the shooting using a nearby city surveillance camera. At the same time, a license plate camera more than one mile from Owen Drive picked up McNeal’s car.

Two days later, she was stopped by police, arrested and questioned, her lawyer said. He also said that the police even accused McNeil’s son of the shooting, which was also a lie.

“After a while, law enforcement realized that they took pictures of two different cars and arrested the wrong person. Ultimately, by releasing Ms. McNeil without charging her,” prosecutor Anstead said. “Initially, they were supposed to stop and hold the car, let the detectives come, inspect it and determine if it fits or not. Instead, they skipped a step and immediately arrested her.”

Before McNeil’s attorney could file a federal lawsuit, the Fayetteville police agreed to mediate and negotiate a settlement.

The Fayetteville Police Department settled with McNeil for $60,000 and a written apology from retiring Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins.

“Essentially, this suggests that their detectives made a mistake, and that mistake will lead to the department’s higher qualifications in the future,” Attorney Anstead said.

The Fayetteville lawyer also said he was concerned that police officers might rely too much on technology to identify suspects and solve cases.

“My concern is that as the city continues to introduce new technology, more cameras and things like ShotSpotter, the police are relying too much on surveillance technology and not using their training and experience to investigate these crimes,” said Attorney Anstead. .

On Tuesday, CBS 17 reached out to the Fayetteville Police Department for comment on the agreement. We were told by a public information officer that no one was available for comment.

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