Police Abuse

A Mother Spends a Week in Jail, Is Fired From Her Job, and Temporarily Loses Her Kids After a Police Mix-Up

Ashley Foster was jailed and inspected by child protective services for a mistake beyond her control.

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A case of mistaken identity left a Brown County, Ohio, mother without her job or her children.

Aberdeen, Ohio, police are searching for two people accused of trafficking heroin and fentanyl and possessing drug paraphernalia. They identified two suspects a Facebook post on the department's page, including a woman named Ashley Foster. About a week after making the post, a deputy in Hamilton County found an Ashley Foster outside of a Target.

It was the wrong woman.

FOX 19 reports that the warrant used to arrest the wrong Foster contained the correct picture, birthday, and Social Security number, but had the wrong address. Though Foster insisted that the officers were mistaken, she was still handcuffed. Her two sons were in the vehicle and Foster said that she was not allowed to feed or change her 8-week-old as he cried. Child protective services took her children after the arrest.

Police booked Foster into jail, where she remained for a week. County rules allowed Hamilton County, to hold Foster for up to three business days until she could be transferred to Aberdeen police custody in Brown County. Because she was arrested on a Thursday, she remained in jail for an additional two days over the weekend. She sat in the Hamilton County cell for five days. While she was jailed, officers were unable to provide Foster with information since the charges were issued outside of their jurisdiction.

Foster struggled to find an explanation even after she was transferred to Brown County. The officers in charge of her transfer were not over the drug case.

When Aberdeen Police Chief David Benjamin finally interviewed Foster in the jail, he concluded that his officers had made a mistake. She was released and all of the charges were dropped.

Brown said that the ordeal caused her to lose her job.

Foster has since been reunited with her children, but not before Clermont County Job & Family Services interviewed her to determine her competency as a mother and inspected her home.

The department is conducting an investigation into the events and Foster is planning to meet with a lawyer.

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54 responses to “A Mother Spends a Week in Jail, Is Fired From Her Job, and Temporarily Loses Her Kids After a Police Mix-Up

  1. Must be nice to hide behind your badge, police union, and bureaucracy, knowing that qualified immunity ultimately protects you from any wrongdoing while on duty.

    No incentives for officers to get it right the first time.

    1. There are not enough lawyers who will zealously argue that all of the rationales concocted by the courts over the years to justify immunity are irrational and utterly untethered to the principles of a free society.

      Good luck with the likes of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh overturning immunity. In fact, the failure to appoint judges who have previously signaled their intent to abrogate immunity for all public sector actors is, itself, a betrayal of a promise to drain the swamp.

      1. Why can not Congress abolish qualified immunity?

        1. Because it’s very difficult to get re-elected without the support of the police unions.

          1. True, but in fairness Congress never *enacted* qualified immunity in the first place, the courts slipped it into Congressional statutes and Congress can’t be bothered to slap down the courts.

  2. “Everything went so smoothly”

    Suspiciously upbeat… Does brainwashing only take a week nowadays?

    1. I’m thinking that she probably lost a low wage job, and is happily anticipating a sizable settlement in exchange. Not bad for a week’s vacation from a toddler and crying baby…

      1. Fair enough, I have a toddler and a baby too so I can empathize. Solitary confinement has its perks

        1. Will Preet Bharara throw me in a woodchipper if I state that I, too, would accept a fat check in exchange for a week away from the terrible twos?

      2. The news says she had a high paying job.

  3. How often does this really happen? Perhaps they need to update their IT systems for better communication between jurisdiction.

    If she doesn’t get her job back, her manager is the real asshole in this story.

    1. What about the poor bastard they hired to replace her (if this has happened)? Do they get to keep a job too or can they sue the state for damages stemming from this case? What if she wasn’t a good employee and this just was the final straw and they are really happy with the new hire?

      1. I once represented an Afro-American man who was mistakenly apprehended in an identity mix-up fiasco.

        A man with the same first and last name as my client, though with a different middle name, was a target of a probation surrender warrant. He was white and 32. My client was in his late sixties and lived in low income elderly housing.

        The probation officers, accompanied by a cop, came to my client’s elderly housing complex and knocked on his door. The cop immediately cuffed him, and when my client protested, the cop punched him several times and while doing so, exclaimed, “shut the fuck up, nigger, shut up nigger!”

        The town settled for decent dough. But my client had also sued the probation office and officers and the Superior court judge granted their motion to dismiss. I appealed the case to the Massachusetts Court of Appeals, and lost.

        BTW, the NAACP turned my client away.

        1. What’s an “Afro-American man”? Is that anything like Afroman?

          1. I was gonna make a Harry Anslinger “jazz musician” joke
            But then I got high

        2. The USA is a police state with virtually no justice.

  4. Don’t want to tbe treated like a thug, don’t do absolutely nothing wrong like a thug.

    1. You are not the one who gets to decide if you’re doing something “wrong”.

      1. I think that double-negative was intentional.

  5. Well… I’m sure their motives were altruistic. And who can blame Child Protestantism Services for at least trying to score a legal kidnapping, right? They at least showed some initiative!

  6. Sorry for the errant flag there. The squirrels are gone, but the mole people took their place.

  7. As usual, the taxpayers will pay for this mistake and nothing will happen to the officers and officials. This kind of shit will continue until those responsible start getting sued and going to jail.

    1. Put the mother fuckers in jail for about six months. They will be MUCH, MUCH MORE careful of the details in the future. Let their kids and spouses fend for themselves. Dock their pay for the period.

      1. “Let their kids and spouses fend for themselves.”

        No, arrest the spouses too, and interrogate the spouses and kids about potential abuse going on in the house. Inspect the houses, assume guilt and force the police to prove their innocence.

  8. Say what?
    The warrant had a picture AND date of birth; at the time of the arrest the cops didn’t look at the drivers license?

    And I really, really, want a whole lot more information about this little part of the story – “a deputy in Hamilton County found an Ashley Foster outside of a Target.” So was she walking around with a sign saying I am Spartacus? Were they checking all id cards looking for illegals? Was her taillight out? WTF?!

    1. He used his xray vision (given to cops upon graduation from Police Academy the Movie) to read her license in her purse.

      1. Unfortunately, they did not teach the officer how to read or do math.

    2. He might have been randomly running plates during a slack time in his shift. The cops in my town do that all the time, especially at bars and motels.

    3. It was her information and picture. The dealer has probably stolen her ID.

  9. Because she was arrested on a Thursday, she remained in jail for an additional two days over the weekend.

    How in fuck’s name are weekends not counted as “days detained”?

    1. Fuck You, That’s Why

    2. Because weekends at the jail are such a good time that it shouldn’t count?

    3. You can’t expect the people who process paperwork to work the weekends, can you?

  10. Even Jesus was busier on the weekend then these lazy cops, despite being dead part of the time.

    1. Nice job, Eddy. Working in the Easter weekend routine. I want to see more comments from you.

  11. All policies and procedures were followed…

  12. If you wrap a kidnapping in bureaucracy, it’s still a kidnapping.

  13. I’m only surprised the heros didn’t shoot her dog.

    1. Babies can be mistaken for dogs in some jurisdictions…

      1. Cops would never shoot a baby! It’s a waste of ammo; their bodies are too soft and even a hollow point passes right through.

        What do you think they carry flash grenades for?

    2. They keep a supply of dogs at the station to shoot in case the suspect fails to provide one. It’s in their union contract.

  14. She needs to get on enormous settlement along with penalties for those that did the poor research. Holding a person for a week with nothing? Can’t be allowed to happen.

    1. I’d be interested to know if she was still breastfeeding the 8-week-old… I have to imagine a week of sitting in jail would cause the milk to stop, possibly affecting full development of the kid’s immune system for the rest of his life.

  15. And nothing else happened….

  16. […] she returned to her vehicle in the Target parking lot and found it with a flat tire. According to Reason, she lost her job because she missed work due to her incarceration, and only regained custody of […]

  17. […] she returned to her vehicle in the Target parking lot and found it with a flat tire. According to Reason, she lost her job because she missed work due to her incarceration, and only regained custody of […]

  18. […] she returned to her vehicle in the Target parking lot and found it with a flat tire. According to Reason, she lost her job because she missed work due to her incarceration, and only regained custody of […]

  19. The more charges the cops can pile on for initial booking, the bigger a man they are in the breakroom the next morning.

    If charges are dropped, the ONLY consequence is that the cop doesn’t have to show up for court to testify “Yes that is the convicted perpetrator (sic) I mistakenly identified. My bad.”

    Except that there are low-level criminals in the city where I live, and pernicious (but similarly low-level) internet criminals where I surf the ‘net, I’d almost rather that there were no cops at all, and we could settle things like in the Old West.

  20. […] she returned to her vehicle in the Target parking lot and found it with a flat tire. According to Reason, she lost her job because she missed work due to her incarceration, and only regained custody of […]

  21. […] to result in police arresting the wrong suspects. Earlier this week, Reason‘s Zuri Davis wrote about an Ohio woman, Ashley Foster, who was mistaken for a different woman by the same name and arrested […]

  22. […] to result in police arresting the wrong suspects. Earlier this week, Reason‘s Zuri Davis wrote about an Ohio woman, Ashley Foster, who was mistaken for a different woman by the same name and arrested […]

  23. […] mix-ups to result in police arresting the wrong suspects. Earlier this week, Reason‘s Zuri Davis wrote about an Ohio woman, Ashley Foster, who was mistaken for a different woman by the same name and arrested […]

  24. […] to result in police arresting the wrong suspects. Earlier this week, Reason‘s Zuri Davis wrote about an Ohio woman, Ashley Foster, who was mistaken for a different woman by the same name and arrested […]

  25. People make mistakes, that is a given. That said, how the hell is it that “law enforcement professionals” manage to make and worse yet, to repeat such “mistakes”. I would expect that the offended woman, that is a perfectly reasonable way to describe her, is in consultation with competent legal counsel. I would also suspect/expect that resulting from this fiasco, the police agencies and communities involved are in consultation with their insurance carriers.

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