CHARLOTTE — The Citizens Review Board voted 9-0 Wednesday night in favor of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg School teacher who was handcuffed after officers misidentified her as a suspect in a violent crime, Channel 9 learned.
The board concluded the teacher was wrongfully detained.
The teacher, Jasmine Horne, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department both presented their case to the board. After the vote, there was no discussion of why the board reached its decision.
While the ruling is not a final decision in the case, it’s a significant victory for the second-grade teacher.
The incident goes back to the summer of 2021, when the Horne told Channel 9′s Dashawn Brown that she was sitting in her car outside her home when CMPD officers quickly moved in.
“I wasn’t stopped, I was ambushed by the police,” she said. “I was already sitting in my car in front of my house when they stopped me and they followed me.”
Her name is similar to the suspect’s name whom police were looking for. Horne said one of the officers even pointed a gun at her because they mistakenly believed her to be the woman they were looking for.
“I know I have PTSD,” Horne said Thursday. “I have trouble sleeping sometimes or at least more than I would like to admit.”
In January, CMPD released body camera video of the incident.
In the video, one of the CMPD officers can be heard explaining to the woman’s grandmother and mother what he believed went wrong. They said they got an email that the actual suspect was driving the woman’s car.
At that time, Brown sat down with CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings, who said the officers on the scene acted in good faith with the information they had. Jennings said the wrong information was entered into the system.
According to police, a man was stabbed several times on June 13, 2021, and told officers a woman he knew was responsible for his injuries. CMPD said he told officers the woman’s name was identical to the woman’s. Police said they used that name and a car associated with that name and entered them into CMPD’s License Plate Reader (LPR) system.
Police said the next day, the LPR system alerted it had a match for the car they were looking for, and officers found that car with the teacher inside.
She was handcuffed and put inside a patrol car, according to police. CMPD said she was cooperative, compliant and helped with the investigation. When officers realized Horne was not the suspect they were looking for, she was released within 15 minutes of her first being placed in handcuffs, CMPD said. She wasn’t hurt in the incident and neither were any of the officers, police said.
CMPD said an internal investigation was conducted by the CMPD Internal Affairs Bureau. The teacher then appealed CMPD’s finding to the Citizens Review Board.
After Wednesday’s vote, there will now be an evidentiary hearing on May 12 to further investigate the actions of the officers.
Horne’s attorney can’t believe what his client endured.
“I’m just really glad that the board didn’t look at it as just a simple mistake by CMPD and understood how dangerous these mistakes can be,” attorney Darlene Harris Esq. said.
Horne said the last few months has been filled with trauma and is committed to speak up and push for reform.
“Honestly, I feel like they need to raise the bar when it comes to the education of police officers,” Horne told Channel 9. “It only takes at minimum about two years for an officer to get their badge, and it takes me four years at minimum to be a teacher.”
“In response to the Citizen Review Board’s decision on Tuesday to conduct a full evidentiary hearing on May 12 regarding the Horne matter, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department maintains that officers acted in good faith with the information they had as they searched for a very dangerous individual wanted for attempted murder.
“On Sunday, June 13, 2021, an assault with a deadly weapon incident took place in the 500 block of West Cama Street in the Westover Patrol Division. An adult male had suffered life-threatening stab wounds and reported to officers that it had been a known female suspect who had stabbed him numerous times. With information provided to the investigating officers by the victim, the officers developed a suspect name of Jasmine Horne.
“During the course of the investigation, the name of Jasmine Horne and a vehicle associated with the name of Jasmine Horne was entered into the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s License Plate Reader system.
“On Monday, June 14, 2021, the License Plate Reader system monitored a hit in the Metro Patrol Division for the vehicle associated with the name of Jasmine Horne.
“This information was provided to the Metro Patrol Division over the radio. Metro Division Officers located the vehicle parked in the 2700 block of Englehardt Street with Jasmine Horne inside of the vehicle.
“Jasmine Horne was handcuffed and detained in a patrol vehicle that was on scene. Jasmine Horne continued to be cooperative, compliant, and assisted in the investigation. Through continued investigation by the officers, it was determined that Jasmine Horne was not the suspect in the ADW from West Cama Street. Jasmine Horne was released on scene within 15 minutes of her first being placed in handcuffs. Jasmine Horne did not report any injuries as a result of this interaction, and she did not have any apparent injuries.
“The officers who had detained Jasmine Horne were not injured. Officers of the CMPD continued the investigation into the original ADW case on West Cama Street, and were able to close the case by arresting Jaselyn Horne on Wednesday June 16, 2021 for the crime of attempted first-degree murder. An external complaint for the misidentification and detention of Jasmine Horne was received by the CMPD. An internal investigation was conducted by the CMPD Internal Affairs Bureau.
“The actions of the officers who detained Jasmine Horne were found to be within policy of the CMPD as the officers were acting in good faith with the information that they were provided.”
(WATCH BELOW: Channel 9 sits down with CMPD chief on teacher who was mistakenly handcuffed, held at gunpoint)
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