‘I was ambushed’: CMS teacher says CMPD mistook her for suspect, pointed gun at her

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher said she is traumatized after she was swarmed by cops and had a gun pointed at her because officers misidentified her as a suspect.

The incident happened last week in front of her home in west Charlotte.

Second grade teacher J. Horne told Channel 9′s Dashawn Brown that she was sitting in her car outside her home when officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department swarmed her.

“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.”

Horne said one of the officers pointed a gun directly at her.

“He’s maybe about three feet away,“ she said. “‘Get out of the car, get out of the car, get out now.’ And I’m like, ‘What?’ No ‘Can I see your license and registration?’ No ‘Excuse me ma’am.’ None of that.”

Horne said the officers mistook her for a suspect with a similar name and even when they used her driver’s license to confirm she wasn’t the person they were looking for, she said they continued to hold her in handcuffs.

“Are you sure you don’t know who that is? Seriously?” she said. “You already know I’m not the suspect, you’re still questioning me. I’m still in handcuffs in the back of his car.”

Horne told Channel 9 she’s traumatized by the experience and that CMPD should pay for her treatment if she seeks therapy.

“It’s not just, ‘I’m sorry, oops.’ No. That’s what you say when you hit the back of somebody’s heal. That’s not what you say when somebody is in fear for their lives,” Horne said.

Horne has filed a complaint with CMPD and reached out to CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings.

In a statement, the department said it is investigating the incident to make sure officers acted appropriately and in accordance with state law.

“Even though what they did was justified in trying to take a dangerous criminal off the street, we have to think about the effects that it has on those we come in contact with, so this lady who had the mistaken identity was mistaken for the suspect was traumatized, and we can’t forget that,” Jennings said.

CMPD is conducting an internal review of the incident. Channel 9 asked if investigators were able to obtain any body camera footage, but the department declined to comment any further.

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