March 5, 2024

VBPD Completes Internal Investigation Into Alleged Wrongful Arrest

The Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) has had the opportunity to review the circumstances regarding Ms. Jacqueline Smith’s alleged wrongful arrest and confirmed the following:

On Feb. 17, 2024, at 12:53 a.m., VBPD officers responded to meet Navy Police at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story for a wanted individual they had in custody. VBPD officers encountered Ms. Smith and queried her through the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), using the name and Social Security Number (SSN) that she provided. The query on the SSN revealed an open warrant for felony aggravated assault out of Baltimore County, Maryland.

This specific return from NCIC on the SSN that Ms. Smith provided identifies her as Jacqueline R. Smith, with an alias of Jacqueline A. Smith. The date of births on the return have both the exact month and day of birth with a slight difference in the year. VBPD officers confirmed with Baltimore County that the warrant was still active and that they wanted to extradite, so she was transported to the Virginia Beach City Jail on the warrant; there were no original charges obtained by VBPD. Once at the jail, Ms. Smith was fingerprinted, and fingerprints confirmed that the person in our custody was the same individual wanted out of Maryland.

On Feb. 18, 2024, family members of Ms. Smith responded to a VBPD police precinct to attest that Ms. Smith had never been to Baltimore and that she was not the one involved in the felony assault. Even though the offense was committed in another state and the charges originated from another agency, VBPD officers took the initiative to identify and contact the victim from Baltimore.  Officers sent the victim a current picture of Ms. Smith; the complainant indicated this was not the individual who had feloniously assaulted him.

On Feb. 19, 2024, the next available court day, VBPD officers presented this information to our Courts with a request to lower the bond for Ms. Smith that had been set at her original appearance from no bond to $5. As this felony charge originated out of state, local courts do not have the jurisdiction to dismiss but did grant the lower bond which allowed Ms. Smith to be released instead of potentially being extradited to Maryland.

VBPD detectives have reached out to the originating agency to advise them regarding the arrest of Ms. Smith on their open warrant and our follow-up actions. The circumstances of the signing of the warrant are unknown but what has been confirmed is that the outstanding warrant was for the individual we encountered. Ms. Smith will need to attend to her scheduled court appearances, ultimately in Maryland, to resolve this matter.

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