Navy wife fighting to clear her name after being wrongfully arrested and jailed

Francis Akhalbey March 05, 2024
Jacqueline Alcita Smith, the wife of a Navy sailor, was wrongfully arrested -- Photo via

Jacqueline Alcita Smith, the wife of a Navy sailor, was jailed for days after she was wrongfully arrested during a traffic stop in Virginia Beach on February 16. Per, Smith, who was with her newborn baby boy when Virginia Beach police officer K. Brewer arrested her, was making arrangements for her family to move to a different military base at the time of the incident.

“Everyone cleared their schedules to make time to come that weekend and instead [of us moving], they were fighting for my freedom,” the mother of two said. And besides making claims of being “manhandled” by on-base police, Smith, who is also a business owner and medical professional, said the manner of her arrest resulted in her suffering bleeding close to her postpartum incisions.

“I just can’t even imagine how [it] went from a traffic stop to this,” the 33-year-old said. “All I kept saying out loud was, ‘Is this how you treat a service member’s wife? Is this how you’re treating a new mother?’”

Smith following her arrest was held at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center. Her arrest and detention reportedly stemmed from a name mix-up as she was wrongly booked under the name, Jacqueline Renee Smith. 

“The whole ordeal was literally a nightmare. Every wrong turn that could have been taken, was taken,” she told “Three different agencies failed me. The Navy Police, the Virginia Beach Police Department and the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office. Each one had an opportunity to operate in good faith, identify me and use the systems they had in place. Instead, they were picking and choosing when to use my correct name.”

Smith also said authorities fingerprinted her and “took mugshots of me under this person’s name.” It took two days for Smith’s husband to clear up the mistake, though she remained in custody during that period.

“The actual process was so humiliating, so degrading to have to strip naked, to have to spread and cough, all while I’m experiencing a medical emergency,” Smith said.

Smith was later taken to a hospital to receive treatment for her bleeding, but she claimed the health officials at the facility went against Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Following the hospital visit, Smith was taken back to the Virginia Beach Correctional Center where she was held in the detox unit. She told the news outlet that authorities told her that was standard protocol.

“The only people that showed me compassion were the other women in the detox tank,” Smith said. 

The suspect mistaken for Smith is wanted for aggravated assault in Baltimore County, per “Now the identities have been blurred, that’s what’s so concerning to me,” Smith said. “I am a medical professional here in the 757. I have clinicals coming up like they run background checks. What does this mean for me? What does this mean for housing, if I go apply for a house?”

Documents indicate that the Virginia Beach Police Department “began to have concerns of [the] identity” in the wake of Smith’s arrest. A VBPD lieutenant also noticed the fingerprints were inaccurate before she was ultimately released on a $5 bond. 

“That was the extent of their sorry,” Smith, who is now fighting to have her name expunged from that case, said. She also expressed her disappointment with having to go through the legal process to clear her name.

“I’ve been doing my own footwork, contacting the ACLU [and] different complaint lines,” the 33-year-old Smith said. “I’m just more so concerned for my professional career.”

The VBPD in a statement said they have opened an investigation into her case. “We are aware of the concerns levied by [Mrs.] Smith and have opened up an internal investigation into the incident to assess the actions of the responding officer,” the statement said.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 5, 2024


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