Julie Hudson, a Ph.D. student in Philadelphia, has never been to Texas. The Black woman’s family also said she stays out of trouble. But in a case of mistaken identity, Hudson was arrested and jailed for days after she was falsely accused of committing a robbery in Texas, Click2Houston.com.
“It’s very bizarre, and when our family learned of it, we were like, ‘no way, Julie would never,’” the 31-year-old’s cousin, Kesha Warren, said. In the wake of her false arrest, the Webster Police Department admitted they erred with the warrant that was issued for her arrest.
Hudson was jailed after she went to the police department to seek clarification about a warrant that had been issued for her arrest in Texas. The Black woman is said to have become aware of the warrant when she wasn’t able to secure a job as a result of it.
“Julie went down to our local police department in Philadelphia thinking, ‘I’ll get to the bottom of it in person.’ And when she went there, of course, if you have a warrant out for your arrest, they have to arrest you,” Hudson’s sister, Charon, said.
Charon added that she later got to know her sister was falsely arrested in connection with a May shoplifting incident in Texas. “We were able to detain one of the people who matched one of the suspects in the video, she agreed to an interview, brought her back, and in the interview, she identified the other person as her sister by the name of Julie Hudson,” Assistant Chief of the Webster Police Department, Jeremy Edge, said.
Edge also said they determined Hudson was the culprit after reviewing surveillance footage of the suspect and comparing it to the 31-year-old’s photos on social media. “It looked to multiple people, not just within our agency, but also within the district attorney’s office,” Edge said.
Webster police ultimately dropped the charges against Hudson after it was determined the Black woman was actually at work in Pennsylvania when the crime was committed in Texas, Click2Houston.com.
And though Webster police issued an apology in the wake of the incident, Hudson’s family said they’re looking at taking legal action against the department. “We want to shed light on the situation, whether that be education for the department or whether that means more training,” Charon said.
“We commend the rapid response and coordination between the Police Department, Courts, District Attorney’s Office, and Department of Prisons to ensure that Julie Hudson was released as quickly and as safely as possible,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “We are dismayed by the ordeal that she and her family went through due to an erroneous warrant from another jurisdiction, and thankful that she is now home.”
“The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office became aware of Julie Hudson’s predicament last evening, thanks in part to media reports out of Houston and in Philly. I am not aware of any efforts by Texas authorities to contact my office directly about the misidentification of Ms. Hudson, which led to her arrest by Philadelphia Police on January 6 based on a fugitive warrant. Once the District Attorney’s Office independently became aware that Webster Police had confirmed to local media that they had wrongly sought Ms. Hudson for arrest, we mobilized quickly to make sure Ms. Hudson was released from custody as soon as possible,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner also said in a statement.
“Julie Hudson is a Philadelphia resident who has no criminal record and is pursuing a Ph.D. What happened to her should not have happened, and her family deserves a great deal of credit for successfully advocating for her freedom with the media in Houston and in Philadelphia. I am also thankful for the quick action of our Charging Unit, led by Supervising ADA Amanda Hedrick; city Managing Director Tumar Alexander; the First Judicial District; Northwest Detectives; and Department of Prisons for effectuating Ms. Hudson’s release within a matter of hours. I am proud to lead a prosecutor’s office that works closely with law enforcement and the judiciary to ensure a rigorous process of approving arrest and search warrants,” Krasner added.