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City Faces $10M lawsuit in mistaken identity lawsuit


A Montgomery Alabama woman has filed a lawsuit against the city after police identified her as a prostitute based on false identification provided by a suspect. The suit is seeking $10 million in damages from the city and individual city workers involved.


When a police operation netted ten  prostitution suspects. One of the ten women arrested falsely identified herself to police as Gwendolyn McQuirter. Police identified the real McQuirter by name and picture to local media as one of 10 women arrested Sept. 15 for prostitution. McQuirter's photograph was from her driver's license. Photos of the other women were from mug shots.


Mrs. McQuirter wants compensation for damage to her reputation while her husband, Charles McQuirter is seeking compensation for the effect the false identification has had on his marriage and relationship with his wife.


A local newspaper and two local television stations were also originally named in the lawsuit for the part they played in publishing McQuirter’s stolen identity. However, charges against the media were dropped when each showed that it had reprinted an original release by the police.


The McQuirters believe the city violated both the Driver's Privacy Protection Act and Gwendolyn McQuirter's civil rights, according to their lawyer, Jerry Blevins, who filed the lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit Court.


The lawsuit states the police made no effort to "ensure the accuracy of the information" given to the media.


The city has until Friday to respond to the lawsuit.


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