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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is the La Crosse Wisconsin police department. They get the award for the following.

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Police in La Crosse are a little red-faced right now. They're apologizing after issuing an alert about a woman suspected of using a stolen credit card at a convenience store. They also helpfully issued surveillance video images of her. Someone who works with the woman saw it and recognized her.

"The woman said her co-worker was kind of joking around and said, 'I thought I saw you on Crime Stoppers,'" said Officer Drew Gavrilos. "The woman hopped online and watched the video and found it was her."

But she hadn't done the crime.

Gavrilos said the mistake happened when police matched surveillance video with cash register information, trying to identify whoever used the stolen card.

They didn't realize there were two similar transactions about the same time.

"We had two very similar looking people come to the register about 10 to 20 seconds apart," each buying similar things, Gavrilos said. "It was a one-in-a-million type of thing."

They picked the wrong one for the Crime Stoppers information, and the public service announcement ran for three days before the mix up caused it to be pulled.

"We feel horrible about the mistake and want to do all we can to minimize any inconvenience or embarrassment this woman may have experienced," Gavrilos said.

Sloppy police work is likely to result in a lawsuit and a settlement with the person wrongly accused of theft. The La Crosse police department failed to do their job properly and that is why I name them today's Knucklehead of the Day.


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Comments (4)

I don't see this as a worth... (Below threshold)

I don't see this as a worthy winner of the knucklehead award. There was an honest mistake that was cleared up as soon as it was brought to the officers attention. And they apologized. I see no reason for lawsuits or settlements, as there was no lasting harm.

But that's just me.

Honest mistakes damage peop... (Below threshold)

Honest mistakes damage people's lives and reputations. How would you feel if you were the woman in this instance? How about the librarian from Malta, who got their picture broadcast around the world as a sex offender.(Mistaken for the priest said to have molested former Congressman Mark Foley) I suppose the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the originator of the incorrect photograph should be let off the hook for their honest mistake too. Of course not, they are owned by the evil New York Times.


I agree, this is a weak "kn... (Below threshold)

I agree, this is a weak "knucklehead" at best.

Bill, non-Knuckleheads make... (Below threshold)

Bill, non-Knuckleheads make honest mistakes too. I think you need to reconsider this some more.






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