A Miami woman says Las Vegas Metro Police mistakenly used a picture of her while searching for another woman.
Earlier in the week, police named Tineesha Howard a person of interest in the case of a deadly shooting and car crash on the Strip. They distributed photographs of Howard asking for the public's help in their search. However, Miami sales rep Tasha Malek says some of the pictures are of her, not Howard, and she's weighing legal options to pay for the damage.
Shortly after Ammar Harris was arrested, police suggested distributing pictures of the wrong woman may not have been a mistake after all.
"Sometimes to find out who persons of interest are, we have to put photos out that are intended to drum up some talk so we can determine who we're actually dealing with," Lt. Ray Steiber said in a media conference.
Tasha Malek tells FOX5's Miami affiliate what it was like learning that her picture was linked to the case.
"Everybody was like, are you involved in this? My family was worried. It was really scary," she said. Malek, who once appeared on the reality show "Bad Girls Club," says she didn't expect her face to be in the spotlight again, at least not like this.
Malek's attorney Michael Grieco says she used to be friends with Ammar Harris when they both lived in Miami, but says she hasn't seen Harris in a year. He says the cost Malek is now paying for Metro's error is difficult to measure, but hopes winning a lawsuit will help.
"I don't know what they were thinking. It was reckless and it was irresponsible," Grieco said.
FOX5 legal analyst Bob Massi says the photograph confusion is, no doubt, embarrassing and damaging to Malek, but he questions if a lawsuit would be successful.
"Would a jury in Las Vegas be concerned about a woman in Miami that would want money from our county?" he said. He says it might be more realistic for Malek and her attorney to seek a public apology from Metro to help clear her name.
Grieco says he and Malek are still weighing their options regarding the lawsuit, but he hopes to make a decision early next week.
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