Instagram influencer Eva Lopez is suing the New York Police Department (NYPD) for $30 million in damages for causing her “emotional distress” after she mistakenly used a photo of her on a “wanted” poster. “instead of the real suspect.
The 31-year-old fashion influencer from Queens, who currently has 865,000 Instagram followers, filed a lawsuit March 9 in Manhattan Supreme Court against the NYPD, the city and a police detective, according to a report. copy of the lawsuit which his lawyer, Mark Shirian, shared with Newsweek on Saturday without adding comments or other information.
The lawsuit was filed “for defamation per se, defamation, slander, intentional insult
emotional distress” and neglect.
“Ms. Lopez was extremely upset and continues to be upset by the presence of her photo on the Wanted sign,” her attorney said in the filing. ‘This incident damaged Mrs Lopez'[s] personal reputation in his neighborhood and damaged his professional reputation in his job. »
Lopez first discovered on August 16 that her photo had been used on the poster of a sex worker accused of theft, according to the court filing. However, it was intended to target another woman who police say was wanted on robbery charges for allegedly stealing a $13,000 Rolex and Chase credit card from her client’s roommate. The “wanted” woman also had a tattoo on her sleeve, which Lopez does not have.
“Wanted for grand larceny. Perpetrator – probable cause for arrest,” the poster read. The NYPD said the robbery took place on August 3 in Manhattan, but Lopez said she was in Queens that day.
According to New York Postthe photo of Lopez that was used was taken at a birthday party about a month or two before the incident, in which she can be seen wearing a low-cut tube top, multi-colored leggings and high heels.
Her boyfriend was the first to report the poster after receiving a text from his friend about it. Several other people also texted Lopez about the photo, which began circulating online. “I thought it was something fake. I really couldn’t believe the police would put me on a wanted poster,” Lopez told the To post.
The lawsuit alleged that when she and her boyfriend first saw the ‘wanted’ poster, ‘they both thought it was a photo shop and were both shocked “. Lopez reposted the flyer to her personal Instagram page to “clarify her innocence and that the wanted poster should not have been directed at her.”
She also called East Village 9th Precinct Police Detective Kevin Dwyer on August 16 to inquire about the misuse of her photo.
“Detective Dwyer reiterated that they conducted an investigation and found surveillance video of the building and that although the female assailant looked like complainant Eva Lopez, the female assailant had a tattoo on her sleeve,” the report reads. trial.
The lawsuit alleged that Dwyer “knew it was a problem before he called” when he told her the poster had already been removed from the department’s Facebook page among other online platforms. However, Lopez said it circulated online despite NYPD efforts to remove it.
“It was already widespread on social media,” Lopez told the To post. “There was still talk of making me look like a thief and a prostitute. On Facebook, the [wanted poster] has been shared thousands of times – 10,000, 20,000 times. Then on Instagram, many blogging sites that have millions of subscribers, they posted it as well.”
Dwyer told Lopez that the victims showed photos of her to police, according to the lawsuit. Lopez reaffirmed her innocence in the court filing which claimed she “had absolutely nothing to do with grand larceny.”
“The NYPD should engage in further investigations before accusing and randomly identifying innocent people of outlandish lies and outright crimes,” his lawyer said, according to the To post, who also suspects the sex worker may have used Lopez’s social media photos.
“This incident caused and continues to cause Ms. Lopez severe mental anguish and emotional distress. Ms. Lopez was unable to sleep for weeks after the incident,” Shirian said in the lawsuit.
The NYPD declined to comment on the situation when contacted by Newsweek citing ongoing litigation.
Newsweek has reached out to Eva Lopez for comment and will update the story once a response is received.
The story has been updated to include additional information about the lawsuit.