DALLAS (CBS11) – A former Dallas teacher is demanding an apology from the Dallas police Department.
The woman says she was giving birth in Rome while Dallas police were linking her to a crime in Dallas.
Tamara Pizzoli, Ph.D. spoke to CBS11 via Skype from Rome, where the mother of an 8-day-old baby is dealing with the aftermath of being falsely accused of a crime she says she didn’t commit.
“To the Dallas Police Department, you owe me a grand apology and more, and it needs to be public,” said Pizzoli.
On November 28, the Dallas Police Department sent out a news release with Pizzoli’s photo, not her name, accusing her of using counterfeit cash to buy wedding rings from an app. The author and former teacher was in Italy at the time.
Dallas Police declined CBS11’s request for an interview. After repeated attempts to get answers from them, the station was told a statement would be issued at some point.
Pizzoli says she has spoken to the detective investigating the case and that he explained to her how her picture made its way into police hands.
“A woman called the station to make a report,” said Pizzoli. “She never even set foot inside the Dallas Police Department. He admitted that. He never met her, but he asked her, three times if she was sure that with whom she met and the person in the picture were one in the same. She confirmed and for Detective Edmundo Lujan at the Dallas Police Department, that was enough for him to put my image in a press release.”
Dallas police didn’t answer direct questions, but did issue an apology in a news release Wednesday night, saying Dr. Pizzoli was a victim of impersonation.
After Dallas police released the original and incorrect information with Pizzoli’s photo, CBS11 and many other North Texas news organizations reported the information. CBS11 reported it here on CBSDFW.COM but removed the post as soon as it became clear the information was wrong.
Pizzoli is demanding a retraction from the media and police for harm she says can’t be undone. “That’s not going to fix my image being associated with a crime. That’s not going to fix the fact that my kindergarten students might have recognized me from television as a criminal.”