A black man from Nevada was wrongfully arrested for the crimes of a white man after police failed to spot distinguishing factors.
Newly released footage of a misidentified arrest shows a young black man repeatedly informing police that they had the wrong suspect before he was jailed for crimes committed by an elderly white man of the same name.
The 8 News Now I-Team This week, the first images were obtained and released of the wrongful arrest of Shane Lee Brown, now 25, who spent six days behind bars in two different prisons in Nevada after deputy oversight.
During a traffic stop on Jan. 8, 2020 on Brown, who is black, Henderson police officers searched his first and last name in a log and found a “Shane Brown” who had skipped court and issued a warrant for illegal possession of a firearm.
However, this warrant, which called for arrest without bail, had been described in court records for Shane Neal Brown, now 51, as a bearded white man.
In footage of the late afternoon traffic stop, officers hear the younger Brown explain that they arrested him due to broken headlights.
When asked to show identification, Brown explained that his driver’s license had been suspended for a traffic violation, but he gave the deputies his first, middle and last name, as well as his Social Security card.
Police ordered Brown to get out of his car and handcuffed him as he searched records, then returned minutes later to tell the young man, “You’ve been arrested for something involving a weapon.”
“Not the wrong man,” Brown replied with confusion, later adding, “I’ve been arrested, but everything I’ve been arrested for is traffic violations,” going on to say he had a trial scheduled for the next day to address the issues. .
“It totally matches you. There’s not much else we can do,” an officer tells Brown.
Brown repeated his name to officers during the conversation. “My Social is there too if you want to check,” Brown said later.
In the footage, you can hear the officers going back and forth, seemingly not 100% sure the order belonged to the younger Brown.
‘As long as I’m not that warrant, can I go? That crime?’ Brown asked the officers.
“Yes – but I’m almost 100 – I don’t think so – I’m pretty sure it will be you,” replies one delegate.
Brown was unable to convince officers that he was not the suspect and was taken to Henderson Detention Center for two days. He was later transported to a Clark County detention center ahead of a trial.
Four days after his stay in Clark County, the younger Brown was released by Judge Joe Hardy after a public defender pointed out that the Shane Brown in custody did not have the same ID number or age as the one listed in the warrant.
According to 8 News nowWhile the younger Brown was behind bars, deputies from the Las Vegas Metro Police Department provided information indicating that the elder Brown had actually been detained.
The wrongfully detained Brown is seeking legal redress of at least $50,000 in damages, for alleged civil rights violations, false imprisonment, negligence and more against deputies from both departments, the outlet reported.
“At CCDC, Shane Lee Brown once again explained to numerous unknown LVMPD officers and supervisors that he was not the ‘Shane Brown’ named on the felony court warrant,” the lawsuit reads. “Despite being made aware of this mistaken identity, none of the unknown LVMPD police or LVMPD correction officers bothered to review their own records to determine if Shane Lee Brown was the subject of the warrant.”
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