A Las Vegas man has filed a lawsuit against various police departments after he was arrested with a bench warrant that was issued for a 49-year-old White man described as having a bushy white beard and blue eyes.
Per the lawsuit, Shane Lee Brown, 23, was pulled over by Henderson police officers while he was on his way home from work on January 8, 2020, The Urban Daily reported. Brown provided his Social Security card to the officers as he did not have his driver’s license at the time.
And after officers ran his details in the system, it was revealed a bench warrant had been issued for a 49-year-old Shane Brown. The warrant for the White suspect was in connection with a weapons charge related to a prior felon after he was arrested for gun possession. The lawsuit stated that the older Brown was sentenced for an offense in 1994. Shane Lee Brown was born three years later.
The lawsuit alleges that the officers who arrested the plaintiff “failed to perform even a cursory review of the warrant to determine if Shane Lee Brown was the person named in the warrant.”
Following his arrest, Brown was transported to the Henderson Detention Center. And though he told officers they got the wrong person, his pleas were disregarded. Brown was subsequently transferred to the Clark County Detention Center two days after his arrest. Authorities keyed in his correct date of birth, race, and height. Brown was also given a different identification number that had been issued to the White suspect who was over 20 years his senior.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department also ordered Brown to appear before a judge for the bench warrant that had been issued for the older Brown. That was despite the fact that the plaintiff’s race and date of birth had been recorded, The Urban Daily reported.
The 23-year-old Black man was detained at the Clark County Detention Center for another four days. A district judge eventually released him after the photos of the two men were displayed in court during his appearance.
“Despite being informed of this mistaken identity, none of the unknown LVMPD police or LVMPD corrections officers bothered to review its records to determine whether Shane Lee Brown was the subject of the warrant,” the lawsuit stated.
Brown has filed the lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department, Henderson Police Department, the city of Henderson, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, and Henderson Police Department Chief Thedrick Andres.
He is seeking $500,000 in compensatory damages under federal law, and at least $50,000 under state law. Brown also wants to be awarded punitive damages.