A 23-year-old Black man was arrested and jailed for 6 days in Las Vegas jails in 2020.
Police misidentified him as a 49-year old white man with the same name.
Shane Lee Brown, now 25, is suing Nevada police for wrongful arrest, court documents show.
A 23-year-old Black man was arrested and held for six days in two Las Vegas jails, in 2020, after police in Nevada misidentified him as an older, taller, white man with the same name, court documents show.
Shane Lee Brown, now 25, is suing Las Vegas Metropolitan and the City of Henderson police departments, accusing them of civil rights violations, false imprisonment, negligence, and other wrongful conduct.
He is seeking at least $50,000 in compensatory damages, according to a complaint.
Police had a bench warrant issued in November 2019 for Shane Neal Brown, then 49, who had been accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Neal Brown, who was described in the warrant as a Caucasian male with brown hair, blue eyes, and a bushy white beard, had previously been convicted of a felony in 1994 — before Lee Brown was even born.
In January 2020, Henderson police pulled over Lee Brown, who is Black and significantly shortly, and held him in the city’s detention center.
He was transferred into custody two days later to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, court documents show.
Lee Brown claims that he repeatedly explained to several Henderson and Las Vegas police officers that he was not the 49-year-old white “Shane Brown,” his lawsuit said.
His attorney accuses officers of failing to perform “any due diligence” in the lawsuit, noting that an existing mug shot belonging to the white “Shane Brown” would have allowed them to “easily” determine that his client had been misidentified.
Lee Brown remained in jail until he appeared before a judge who ordered that he be released immediately, KLAS-TV in Las Vegas reported.
An arrest report for Neal Brown indicated that Las Vegas police learned a week later that he was in custody in San Bernardino County, California, per KLAS-TV.
He appeared in court later that month and accepted a plea deal, the local media outlet said.
Insider reached out to Henderson and Las Vegas Metropolitan police departments for comments but did not immediately receive a response.
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