While majority of the United States residents are fighting racism in every type and form, it’s getting pretty complicated when police officers or public figures end up being involved in racial type of situations and we all remember very well what had happened with the George Floyd incident nearly two years ago.
Several law enforcement agencies are being sued by a Black man who was wrongfully arrested and spent a total of six days in prison after he was arrested on warrant for a White man, who had the same name and ‘similar’ body description with the victim in the case.
According to the lawsuit, the incident took place two years ago in January when the now 25-year-old S. Brown, was arrested by the police and spent six days behind bars until several law enforcement agencies realized they are looking for another man who had the same name and surname with the man they arrested.
On January 8, 2020, Brown was headed to his Arizona home after finishing work, when Henderson officers pulled him over. The unlucky Brown didn’t have the driver license with him at the time, so he gave the officers his name and surname, Social Security number and Social Security card.
During a records check, the officers confused Brown with a 49-year-old man wanted on a bench warrant, the lawsuit said. The older man faced a charge of ownership or possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, court records show.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that the 49-year-old wanted by the police had first been convicted of a felony in 1994, before Brown was born, the lawsuit said. However, it looks like officers didn’t even bother to double check the warrant for the wanted man, despite Brown’s efforts explaining they are actually looking for completely different person. Police officers arrested Brown at the scene.
According to Review Journal who reported about the case few days ago, Brown, who is Black, was 23 years old and 5 feet, 7 inches tall, the subject of the arrest warrant was a 5-foot-11, 49-year-old white man with a “bushy white beard” and blue eyes. Brown spent days in the Henderson Detention Center, and then the Clark County Detention Center, after both Las Vegas and Henderson police officers failed to properly check records comparing the two men, according to the federal civil rights lawsuit.
“It’s pretty hard to make a mistake of that magnitude when you have such different characteristics and races of a suspect,” said Brown’s attorney, who wrote the lawsuit.
Brown was held in the Henderson Detention Center for two days, despite repeatedly explaining to the officers he was not the one they were looking for. Two days later, Las Vegas police transferred the 23-year-old to the Clark County Detention Center where his correct date of birth, race and height were recorded for the first time. He spent four days there until he appeared in front of District Judge. When Brown’s attorney showed the judge the booking photos of his client and the man wanted in the case, the judge immediately released Brown from jail.
A week after Brown was released from jail, California authorities informed the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police they have already arrested the 49-year-old Brown.
Brown is suing the Metropolitan Police Department, Henderson Police Department, the city of Henderson, Clark County Sheriff and Henderson Police Department Chief. The suit is seeking compensatory damages of $500,000 under federal law, at least $50,000 under state law, as well as additional punitive damages.