Black Man Misidentified for Older White Suspect Sues Nevada Police Over Arrest

Shane Lee Brown, a 25-year-old Black man, is suing two Nevada police departments for wrongfully detaining him in jail after mistaking him for an older white suspect with a similar name.

Shane Lee Brown alleges in the federal civil lawsuit that the Henderson and Las Vegas police detained him for nearly a week after they misidentified him with now-51-year-old Shane Neal Brown, who had an outstanding felony warrant for a firearm charge.

Henderson Police arrested the younger Brown during a traffic stop on Jan. 8, 2020, after he failed to provide a driver’s license.

The lawsuit alleges that Shane Lee Brown gave his social security number and social security card to the police and after running his name in a records check, police confused him with the older Brown.

Officers allegedly ignored Shane Lee Brown’s repeated explanations about the mistaken identity and put him in custody of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).

“Despite being informed of this mistaken identity, none of the unknown LVMPD police or LVMPD corrections officers bothered to review its own records to determine whether Shane Lee Brown was the subject of the warrant,” the lawsuit said.

Henderson Police told ABC News that the arrest was lawful, adding that Shane Lee Brown was arrested for driving with a suspended license and for failing to pay a warrant issued by Henderson Municipal Court.

However, Shane Lee Brown’s attorney E. Brent Bryson argued that while the police could have “rightfully arrested” his client for traffic, “he was wrongfully detained and arrested… for the warrant out of [the Las Vegas Metropolitan area] for the felony possession of a firearm.”

Shane Lee Brown seeks a jury trial and over $500,00 in compensatory damages, according to the lawsuit.

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