Black man spends 6 days in jail for warrant that was issued for White man

Shane Lee Brown, 25, was incarcerated at two separate Las Vegas jails over the course of 6 days after police misidentified him as the subject of a warrant, 8NewsNow reports.

Brown was mistaken for Shane Neal Brown, then-49 years old, who was charged with ownership or possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Shane Lee Brown is Black, and Shane Neal Brown is White.

Shane Neal Brown was arrested and booked in January 2019, but failed to appear at a court hearing, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest with no bail. On Jan. 8, 2020, police pulled over Shane Lee Brown, who did not have identification but gave officer his name, Social Security number, and Social Security card, according to a lawsuit. Police then did a records check for "Shane Brown."

“During his unlawful detention, Shane Lee Brown repeatedly explained to numerous unknown Henderson police officers and supervisors that he was not the 49-year-old white ‘Shane Brown’ who was the subject of the felony warrant,” the lawsuit said.

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“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 bench warrant,” the lawsuit said. “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.”

“Had any of the LVMPD police or corrections officers performed any due diligence, such as comparing Shane Lee Brown’s booking photo against the existing mug shot belonging to the world, white ‘Shane Brown’ named in the warrant, they would have easily determined that Shane Lee Brown has been misidentified as the subject of the warrant,” the lawsuit said.

When Shane Lee Brown appeared for a hearing on Jan. 14, the public defender told the court they had the wrong person in custody.

“[The public defender] advised that the incorrect individual had been arrested on the bench warrant in the instant case, which parties confirmed by comparing the defendant’s mug shot with the mug shot of the individual arrested on the instant bench warrant,” the court record for the hearing said.

“Additionally, [the public defender] indicated that the defendant was a 49-year-old white male and the individual who was arrested on the bench warrant was a 23-year-old African American male,” the record said.

That's when the judge ordered his release immediately. The lawsuit seeks $500,000 in damages. An arrest report for Shane Neal Brown said Las Vegas police discovered on Jan. 22, 2020 that he was in custody in San Bernardino County, California and appeared in court later that month to accept a plea deal.

Watch a report on the story below: