Black Man Arrested, Held in Jail for Days, Mistaken for Older White Man With Same Name

A Nevada man spent six days in jail after he was pulled over by law enforcement and arrested on a warrant two years ago in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

Shane Lee Brown, a Black man, is now suing the police and city of Henderson for misidentifying him as Shane Neal Brown, an older white man whom the warrant was actually for, according to a lawsuit.

Shane Lee Brown was pulled over by Henderson police on January 8, 2020, but he did not have his identification with him, KLAS-TV reported. The lawsuit said he gave police his name, Social Security number and card, but when police performed a record check for "Shane Brown," they discovered a felony warrant.

Shane Neal Brown, who was 49 at the time, had been charged with ownership or possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, according to the lawsuit. Officers confused the two men and arrested Shane Lee Brown, who was held in the Henderson Detention Center for two days, the lawsuit said.

"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.

Shane Lee Brown, who was 23 at the time, was transferred to the Clark County Detention Center and was held there for the remaining days, according to the lawsuit. While there, his correct date of birth, race and height were recorded and he was assigned an identification number that was different from the one given to the other Shane Brown.

Court records filed by an agent of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department ordered Shane Lee Brown to appear in front of a judge regarding the warrant, the lawsuit said. There, his public defender presented the judge with the booking photos for Shane Lee Brown and Shane Neal Brown, and the judge ordered that Shane Lee Brown be released.

"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.

In booking photos of the two men obtained by KLAS-TV, the older Shane Neal Brown has brown hair, blue eyes and a white beard and mustache. The younger Shane Lee Brown has black hair and appears to have brown eyes.

"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.

The civil rights lawsuit names the LVMPD, Henderson Police Department, the city of Henderson, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and Henderson Police Chief Thedrick Andres, according to the filing. It seeks damages of $500,000 under federal law, at least $50,000 under state law, as well as punitive damages, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The LMVPD said it does not comment on pending litigation in response to a Newsweek request.

Wrong Shane Brown Arrested
A Nevada man spent six days in jail after he was pulled over by law enforcement and arrested on a warrant two years ago in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.