The Urban Daily reported Henderson police pulled over 23-year-old Shane Lee Brown on a weapons charge associated with a felon who was initially charged in 1994. This previous felon, who also shared the name Shane Brown, was not only convicted three years before Shane was born but was also an entire white man.
Brown gave the police his social security card in place of his license, according to Urban Daily. Yet, he was still taken in as if his form of identification (in addition to his skin color) wasn’t enough to prove his innocence. The warrant he was served was issued for a “49-year-old white man with a bushy white beard and blue eyes.” … So, Santa Claus?
From the Urban Daily:
Brown was sent to Henderson Detention Center, where he pleaded with officers that he was not the Shane Brown in the bench warrant, but was ignored.
Two days later, Las Vegas police transferred Brown to Clark County Detention Center and recorded his correct date of birth, race, and height. Officers also issued Brown a different identification number that was assigned to the older Shane Brown. He was then orderer by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to appear in front of a judge for the older Brown’s bench warrant but under the younger Brown’s race and date of birth.
The 23-year-old would spend four days in Clark County Detention Center before finally appearing in front of a district judge who released him after the two men’s booking photos were shown side by side in court.
Brown would spend a total of six days in jail.
Upon his release, Brown sued the Metropolitan Police Department, city of Henderson and the Henderson Police Department, according to the Urban Daily. The suit included compensatory damages under federal law of half a million dollars and $50,000 under state law.
The Urban Daily also reported the lawsuit said officers “failed to perform even cursory review of the warrant to determine if Shane Lee Brown was the person named in the warrant.”
The High Court reported in October 2021 that out of the 2.3 million incarcerated individuals in the US, the number of people who are actually innocent can range from 46,000 and 230,000. Additionally, the Equal Justice Initiative found Black people make up 47% of exonerations while only making up 13% of the population. Guilty by skin color is very real.
Brown could’ve had his whole adult life taken away from him over this one mistake. Hopefully, the sloppy cop responsible for this will get some sort of punishment. Police will find almost anything to justify putting a Black man in jail.