LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The Henderson and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police will pay a young Black man $90,000 after he was arrested on a felony warrant for a white man who was twice his age.
On January 8, 2020, 25-year-old Shane Lee Brown was pulled over for not having his headlights on. Brown told officers he had lost his wallet and did not have his identification but provided his name, Social Security number and Social Security card.
When officers performed a records check for “Shane Brown,” a felony warrant for a different Shane Brown appeared. Police mistook the warrant that was for a 49-year-old white man named Shane Neal Brown as being connected to Shane Lee Brown and arrested him.
Brown would spend two days in the Henderson jail before being taken to the Clark County Detention Center, where he spent 4 more days before a public defender told the judge they had the wrong man in custody.
“Your honor, we have a major issue in this case,” she said in a video first obtained by the I-Team. “The Shane Brown who is the defendant in our case has a separate ID number and he is a 49-year-old white male.”
Brown’s attorney, E. Brent Bryson, said the police did not do their job efficiently to confirm his client’s identity.
“It’s their duty to know, and if they hear it a hundred times, so be it. It doesn’t matter if they hear it all the time. They need to do their investigation, their due diligence and act appropriately,” Bryson said to CNN.
Brown was awarded a combined settlement of $90,000, only $10,000 short of the state’s maximum for negligence by a governmental entity.
The Henderson Police Department will pay Brown $25,000, while the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will pay $65,000.
Brown says he has been left traumatized from the experience and is afraid to drive.
“I almost never drive any more unless it is absolutely necessary,” Brown told FOX5.
“It is just difficult for him to put what happened to him aside and hopefully with time he will be able to do so,” Bryson contended.