A Black man who spent six days in jail after police misidentified him for a 49-year-old White man with an outstanding felony charge, has won a $90,000 settlement from Las Vegas-area law enforcement agencies.
Shane Lee Brown filed a federal lawsuit in January 2022 for at least $500,000 in damages but will be awarded $25,000 from the Henderson Police Department and $65,000 from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said in a statement to CNN.
Brown’s attorney, E. Brent Bryson, told CNN affiliate KVVU that Nevada has a statutory cap of $100,000 when suing a government entity.
In a statement to CNN, the Henderson Police department said, “Shane Brown was driving an unregistered vehicle with a suspended driver license and had a warrant for contempt of court, failure to pay. While his arrest for these charges was lawful, we regret that he was misidentified on other charges in our system and have put measures in place and improved training procedures to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Brown, who was 23 at the time, was stopped in January 2020 for driving without his headlights on. At the time, Brown had a warrant for contempt of court for failure to pay.
He did not have his license on him but provided the officer with his name, Social Security card and Social Security number, according to a previous statement to CNN by Henderson Municipal Court.
When Henderson Police did a record check under Brown’s name, they found an outstanding felony bench warrant for 49-year-old Shane Neal Brown for ownership or possession of a firearm by a prohibited person the statement continued.
Though the records showed a discrepancy in middle names, heights, age and race, Brown was arrested under the warrant of Shane Neal Brown and taken to Henderson Detention Center and transferred to Clark County Detention Center for a total of six days.
Throughout the process, Brown continued to plead with officers that he was not a felon or the man they assumed he was.
In an interview with KVVU, Brown said, “I almost never drive any more unless it is absolutely necessary.”
“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 told the station.