Police departments to pay $90K for arresting Black man on white felon’s warrant

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 11:17 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - It is a case of mistaken identity and it will cost the Henderson and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police $90,000. Henderson will pay $25,000 and Metro $65,000 to Shane Lee Brown who was held for nearly a week for a crime a Shane Neal Brown is accused of committing.

In body camera video of a traffic stop in January 2020, when the then 23-year-old was stopped for not having his headlights on, he told officers he lost his wallet and license and had outstanding traffic tickets but planned to take care of it the next morning.

“We should call and see… If he has court tomorrow, we don’t want to arrest him that would be dumb,” one Henderson officer is heard saying.

When officers ran Brown’s name, it came back with a felony warrant, a weapons charge with Metro.

“You got arrested for something with a weapon in Metro, at least that is what they are saying,” the officer told Brown. “No, wrong guy,” Brown replied.

“I’m not a felon, I didn’t commit a felony… I was trying to plead to anyone that would listen, to let everyone know like ‘Hey can you double check,’” Brown shared with FOX5.

“Liability in this case is black and white, literally black and white,” argued Brown’s attorney E. Brent Bryson.

Shane Neal Brown, a 51-year-old white man, had a warrant out for felon in possession of a firearm. In the body cam video of the 25-year old’s arrest, Henderson officers seemed unsure if they had the right man.

“What do we want to tell the jail?,” one officer asked another.

“He has a weapons charge,” the second officer replied.

Brown was held in jail for six days, first in Henderson and then transferred to Clark County.

“Each of those entities stepped up and acknowledged that they had made a mistake,” Bryson asserted.

Bryson explained the $90,000 settlement is close to the max.

“In Nevada, for negligence, when you sue a governmental entity, there is a statutory cap of $100,000,” Bryson revealed.

Losing his freedom, being taken away for nearly a week away from his two children, is still something that has traumatized the young father.

“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.

Bryson hopes cases of mistaken identity can be prevented in the future with additional training of officers.