He's Suing After Being Jailed And Mistaken For A White Suspect

hand cuffs on a table
Zain Murdock
January 30, 2022

On January 8, 2020, a 23-year-old Shane Lee Brown was pulled over while driving home from work. When police ran his name, they assumed Brown was the man they were looking for – and sent him to jail. 

But not only did they get the wrong guy, but they made an absolutely outrageous mistake.

The man they were supposed to be pursuing, Shane Neil Brown, was a 49-year-old white man! Not only that, but he was tall, had blue eyes, and a big white beard – essentially the complete opposite of Shane Lee Brown. How could this have happened?

Lee Brown told authorities multiple times about their mistake. But instead of simply comparing the two Browns’ mugshots, identification numbers, or written physical descriptions, they let him sit in two different jails for SIX DAYS!

Lee Brown is now suing for half a million dollars for false imprisonment, negligence, emotional distress, and violation of civil rights. But his attorney says it’s not just one incident: “This happens much more frequently than what the public hears about.”

When these "mistakes" create such a devastating weight on people's lives, we can't keep calling individual police incompetent.

Like Shane Lee Brown, we have no choice but to challenge the system that not only fosters and feeds off injustice, but criminalizes Blackness itself – down to arresting the OBVIOUSLY wrong person for a crime.