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Brickbat: They'll Eventually Get It Right

Man handcuffedSornwut Tubtawee / Dreamstime.comJimmie Williams III has been arrested several times because cops mistook him for a man with a similar name. But while the other man has a felony warrant out for him, Williams had a clean record. At least he did until recently. A San Bernardino County, California, sheriff's deputy came to his home on another matter, but then tried to arrest him on the other man's warrant. It ended with the deputy wrestling Williams to the ground and arresting him. The sheriff's office figured out they didn't have the man they were looking for but still charged Williams with felony obstruction and resisting arrest.

Photo Credit: Sornwut Tubtawee / Dreamstime.com

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  • Rat on a train||

    Jimmie Williams III has been arrested several times because cops mistook him for a man with a similar name.

    He has it worse than that.

    Not only does he share the same name as criminal Jimmie Antonio Williams Jr., they both have the same birthday, too.

    The police make enough mistakes when you have a different name. He was doomed.

  • Cyto||

    Yeah, given the state of facts the officer had available, what was he supposed to do?

    If the warrant only lists his name and birth date and they searched the database and added a wrong address... he's pretty much got no way to discover that this is not the right guy.

    I'll give the state a pass on the first mistake. But after that, it was their responsibility to include information about the other guy with the same name on the file so this wouldn't happen again. Absent generous immunity laws and policies, the state would be easily proven liable for damages in this case. They probably still are. If making the same mistake three times isn't proof of negligence, I don't know what would be.

    He should find a good lawyer and sue the crap out of them. And instead of naming the arresting officer, he should go after the bureaucrats who filed the warrants and didn't properly document his last false arrests, as well as the people at the top of the food chain who give the orders. The arresting officer should be a witness for the plaintiff in this case.

  • croaker||

    Nope, sue them all. Arresting officer is as much to blame as everyone else.

  • Rossami||

    re: "what was he supposed to do?"

    His job? You know, actually investigating cases, finding evidence, confirming identities, solving crimes? I'm not willing to give the state a pass even on the first mistake. They screwed up. It's inexcusable. You would never tolerate such poor service from a company. Why should you tolerate it from the people who literally have the power to kill you when they make mistakes?

    Sadly, you are right that qualified immunity will shield the abusers from any consequences of their actions. Another example of why it is long past time to abolish qualified immunity.

  • Rich||

    For officer safety, Mr. Williams wasn't allowed back into his home.

    WTF?

  • Jerryskids||

    Obviously, he was trying to go back inside to get a weapon rather than to get some paperwork to show the cop that he had the wrong guy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Commifornia.

  • Libertymike||

    No, it is a product of white people loving them their public sector union thugs who don Caesar's clown costume.

  • Brandybuck||

    Like he said, Commifornia.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "We sympathize with the situation Mr. Williams is in, and encourage him to remain cooperative during his entire contact with law enforcement. For officer safety, Mr. Williams wasn't allowed back into his home. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department has taken every measure possible to alleviate Mr. Williams' issues with the mistaken identity of the warrant. Our computer systems have been updated, in an attempt to minimize the chances of a mistaken arrest."

    The most half-assed partial acceptance of responsibility an armed elected office could muster.

  • Rich||

    I don't know, Fist. More passive voice could have been used.

  • Jerryskids||

    Sympathies were extended, encouragement was offered, steps were taken.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    ...charges were filed, lawyers were hired, the system smiled.

  • Longtobefree||

    Two out of three ain't that bad - - - - - -

  • Cyto||

    The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department has taken every measure possible to alleviate Mr. Williams' issues with the mistaken identity of the warrant.

    Well, except for not filing felony charges against him for resisting a false arrest. That's a bridge too far.

    Oh, and i'm sure this will go really well with child protective services. They'll be ever so understanding, I'm sure. There's no way this will hurt his case with those guys.....

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You cannot resist arrest if you were never supposed to be arrested in the first place.

    If the state does not have a legal reason to arrest you, you can defend your liberty with violence if necessary.

    People should defend themselves against blatant false arrest and police will stop making those mistakes. The state should be scared of The People.

  • Libertymike||

    People need to be okay with, even enthusiastically supportive of, black men taking out cops who make those types of mistakes.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    If the state does not have a legal reason to arrest you, you can defend your liberty with violence if necessary.

    Spoken like a true bananarchist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Libertarian that supports the US Constitution.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    You're a bananarchist who would be happy to kill government agents.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Crime: Having the wrong name while being black.

    Time to change your name, Dude!!! Asshole LEOs are too stupid and lazy to figure it out!

  • Wizard4169||

    Don't want to be arrested like a thug, don't go having a name like a thug.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    "But take note: I am powerful. And I am only the most lowly gatekeeper. But from room to room stand gatekeepers, each more powerful than the other."

  • H. Farnham||

    The ACLU will soon be releasing a statement in support of facial recognition software coupled with LEO cameras installed in every home. That could have prevented this incident. We must give up our privacy rights so that our other civil liberties might be protected.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Either that, or everyone must have an embedded ID micro-chip under their skin, for easy IDing... Or maybe a bar-code tattoo on their forehead...

  • H. Farnham||

    Can't do a barcode; the scanners look a little bit like guns.

  • Longtobefree||

    How is that relevant? The cops have gun guns and taser guns, why not add a scan gun?
    No chance of a mix up. If we give them enough gun things, we can weigh them down enough they can't move.

  • Wizard4169||

    I know the local cops where I live certainly tote a veritable chandelier o' gear. Every time I encounter one, I have to fight down the urge to ask just how much more stuff they're going to hand off their harness before they can't even walk.

  • Longtobefree||

    Absolutely bar codes. I suggest three groups of six digits.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Coppers are nailing innocent people all the time! Now "copper nails innocent trees" is becoming a common theme as well!!! Tree-icide, 'orrible abororicide !!!

    If you think I'm yanking your chain, please see... http://drewdalyonline.com/can-.....ll-a-tree/ ...

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