A Houston deputy tried to arrest a black man playing with his kids outside his own home — because he apparently mistook him for a fugitive with a similar hairstyle wanted in Louisiana, viral video shows.
A 5-minute video on Facebook posted on May 8 by Clarence Evans — which has racked up more than 1.1 million views as of Thursday — shows Evans pressed up against a car in the driveway of his home after a white Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office deputy misidentified him as a suspect named Quentin who was sought by authorities in Louisiana.
“You don’t know my name, so how can you tell me I have an open warrant in Louisiana?” Evans asked the deputy, identified by KHOU as Garrett Lindley. “You don’t even know my name. Why would I trust you?”
Evans’ wife, who was recording the encounter, told Lindley that Evans was, in fact, not named Quentin and had no ties to Louisiana. Lindley then asked to see Evans’ identification, which he refused, saying he didn’t want to become the next victim of police brutality.
“My name is not Quentin, what the f–k is wrong with you?” Evans told Lindley, who insisted he had probable cause and knew exactly who he was, video shows.
Evans accused Lindley of shaking during the heated encounter, which continued until a second deputy arrived on the scene. That deputy then took a look at a photo of the Louisiana suspect shown to him by Lindley and flatly concluded that his colleague had been mistaken.
“Here’s the deal: doesn’t that look a lot like you?” Lindley asked Evans, prompting him to erupt.
“No, that don’t look like me!” Evans replied. “What the f–k is wrong with you, man? What are you trying to say – because I got dreads and I’m black that’s me?”
Evans said his wife could easily tell from several feet away that Lindley had misidentified him. Evans told KTXH that the wanted suspect was at least 20 years older than him.
“My kids were out there watching,” Evans told the station. “I don’t want my son to have that memory of my dad being hauled off to jail and I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Evans told KHOU he was “terrified” during the encounter and now wants answers from authorities after hiring an attorney.
“[Lindley] took two men with dreadlocks and decided that they were the same person,” attorney U.A. Lewis told the station.
But deputies said Lindley was merely doing his job.
“The deputy was there on official business based on a report that a wanted fugitive was near the location,” Precinct 4 Chief Deputy Donald Steward told KHOU in a statement. “The deputies left when they determined that this man was not the suspect they were seeking.”
Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, said he saw nothing wrong with the footage.
“That is not profiling,” Gamaldi told KHOU. “That’s an officer doing his job.”
Evans has yet to file a formal complaint in connection to the encounter, but believes Lindley should be fired, the station reports.