On May 8, a Texas resident uploaded a video on Facebook where a policeman tried to arrest him after mistaking him for someone else. At the time of the incident, the man was watching his children playing in their own yard.
The Facebook video which went viral, showed Houston Deputy Garrett Lindley attempting to arrest a resident named Clarence Evans. The policeman tried to take Evans in while he was at home.
Lindley mistakenly identified him as a Louisiana fugitive named Quentin. According to Evans, when the policeman arrived at his home and told him someone had called the police informing them that the dog Evans had was stolen.
The Black resident who sports dreadlocks disputed the claim telling the officer that he had the dog’s “paperwork plus I have a chip in him.” Evans then revealed that Lindley asked him for his identification to which the resident “politely” refused.
Suddenly the officer said to him “put your hands behind your back Reg.” Evans shared that he’d never used the name “Reg” before in his whole life.
Lindley then proceeded to detain him while stating that he knew he was the suspect he was looking for. The officer allegedly never showed his warrant of arrest or any other evidence.
Evans repeatedly told the officer that he had the wrong person, but the policeman insisted on wanting to arrest him. The resident’s wife recorded the incident.
Recalling the altercation Evans said: "My kids were out there watching." He added: "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."
The arrest warrant Lindley claimed to possess was from Louisiana. Evans repeatedly told the officer that he never lived in Louisiana but that didn’t deter him from trying to apprehend the resident.
According to Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman, Lindley arrived at Evans' home because an unidentified person stated he was a "wanted man." While the two men debated with the officer continuing to try and get Evans into his squad car; a second deputy officer arrived.
The second policeman showed Lindley an image of the actual suspect he was looking for. In the clip, Evans became increasingly agitated when he saw the image as he confirmed the person looked nothing like him/
The only common thing they appeared to share was the dreadlocks and that they were both black. According to Evan’s post on social media, the suspect was “in his 50’s.”
Evans was released and he explained that he didn’t go with the officer because Lindley was “nervous and shaking.” The resident explained: “I knew he was scared next thing you know he goes for his weapon and shoots me in my back and say he feared for his life, He was gone have to shot this black man while looking me in my face.”
Evans also explained that the officer hadn’t been clear about his motives from the beginning. He said: "Had he been up front and said he had a warrant for a guy named Quentin, it would have ended in three minutes."
The resident continued:
"I would have showed [sic] him my I.D., showed him that I wasn't Quentin, like I say, show him my I.D. It wasn't going to matter, because he had it set in his mind I was Quentin."
The victim has since contracted the services of an attorney but no complaint has been filed at this time. Herman defended the officer’s actions by describing Evans as an “uncooperative, vulgar-mouth citizen” who shouldn’t disobey officers."
The constable continued:
“Our deputy responded, he saw a gentleman that fit the description, a black man with dreadlocks, so he approached. This was a call for police service.’
“They’re trying to make it appear it’s a profiling case, that we’re profiling black people and all that, which is totally ludicrous and not true.”
According to the state American Civil Liberties Union chapter, if a Texas officer stops and asks someone who isn’t driving for identification, that person isn’t legally required to provide it. That person only has to identify themselves if they are arrested.
Lindley is a former officer of the Houston Police Department. In 2013, he was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly kicking a handcuffed suspect in the head in a detention room.
The court documents revealed that he struck the suspect in the face after he became violent. At the time, another officer was attempting to take his fingerprints.
In March last year, Lindley was also investigated for his role in a shooting but a grand jury declined to file charges. This year in a similar incident that occurred in March in Colorado, a white police officer was placed on leave for detaining a black man for holding a trash clamp in front of his home.
At the time, the man repeatedly told officers that he was picking up trash in front of the building where he lived and worked. Another resident recorded the incident.