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'Most Wanted' man sues Oakland police

california ruined reputation false arrrest dangerous fugitive no charges

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#1 Hum

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 14:26

OAKLAND -- A San Leandro man says Oakland police ruined his reputation by branding him as one of the city's "four most wanted criminals" and then refusing to remove his name and photograph from the Most Wanted list after prosecutors refused to charge him.

Chau Van, 37, filed suit against the city and top police officials in federal court last week, saying that he "lives in a state of embarrassment, depression and shame" because police accused him publicly of nearly beating a man to death with a baseball bat in December 2011.

"The police had the wrong guy, and they didn't correct the error and they didn't apologize for it," said Van's attorney, DeWitt Lacy.

Lacy, who works for attorney John Burris, said Chau Van is an accountant who had no prior criminal history. The complaint does not seek specific monetary damages from the city.

City officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Law enforcement sources said Van was arrested on a probable cause warrant in connection with the baseball bat assault, but prosecutors declined to charge him after the victim and a witness gave inconsistent statements and the victim then stopped cooperating.

Police Chief Howard Jordan asked for the public's help in apprehending Van during a Feb. 7, 2012, news conference addressing a spike in violent crime.

According to his complaint, Van learned that he was a "dangerous fugitive" from a friend who saw the report that night on KTVU.

After contacting his attorney, Van went to police headquarters nearly a week later to clear his name, according to the complaint.

Police arrested him and sent him to Santa Rita Jail where he was released three days later after not being charged.

During that time, police issued a news release with the headline "Most wanted turns himself in." The release included a photo of Van and a statement from Jordan that "today we have one less criminal on our streets."

Police refused to remove his name from the Most Wanted list for six months after the arrest, according to Van's complaint, and only complied after receiving a letter from Burris.

source


#2 Growled

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:38

Another sue happy citizen at work clogging up the judicial system.

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 17:35

^ Can we lock you up for 3 days ... ?

#4 tiagosilva29

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 17:42

Another sue happy citizen at work clogging up the judicial system.

You can't be serious.

#5 Brian M.

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 17:43

Another sue happy citizen at work clogging up the judicial system.


I'm normally against suing, but the police deserve this.

#6 Hardcore Til I Die

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 17:45

Another sue happy citizen at work clogging up the judicial system.


Are you having a laugh? Let's put your name and photograph on the most wanted list, lock you up for three days, keep you on the most wanted list for six months even after you've been cleared of all charges, then remove you without so much as an apology and see how you like that.

#7 +SOOPRcow

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 17:55

I'm guessing he didn't even read past the title.

#8 OP Hum

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 23:22

^ I suspect Growled does that a lot. :laugh:

#9 Growled

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 00:53

^ Can we lock you up for 3 days ... ?


Gladly. It would be a relief. Three days of peace and quiet. :D

I'm guessing he didn't even read past the title.


Oh, I did read the article. The police did screw up big time but what good is a lawsuit going to do now.

#10 OP Hum

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 00:59

^ Well, for one thing, he may not need to look for a job, in the future. ;)

#11 Growled

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:02

^ Well, for one thing, he may not need to look for a job, in the future. ;)


If that is the main reason he is suing (and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it is) then that is definitely the wrong reason.

#12 dead.cell

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:20

Oh, I did read the article. The police did screw up big time but what good is a lawsuit going to do now.


It will.. uh... show them good! *shakefist*