A California man is suing the Oakland Police Department after finding out his name was published on Oakland’s Most Wanted criminals list.
Chau Van, 37, claims that he did not commit any crimes, and when he went into the police department to fix the mistake, he was instead arrested and held for three days. Van is now suing the department for defamation.
The incident began after Van’s name and photo appeared on Feb. 7, 2012 during a police news conference, where Police Chief Howard Jordan claimed Van was wanted for a shooting. When Van appeared a week later at the police station, he was arrested for assaulting someone with a baseball bat, an event which evidently occurred two months prior to his arrest. Van was released a few days later from Santa Rita jail for lack of evidence, according to Van’s lawyers.
Yet, after Van was released, his name appeared for six more months on Oakland’s Most Wanted list. Van then hired lawyers, who took action last week by filing an official lawsuit for false arrest, defamation, and violating civil rights.
The police department has not issued a statement after Van’s release, although they did take his name off the list.
Van, however, claims he is still suffering from the consequences of his alleged false arrest. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Van has not been able to secure consistent employment and has also been ostracized by his friends.