Man files suit in arrests linked to m...

Man files suit in arrests linked to mistaken identity

There are 5 comments on the Detroit Free Press story from Sep 20, 2007, titled Man files suit in arrests linked to mistaken identity. In it, Detroit Free Press reports that:

“Every day of my life, it's as though I could be locked up at any moment at any time”

Keith Lamont Johnson apparently shares the same name and the same Sept. 29 birthday as another metro Detroiter. via Detroit Free Press

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Detroit Free Press.


Dayton, OH

#1 Sep 20, 2007
i think they should lock everyone up with that name until they sort it all out !!! No, they already did that !! Hey wait! How about locking up the real crook!! Nah we're talking about Michigan police here you have to trip over a cop to solve crime there!!!
Hidden Valley

Portland, OR

#2 Sep 20, 2007
He may want to change his name. This will keep happening otherwise. A "letter of clearance" means nothing because it (at best) only means he's clear of the warrant that he's currently hooked up for. For instance, if he's taken into custody on June 1 for a warrant and cleared, a new warrant issued for a Keith Lamont Johnson with that birthday on June 2 could be his or the other Keith Lamont Johnson. Chances are pretty good the other Keith Lamont Johnson will continue racking up warrants.

Nashua, NH

#3 Sep 22, 2007
I've been stuck in the same situation as Mr. Johnson since 1995. Warrants continue to be issued for a man with the same name and date of birth every single time I clear my name with the three states caught up in the chain of mistaken identity. As stated, every time my name is cleared, another warrant is generated automatically and the chain of citations and arrests begins again. A class action suit against the states and federal government (databases administered by Washington agencies) will likely lead to no resolution, but appear to be the only solution to make the agencies shape up enough to keep from costing Mr. Johnson, myself, and according to the State of Massachusetts, thousands of other citizens thousands of dollars in fees, fines, court costs, time, stress, duress, and the certaintyof being arrested for crimes committed by another person.

United States

#4 Sep 23, 2007
I can not believe this DOES happen to people! This has happened to me twice in 3 years, but I only share a name with the actual criminal! I am told nothing can stop this as the people that originate warrants are protected from "making mistakes." I was also told changing my name would not be affective because it would always show up as an alias. No one knows where the "other Shelly" is for sure and there are warrants in 7 or 8 counties here in Iowa and they keep ending up with me!!! My letters of clearance have done no good, because then they make up warrants for me with my personal info- is there any recourse for the true victims here? I am tired of living in fear and the anxiety and disturst this has put in my life- I don't know when it will ever stop!
Hidden Valley

Portland, OR

#5 Sep 23, 2007
Shelly wrote:
No one knows where the "other Shelly" is for sure and there are warrants in 7 or 8 counties here in Iowa and they keep ending up with me!!! My letters of clearance have done no good, because then they make up warrants for me with my personal info-
There may not even be another Shelly. If someone has gotten your personal information they can easily give that out when they are arrested and when they don't show up for court, a warrant is issued not for them, but you. Another ugly effect of identify theft.

For example, let's say this fake Shelly has stolen your info - he gets arrested - you've never been arrested so there are no fingerprints, photo etc. in the NCIC database. Instead of giving his real name, he gives yours, your SS#, your DOB, your Drivers License number, etc. As far as the system is concerned *he's* Shelly. In future trips to jail he continues giving out your info.

The police can't know you're the "wrong" Shelly until they bring you in and check your fingerprints.

I suspect we'll start seeing more of this stuff as identify theft increases. One big problem is that you aren't allowed to see your own NCIC data so you can correct inaccuracies like you can with the credit companies.

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