Chau Van discovered that his name and photo were published in a feature on Oakland's most wanted. When his lawyer got in touch with police, they admitted that there was no arrest warrant. But when Van showed up at the police to clear his name, he was held for 72 hours and then released without being charged.
Here's the best part. The Oakland Police Department then released a statement saying that, in a win for justice, they had successfully taken one of the city's most wanted suspects off the street!
Yet on Feb. 14, the Oakland Police Department released a statement, "Most Wanted Turns Himself In," which began: "One of Oakland's four most wanted suspects has been taken off the streets. Last week, Oakland's Police Chief Howard Jordan named Van Chau as one of the City's four most wanted criminals. Today, the Oakland Police Department reports that Van Chau is off the streets of Oakland and is safely behind bars after turning himself in due to media pressure. Chief Howard Jordan said, 'A week ago I stood with community members and asked the community to stand with me to fight crime and today we have one less criminal on our streets. Today a victim is one step closer to justice.'""One step closer to justice"? My ass. Meanwhile, this poor guy gets his identity dragged through the mud. I bet the cops are feeling pretty good about themselves now. Van is suing the Oakland Police department for defamation, false arrest and imprisonment, civil rights violations, and internal infliction of emotional distress.
The press statement includes a mug shot of Van, and claims that he "was identified as the person responsible for assaulting his victim with a deadly weapon, leaving the victim hospitalized with serious head injuries, on December 9, 2011, at 12:23 a.m."
More here: 'Most Wanted' for What?