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its surrounding areas.

Oakland man sues after falsely placed on 'Most Wanted' list

Being falsely accused of a crime is much more than an annoyance. It can come with many serious consequences, including losing one's reputation and even criminal charges that result in time behind bars. In some cases, all it takes to clear someone charged with a crime is to resolve the misunderstanding with law enforcement, but more often it will require a defense attorney to help sort the issue out.

An Oakland man found out he was on the city's Most Wanted list accusing him of a local shooting, when a friend saw his name on the news. The man called his lawyer, who got in touch with authorities. The police assured the lawyer that there was no arrest warrant out for the man. Still, he turned himself in the following week as a precaution. After holding him for three days, police released the man without charging him.

After his release, authorities released a statement that said they'd caught one of Oakland's four most wanted criminals, identifying him as the man who had shot and hospitalized a person with serious head injuries. Included in the statement was the man's mug shot from when he had turned himself in. The police chief reported that "one less criminal is on the streets."

The man is now suing the city of Oakland, the Oakland Police Department, and two media relations officers for defamation, false arrest and imprisonment, civil rights violations, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

This man's experience is an ideal example of why people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. People who are not guilty of the crimes they are being accused of have the right to have their names cleared, without their reputation being harmed.

Source: Examiner.com, "Man erroneously kept on 'Most Wanted' list for months sues cops, city," Howard Portnoy, Mar. 12, 2013

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