This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
The Institute for Justice is working with a bunch of men named David Sosa to encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a dispute over the arrest of one person by that name.
The problem is that police have been arresting David Sosa on suspicion of crimes committed by David Sosa.
But they've been getting the WRONG, David Sosa.
The case itself is from a Florida man named David Sosa. He's been detained twice, the IJ reported.
For someone else's offenses.
"Now, a group of other men named David Sosa has teamed up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to file an amicus brief urging the United States Supreme Court to hear his case against the officers who unlawfully detained him," the organization confirmed.
It first happened in 2014 when police, during a traffic stop, told the Martin County, Florida, David Sosa there was a warrant for his arrest.
"The warrant was for a different David Sosa with a different age, height, weight, social security number, and tattoos who was wanted for a 1992 crime in Texas," the IJ reported.
The innocent Sosa was arrested and detained for three hours.
Then a couple of years later, it happened again.
"This time, Sosa knew all of the ways to prove to police that he was not the David Sosa wanted in Texas. Nevertheless, the officers—from the same police department, executing the same warrant—ignored his pleas that he was innocent, arrested him, impounded his truck, and threw him in jail for three days," IJ reported.
"If something like this could happen to one of the David Sosas in Florida, it could happen to a David Sosa anywhere, which is why I’m supporting this important case," said 51-year-old David Sosa of Mecklenburg, North Carolina, one of the men who signed onto IJ’s amicus brief.
The Sosa who was arrested tried to sue the police for unlawful arrest, but the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals claimed that since he was "only" detained for three days, it wasn't a constitutional violation.
"Nobody should go to jail just because they share a name with someone else who has an outstanding warrant. When police ignore obvious signs that they’ve arrested an innocent person, they must be held accountable," said IJ lawyer Jared McClain, the author of the amicus brief. “A temporary violation of someone’s constitutional rights is still a violation of their constitutional rights; that’s why we’re urging the Supreme Court to take Mr. Sosa’s case and overturn the en banc decision."
The brief explains, "This case is about the constitutionality of Florida police arresting and detaining David Sosa of Martin County, Florida, on a Texas warrant from 1992 for a man named David Sosa. To be clear, that’s not David Sosa who chairs the philosophy department at the University of Texas. Nor is it the New York-based songwriter David Sosa. It’s also not David Sosa who’s a cardiologist in Albuquerque, the one who works at the USDA, the law student at the University of Miami, or the David Sosa who owns a construction company in Winston-Salem.
"None of the David Sosas who submitted this brief are wanted in Texas, either. Two are from North Carolina and two are from Los Angeles. Two of the amici David Sosas have even been confused for each other before! There are a lot of David Sosas in this country—at least 924,8 if not more. Only one of them is suspected of selling crack cocaine in Harris County, Texas, back in the 1990s. Yet every David Sosa now faces up to three days in jail without any recourse under § 1983 anytime police in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama run a warrant check.
The case charges that arresting and detaining one person for another's suspected crimes violates the Fourth Amendment.