Clarence Evans, a Texas man mistaken for a fugitive by a deputy while he was playing in the yard with his children, posted a video of the confrontation on Facebook and has hired a civil right attorney.
Evans was throwing a football with his young son when Deputy Garrett Lindley from Harris County Precinct 4 approached the house and began questioning Evans about a stolen dog. He then accuses Evans of being a suspect in a case in Louisiana.
In the video recorded by Evans’ wife, you can hear Deputy Lindley call Evans by a different name while Evans repeatedly says, “I’m not Quentin.” Lindley is holding Evans’ arm throughout the exchange. Evans can also be heard accusing the deputy of thinking that all black men with dreadlocks look the same. After a second deputy arrived and they verified that Evans was not the man they were looking for, the officers left.
Evans wrote on social media that he had been concerned about the confrontation becoming violent. He added, “I’ve always been the one to say all cops aren’t bad but this racist mf just proved me wrong.” Video of the incident has been shared on Facebook more than 21,000 times.
Precinct 4 has come to Deputy Lindley’s defense. Chief Deputy Donald Steward told KTRK-TV, “The deputy was there on official business based on a report that a wanted fugitive was near the location. The deputies left when they determined that this man was not the suspect they were seeking.”
*Warning: The videos embedded below include profane language.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Deputy Lindley Accused Clarence Evans of Being a Fugitive From Louisiana & That His Dog Was Stolen; Evans Declined to Show Identification
The confrontation on May 8, 2019, reportedly began over a tip that a wanted fugitive from Louisiana may have been in the area, according to KHOU-TV. Deputy Garrett Lindley approached Clarence Evans’ home while he was outside throwing a football with his young son.
Evans wrote on Facebook that when Deputy Lindley first arrived at his home, he asked about his dog. The deputy said there was a report that the dog may have been stolen. Evans responded that that was impossible and stated that he had paperwork proving the dog was his and that he had a chip in the animal.
Evans said the deputy then proceeded to call him “Reg” and said there was a warrant for his arrest in Louisiana. Lindley asked Evans to put his hands behind his back, which Evans refused to do. His wife, Kenya Evans, began recording with her cellphone around this time. In the video, you can see that Lindley is holding on to Evans’ arm in the driveway. Mrs. Evans repeatedly calls for calm throughout the video.
You can see Evans question repeatedly how there could be a warrant when he does not live in Louisiana and says that the deputy doesn’t even know his name. At :58, you can hear Deputy Lindley call Evans “Quentin.” This leads Evans and his wife to stress over and over again that his name is not Quentin. Lindley asks for Evans’ identification, but Evans refuses to give it. The confrontation becomes even more heated and you can hear Evans say, “I’m not gonna be the next n***er you kill.”
Deputy Lindley urges Evans to walk with him to the patrol car in order to show him a picture of the fugitive. Evans refuses to leave the driveway and his wife can be heard saying “he’s not going nowhere.” Evans then asks for Lindley’s supervisor. At 2:15 into the video, the issue of the dog comes back up and the Evans’ again stress that the dog belongs to them.
When he posted the video on Facebook, Evans explained why he refused to put his hands behind his back or walk to the deputy’s vehicle. “Now I see how unarmed innocent black men get shot down by cops, it’s no way I was letting him get my hands behind my back because he was to nervous and shaking so I knew he was scared next thing you know he goes for his weapon and shoots me in my back and say he feared for his life, He was gone have to shot this black man while looking me in my face.”
2. A Second Deputy Arrived at the House With a Picture of the Fugitive; Evans Tells the Deputies They Need to Leave His Yard After They Determine That Evans is Not the Man They Were Looking For
A second deputy arrived at the home to assist. He pulled out his cellphone and showed a picture of the fugitive. At 3:40 into the video, Deputy Lindley says, “Doesn’t that look a lot like you?.”
Evans angrily exclaimed, “No that don’t look like me! What the f*ck is wrong with you? What you trying to say, because I got dreads and I’m black, that’s me?” His wife can be heard calling for calm. Evans later told KPRC-TV that the man shown in the picture appeared older than him, perhaps in his 50s or 60s, and balder.
Evans does appear to hand over his identification around 4:00 into the video. You can see Deputy Lindley look at it and hand it back a few seconds later. Evans yells at them to leave his yard as Lindley says he’ll need to do a report on the situation. As they walk away, Evans yells that Lindley “needs to get somebody here who’s over you because you just made the biggest f*cking mistake.”
Joe Gamaldi, the president of Houston Police Officers’ Union, told KHOU-TV that Evans should have complied with the request to see identification. He dismissed the accusation that racial profiling was a factor in the situation.
3. Clarence Evans Hired a Civil Rights Attorney & They Are Considering Filing a Lawsuit or a Formal Complaint
Clarence Evans and his family are working with the Lewis Law Group to determine next steps. They have not yet filed a formal complaint with Precinct 4. They may file a lawsuit.
Attorney U.A. Lewis told KPRC-TV that Evans was targeted for “being black while watching his kids.”
The law firm also pointed out that Lindley used to work for the Houston Police Department but had been fired.
4. Garrett Lindley Was Accused of Kicking a Handcuffed Suspect in the Head While He Was a Houston Police Officer
Garrett Lindley used to work for the Houston Police Department. In 2013, he was indicted by a grand jury for “official oppression” after he was accused of kicking a man, who was handcuffed at the time, in the head.
According to KTRK-TV, Officer Jorge Roman and Officer Lindley were questioning a suspect in a detention room, and that the suspect was handcuffed to a bench. Officer Roman said the suspect became violent when they tried to obtain his fingerprints. The suspect fell on the ground. Roman said that as he tried to get the suspect under control, Lindley kicked the man in the face.
Lindley was suspended in July of 2013 and indicted in September of that year. The case does not come up in a search of the Harris County District Clerk website. The search does bring up a 2015 civil case between Lindley and the City of Houston, which was ultimately dismissed.
5. Deputy Lindley Was Investigated For a Shooting in 2018 But a Grand Jury Declined to File Charges
Garrett Lindley was investigated for his role in a shooting that appears to have occurred while he was on duty. According to paperwork available online on the Harris County District Clerk website, a grand jury analyzed the case and declined to file charges. The decision was made on March 2, 2018. The district court website did not include any additional details about the case. You can see the court document embedded above.
Deputy Garrett Lindley has been with Harris County Precinct 4 since at least early 2017. Constable Mark Herman shared on Facebook in May of 2017 that 11 recruits had been sworn in as deputies. Lindley was named as a Sergeant in that post.