MUNFORD, Tenn. — A federal lawsuit was filed this week against members of the Munford Police department after a man claims he was falsely arrested in a case of mistaken identity.

Calvin L. Williams Jr. says he was arrested last year and held for two days, but police meant to arrest a different man by the same name — Calvin B. Williams Jr. The entire arrest was over two beers shoplifted from a convenience store.

Williams’ lawsuit alleges the warrants he was arrested on “were not simply issued based on mistake of identity, but on a complete and total reckless disregard for the truth…”

The incident at the center of the lawsuit goes back to November of 2020, starting at the Fasttimes Convenient Store off Highway 51.

The lawsuit states a call came into police: “The store clerk and manager alleged that a Black man wearing a jacket with no shirt, chest tattoos, and a red duffle bag, had stolen two (2) beers from the convenient store.”

The total for the alleged stolen beers was $4.98.

According to the lawsuit, Officer Christopher Yount noticed a man matching the description walking north on Highway 51. He approached the man, telling him to get on the ground, at one point Tasing him.

But once more officers arrived on the scene and they started speaking to the man, they realized some details were not adding up.

The man they had detained kept saying he had a different birthdate and did not live at the Munford address officers believed he did.

At one point, the initial arresting officer allegedly said, “This is a different Calvin.”

But in dialogue listed throughout the lawsuit, despite Williams telling officers multiple times that his birthdate was in 1986 and that he didn’t have an address in Munford, they ultimately decided the Calvin Williams Jr. they had was the right guy.

They let him go but told him they were putting out warrants for his arrest.

The lawsuit states crucial information was omitted from affidavits for the warrants, like Williams repeatedly giving officers a different birthdate, social security number and address than the actual suspect.

Calvin L. Williams Jr. was arrested days after the stop. According to the lawsuit officers, were supposed to arrest Calvin B. Williams Jr., who is much older and did not live in Munford.

The lawsuit also discusses race within the department, and unequal policies for policing black and white people.

“The inability of the agents of Munford Police Department to distinguish between the photographs of two readily distinguishable Black persons demonstrates a deep-seated, biased based policing within the Department,” the suit states.

The charges were eventually dismissed. Attorneys for the man suing the police department said they were not available to comment on the lawsuit.

A city attorney for Munford said they do not comment on pending litigation.