CHRISTOPHER WEBER, Associated Press
A lady who pulled off a street to vary drivers throughout a visit along with her father and three younger youngsters was knocked unconscious and arrested by two Northern California sheriff’s deputies, who then lied concerning the encounter to responding paramedics and on official studies, in line with a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.
Body cameras worn by the deputies with the Solano County Sheriff’s Office recorded them pulling weapons on Nakia Porter earlier than slamming her to the pavement whereas handcuffing her alongside a rural street within the city of Dixon on the evening of Aug. 6, 2020. Porter’s father, Joe Powell, was additionally positioned in handcuffs and briefly detained.
Porter was jailed in a single day on suspicion of resisting arrest, however by no means charged. She mentioned the ordeal was complicated and dehumanizing.
“I was doing my best to do everything right, giving no reason to be treated like this,” mentioned Porter, 33, who’s Black.
The lawsuit introduced by legal professional Yasin Almadani accuses the deputies of violating state and federal civil rights statutes by participating in “illegal seizure, assault and extreme drive.”
“Thankfully, the video evidence contradicted the fabricated facts,” Almadani said. “So what occurred here, we believe, was a racially motivated beating and terrorizing of a Black family.”
Solano County sheriff’s officials did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment on the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.
The lawsuit asks a judge to order a jury trial for the arresting deputies, Dalton McCampbell and Lisa McDowell, and seeks unspecified damages.
The events unfolded as Porter and her 61-year-old father were making the 100-mile (160-kilometer) drive home to Orangevale, northeast of Sacramento, after a family trip to Oakland. Her two daughters, ages 3 and 6, and her 4-year-old niece were in the back seat. Porter is a software engineer, and her father, who’s retired, worked in computer networking.
Porter was behind the wheel when they stopped along an empty road in Dixon. The deputies’ squad car pulled up behind them with lights flashing. Porter already was out of the car and explained that they were just switching drivers and would be on their way, according to the court filing.
The deputies said they noticed the car had mismatched license plates — a California plate on the back of the car, and one from Maryland on the front.
“However, the deputies had called in the rear license plate to their dispatch and knew that it matched the description of the car and that there was no report of the car being stolen,” the filing states.
McCampbell, who had his gun drawn, ordered Porter back to the driver’s side, and he and his partner moved to detain her, according to edited bodycam footage acquired by Almadani and provided to The Associated Press. Almadani acquired more than 18 minutes of raw footage through a California Public Records Act request, and edited it down to just under 10 minutes.
“For those that are listening, I am not resisting,” Porter said into the deputies’ cameras. “You are not reading me my rights.”
The deputies pushed Porter against the squad car and then to the pavement while trying to handcuff her.
“Put your hands behind your back. Get on your stomach,” McCampbell shouted.
The footage gets very shaky, and it’s hard to see whether Porter is resisting. Porter and the court filing allege the deputies punched her in the head and the stomach, kneeled on her back and pulled her hair. She said she passed out seconds after the deputies closed the handcuffs.
“I think she’s out,” McCambell mentioned on the video.
Porter, who’s 5-foot-2 (1.6 meters) and 125 kilos (57 kilograms), mentioned she was dragged unconscious to the again of the squad automobile, the place she got here to about 5 minutes later.
When paramedics arrived, McCampbell is heard saying Porter fought them, was knocked out for about 20 seconds and was capable of stroll herself to the squad automobile. McDowell estimates to the paramedics that Porter was unconscious for about 5 seconds.
Porter requested she be transported to a hospital, in line with the lawsuit.
“Deputies McCampbell and McDowell denied the request, continuing to lie to the paramedics by minimizing the assault and the injuries they had inflicted on Ms. Porter,” the court docket submitting mentioned.
The lawsuit accuses the deputies of mendacity on their arrest studies about Porter combating them and the size of time she was unconscious. Contact data for McCampbell and McDowell couldn’t be discovered.
The go well with additionally names a superior officer who signed off on the studies.
Cedric Alexander, a police use-of-force professional, was troubled by the video. He questioned why the deputies appeared to hurry to detain Porter and Powell with out first taking actions to de-escalate the scenario, particularly with three younger youngsters within the automobile.
“What’s concerning here is the use of force,” said Alexander, a former president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. “There needs to be a full investigation conducted outside of the sheriff’s department, preferably by a district attorney’s office.”
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