*The Solano County (California) Sheriff’s Office has responded to a federal lawsuit filed last week in Sacramento by a Black woman who claims two deputies engaged in “unlawful seizure, assault and excessive force” during an August 2020 incident. On Monday the department released unedited in-car and body-worn camera footage of the encounter.
Nakia Porter was traveling through Northern California with her father Joe Powell and three small children on August 6, 2020, when they pulled over so she and her father could switch drivers. As reported by NPR, that’s when deputies from the Solano County Sheriff’s Office pulled up and Lisa McDowell and Dalton McCampbell got out with their guns drawn and ordered Porter back in the car. The body camera footage shows that they grabbed Porter and slammed her to the ground.
In a press statement, authorities say the deputies initiated a traffic stop after seeing mismatched plates on Porter’s car.
“Deputies told the driver to get back in the vehicle multiple times which she refused to do,” the statement continued. “As the driver was being detained, she resisted the deputies, slipped her right hand out of her handcuffs, and struck a deputy in the face.
“The driver was re-handcuffed following a brief struggle. After being evaluated by paramedics the driver requested transport to the hospital where she was examined by medical staff and cleared for transport to the jail.”
Nakia Porter is suing @SolanoSheriff after she says she was “treated as a criminal” and was “beaten & arrested” in front of her kids by deputies. The sheriff’s office says she resisted as deputies probed why her car had 2 mismatched license plates. https://t.co/wH1NPQAIMb pic.twitter.com/nltUX3giIn
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) August 25, 2021
In her lawsuit, Porter claims she was punched in her head and stomach, that police kneeled on her back and pulled her hair. She fell unconscious during the incident and was dragged to the police car. McCampbell can be heard saying “I think she’s out” in the body camera footage.
When paramedics arrive at the scene, the deputies can be heard lying about how long Porter was unconscious.
Last Wednesday, Porter’s attorney Yasin Almadani released edited footage regarding the Aug. 6 arrest in Dixon.
“We understand the video, as released, has left our community with questions regarding what happened,” reads a press statement from the department. “The Sheriff’s Office is releasing the full-length videos (available at https://www.solanocounty.com/depts/sheriff/pubinfo/incidents_of_public_interest/august_6_2020/default.asp) as a vital means of maintaining transparency with the community we serve.”
Porter was booked into Solano County Jail on suspicion of resisting arrest but apparently wasn’t charged. Her father was detained but not arrested.
“Thankfully, the video evidence contradicted the fabricated facts,” Almadani told NPR. “So what occurred here, we believe, was a racially motivated beating and terrorizing of a Black family.”
The sheriff’s deputies are accused of violating state and federal civil rights statutes by engaging in “unlawful seizure, assault and excessive force.”