DIXON, Ca. – A 33-year-old mother and software engineer is suing two Northern California sheriff’s deputies after a traffic stop left her beaten and unconscious.
On August 6, 2020, Nakia Porter was knocked unconscious during an arrest by two Northern California sheriff’s deputies after she pulled her car over to change seats with her father.
According to a federal lawsuit that was filed Wednesday, the deputies then lied about the encounter to responding paramedics and on official reports.
Porter says she was driving with her father and three young children and had pulled over to switch drivers when two sheriff’s deputies pulled up behind her with lights flashing. The two deputies involved in the arrest were Dalton McCampbell and Lisa McDowell of the Solano County Sheriff’s Department. Porter says she tried to explain to the deputies that they were simply switching drivers but was ordered to get back in the car.
Body camera footage obtained by Porter’s attorney, shows the deputies pulling guns on Porter before shoving her against the car, and then down to the pavement.
During the struggle, Porter is knocked unconscious.
Porter says she lost consciousness after being punched as she was being handcuffed. McCampbell can be heard saying, “I think she’s out” as he sits on the unconscious woman’s back.
When paramedics arrive at the scene, the deputies can be heard giving incorrect information regarding the length of time Porter was unconscious. McDowell says Porter wasn’t responsive for “maybe 5 seconds.” McCampbell says she was “out for no more than 20 seconds.”
Porter estimates she was unconscious for about five minutes and says when she came to, she was in the back of the officers’ squad car. However, the deputies said she was able to walk to the car herself.
The lawsuit brought by attorney Yasin Almadani accuses the deputies of violating state and federal civil rights statutes by engaging in “unlawful seizure, assault and excessive force.”
The suit accuses the deputies of lying on their arrest reports about Porter fighting them and the length of time she was unconscious.
“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.”
The deputies said they initiated the stop because they noticed the car had mismatched license plates – a California plate on the back of the car and a Maryland plate 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.
Porter ended up spending a night in jail and was charged with resisting arrest. Those charges were dropped.