Deputies Assault Black Woman During Traffic Stop
(CA) – In August of 2020, Nakia Porter was heading home when she began to feel tired. She decided to pull over to switch places with her father. When she got out of her car, two Solano County deputies came up behind her vehicle.
Deputy Dalton McCampbell ordered Porter to get back into the car. Porter went to get into the passenger seat. McCampbell yelled at her again to get back in the car. Porter asked if he wanted her in the driver’s seat. When he said yes, she made her way back to that side of the car.
Before she could get there he yelled, “You know what, detain her!” Deputy Lisa McDowell and Deputy McCampbell then attacked Porter. They “pushed her against the car and then dragged her away. They punched, kicked, kneed and hit her in the back of the head, according to the lawsuit.” Porter was knocked unconscious and dragged into the back of the patrol vehicle.
Black Family Terrorized
Porter’s father was ordered out of the car and told to walk backwards with his hands up. There were three children in the back seat of the car. The children, 6, 4, and 3-years old, were left in the car while deputies searched it. The deputies didn’t find anything that indicated any type of crime.
Valid Traffic Stop Ruined by Excessive Force
Ms. Porter had moved to California from Maryland. She had replaced the back license plate on her car, but forgot to take off the front plate. Her car had two different license plates on it. That is a valid reason to make a traffic stop. That’s about the only validity that occurred in this incident. The officers gave ambiguous orders then didn’t allow Porter to accomplish what they ordered. The officers then used excessive force which included strikes to her head.
Dishonesty From the Top Down
Deputies McCampbell and McDowell claimed that Porter was unconscious for “just seconds” when the bodycam video shows it was much longer than that. In the officer’s report, McCampbell claimed that Porter struck him in the face. That is not supported by the video evidence.
This should have all been caught by the approving officer. In this case, that officer was Sergeant Roy Stockton. According to SFBAYCA.com,
Sgt. Roy Stockton, also named in the suit, is accused of approving falsified reports written by the deputies “to cover up their attack on Plaintiffs and to have Ms. Porter falsely charged, all of which appears to be racially motivated and unconstitutional regardless of racial bias.”
Law enforcement agencies need to depend on their supervisors to make sure officers are following the law. When the supervisors fail to do that, the head of the agency should address the situation. Unfortunately, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office already had a problem with extremists (Sergeant Stockton included) in their agency. It’s a problem that Sheriff Tom Ferrara not only didn’t want to address, but even refused to believe was there.
According to OpenVallejo.org, he said, “I have consulted with the FBI, who confirmed none of my employees are members of any extremist organizations.” The FBI did not outright call Sheriff Ferrara a liar but did say they do not keep track of “membership in domestic political groups.” In other words, no, they did not do an investigation, much less clear anyone.
Civil Lawsuit Filed
When racist issues permeate every level, the only thing left is to go federal. Nakia Porter has filed a civil lawsuit. The District Attorney refused to pursue the charges against Ms. Porter which indicates the Sheriff’s Office did not have a valid case. The Sheriff’s Office refuses to release all the video evidence. The police violence Porter was subjected to has left her with continued physical pain. Her father was traumatized by having to watch his daughter being assaulted and being unable to stop it. And three young children have learned to fear law enforcement.