“Christina Dorsey said, “They automatically think you’re the suspect, especially when it comes to my skin color.”
A 20-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego, the San Diego Police Department and several of its officers over an incident last year.
Christina Dorsey told Team 10 SDPD officers physically assaulted and falsely arrested her in the early morning hours of July 20, 2014.
“I was crying every night. Every five seconds, I was crying. I couldn’t believe I was in jail,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey and her friends returned from Mexico when her friend and the friend’s boyfriend got in a fight in a San Ysidro parking lot. The lot attendant then called police.
Officers arrested Dorsey’s friend, but then they approached Dorsey’s car. She said police told her to get out of the vehicle, but did not say why.
“If he gave me a reason to get out of the car, I would have gotten out of the car,” Dorsey said.
They asked for her ID, which she gave to the officers. However, Dorsey said they later “physically grabbed” her and pulled her from the car when she did not exit the vehicle. The lawsuit says the officers slammed her “facedown into the ground.”
“All I remember is I ended up on the floor. His knee was on my neck,” Dorsey said. “I was in a headlock, too, in the process.”
Photos a few days later showed some of the scars on her shoulder and her elbow.
Dorsey’s attorney, Gerald Singleton, said police already took someone else into custody when the officer grabbed Dorsey.
“They can’t hold her there to try to compel her to make a statement. That is clear violation of the Constitution,” Singleton said.
Police arrested Dorsey, and she was charged with four misdemeanors, including resisting arrest and battery on an officer. She fought the charges and a jury found her not guilty on all counts.
“The officers came in response to a call, which was legitimate. However, the way they treated Christina had everything to do with her age, her race and where she was,” Singleton said.
Dorsey said she lost her job as a result of the arrest because she spent two days in jail. Dorsey told Team 10 she had never been arrested before last year’s incident.
“They automatically think you’re the suspect, especially when it comes to my skin color,” Dorsey said.
San Diego police did not return Team 10’s request for a comment.
A spokesperson with the San Diego City Attorney’s Office said they are reviewing the case but could not comment further.”