The Business Card Offense

For as many bad stories one hears about the police, there are just as many good stories, right? We all want to trust the police and believe they have the community’s best interests at heart. Police officers should also be approachable. Sadly, Officer Aaron Dauchy of the Portland Police was not very approachable when he was approached by concerned citizen Shei’Meka Newmann.

In February 2009 Newmann witnessed the arrest of a rider on the MAX train. She felt the officer was rougher than necessary and voiced her concerns. She asked Officer Dauchy why the man was being arrested, and Dauchy responded rudely, asking why it was her business then later saying he did not have to tell her anything unless she was the arrested man’s lawyer. Newmann then asked Officer Dauchy’s partner, Officer Jim Sandvik, for a business card. Sandvik not only refused, but he also took Newmann’s identification and made a threat that he would have her banned from TriMet. Newmann then tried to read Sandvik’s name off his uniform, and Sandvik shoved her, twisted her arm, handcuffed her, and took her to jail. She was released the next morning. Newmann decided to defend her actions and sued the police. A jury recently awarded her $82,000 and found the police guilty of committing battery, false arrest, and malicious prosecution.

For more details on this story, see this article.