A California woman has sued the Port of Portland and the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, saying port police tackled her as she tried to book a hotel room after missing a flight.
Blanca Aguirre says Port of Portland police tackled her without warning or explanation, failed to read her Miranda rights, illegally detained her and refused to document her injuries or complaints.
Aguirre is the second Latina woman to allege excessive use of force by the Port of Portland police this year. The first was Jathina Campos, who says police gave her a black eye and chipped her tooth in an altercation at the airport.
The suit, filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, says Aguirre was heading home when she missed her flight to Palm Springs, Calif. It was too late in the day to book another flight, so she tried to book a hotel room at the Four Points Sheraton over the Spanish reservation line.
Aguirre received an email confirmation of her booking, but when she tried to take the airport shuttle to the hotel, she and the driver became confused about where she should be dropped off.
She left the bus and entered the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel to try to sort out her booking. But the front desk could not confirm that she had booked a room.
Aguirre's lawsuit says the front desk concierge began shouting and waiving his arms in a threatening manner. Someone called the police.
The suit says that a Port of Portland officer tackled Aguirre within minutes of arriving at the hotel, slamming her into the ground and injuring her head, neck, face, chest, shoulder, arm, leg, foot, and ankle.
Officers allegedly refused to take Aguirre's reports of excessive force. The suit says one officer told her not to bother contacting the district attorney's office because "they won't do anything for you."
Instead, Aguirre herself was arrested—on charges of harassment and interfering with a peace officer. But the harassment charge was never filed and the other was dismissed by the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office.
The Port of Portland, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office and Aguirre's attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Aguirre is seeking $600,000 in damages.