Oak Park resident Beunka Porter has filed a federal lawsuit against Oak Park Police Officer Ashley Alonso, alleging the officer battered her and used excessive force to illegally detain her during an altercation outside Ridgeland Common on March 15. The village of Oak Park and a second, unnamed officer are also listed as defendants.

Porter is seeking compensatory damages for battery and excessive force, as well as false arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unlawful detention, false arrest and wrongful imprisonment.

“Beunka had committed no crime, had not resisted an arrest and had done nothing to

justify any use of force against her,” the complaint states.

Oak Park spokesperson Erik Jacobsen declined to speak on the matter, stating that the village of Oak Park does not comment on pending litigation. The village’s no comment policy extends also to Alonso.

The incident allegedly began after a physical fight broke out involving Porter’s daughter and other Oak Park and River Forest High School students. The situation then allegedly escalated into Alonso slamming Porter against a squad car and hitting her in the face.

Oak Park police were already at the scene when Porter went to the park to pick up her daughter after the fight, according to the complaint, filed May 13. When Porter asked her daughter’s assailant, listed as “Kyra” in the filing, why she had attacked her daughter, the complaint states that Kyra’s unidentified sister began to punch Porter repeatedly in her head and face.

“She starts getting punched by this girl and, while that’s happening, at some point, [Porter] is on the ground,” said Porter’s attorney Jordan Marsh. Porter declined to be interviewed.

As Porter tried to stand, the complaint states the teenager was hitting her with one hand and holding onto her hair with the other. Around this time, Alonso reportedly intervened by pulling Porter back to the ground after she had regained her standing position.

“Defendant Alonso pulled Beunka up by her collar, then began striking Beunka in the face and possibly other areas of her body,” the complaint states. “Immediately after striking Beunka, Defendant Alonso slammed Beunka against her squad car and handcuffed her behind her back.”

The complaint alleges Porter spent 10 or 15 minutes in the squad car before being mirandized by an unnamed officer, who did not give Porter any reason for her arrest. Porter then reportedly spent another 10 minutes in the squad car, hyperventilating and in “extreme anxiety,” until an ambulance arrived. Porter was then uncuffed and released without being charged and without an apology or explanation from the police, according to the complaint.

“Later on, she’s asked to come to the hospital and give a blood test because apparently, while she was being assaulted by Officer Alonso, some of her blood got in Officer Alonso’s mouth,” Marsh told Wednesday Journal.

In the aftermath, Marsh said Porter twice went to the police station to help identify her teenage attacker, known only as “Kyra’s sister.” Marsh believes the officers squandered the opportunity to take Kyra’s sister into custody at the scene.

“[Porter’s] the one who gets placed into custody,” Marsh said. “Meanwhile, the offenders are able to walk away scot free.”

The two others allegedly left the scene fled while Porter was being detained, according to Marsh, who added that, as of a week ago, the two had not been located by police. For that reason, Marsh said the village has denied his request to obtain police records of Porter’s arrest.

“It is extremely clear to everyone involved that she was not an aggressor, that she was a victim,” Marsh said.

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