ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Two Anchorage police officers broke department guidelines during a traffic stop last month when a woman in town for a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump showed them a “white privilege card” instead of a driver’s license and was denied a ticket, a Alaska Newspaper reports.
However, it is not clear what policy was violated or what disciplinary action the two officers faced, as the department is treating this as a confidential personnel matter Daily news from Anchorage reported.
Mimi Israelah said in a Facebook post that she was stopped to weave at 3:43 a.m. on July 9 while driving to an Anchorage pizza joint after arriving on an early morning flight from California to Trump’s rally.
She couldn’t find her driver’s license, she wrote on Facebook in a now-deleted post.
“When I saw my White Privilege card I let him know if it’s ok,” she wrote. “He laughed and called his partner. It’s the first time they’ve seen a White Privileged (sic) card,” she said.
The top of the novelty card reads “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything”.
Israelah describes herself in her Twitter bio as Pinay, or a woman of Filipino descent.
Video of the encounter, apparently taken by Israelah, was reposted on Twitter. Two officers stand in front of their car window. She asks one, “Do you like my White Privilege card?” An officer says, “That’s hilarious.”
Anchorage police officers identified in the incident were Nicholas Bowe and Charles Worland.
Deputy chief Sean Case said some people who saw the post reacted negatively, saying it was inappropriate. “We recognize that,” he said.
Israelah was not quoted during the stop. She didn’t immediately respond to a message asking for comment.
Anchorage City Bylaws require all drivers to carry their driver’s license with them at all times while operating a vehicle. Police spokesman Sunny Guerin said police can run a computer check to determine if a person has a valid driver’s license.
Police Sgt. Jeremy Conkling, president of the police union, said officers have discretion and generally don’t write subpoenas for minor offenses, like lack of a physical license.
“Especially in these circumstances where you had a very, very low minor misdemeanor and officers are really just focused on trying to find DUIs – I’m not at all surprised they didn’t write a subpoena. I don’t know if many officials would have written that quote, if any,” Conkling said.
However, Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Alaska Black Caucus, said she wonders if the lack of citations is related to the novelty card.
“Is it because the white privilege card was in effect?” she asked.
Worland and Bowe were administratively placed during the 11-day investigation, Case said. Police would not provide any additional information about the internal investigation, including the policies that were violated and the impact, if any, the officers had.
“The investigation into the incident is complete and is part of confidential personnel files that are not being released publicly,” Guerin said.
Another police spokesman said both officers remain employed by the department.
Hodge Growden said she wants police to take responsibility for what happened and be transparent about any disciplinary action officers face. This could have been an educational moment, she said.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/woman-flashed-white-privilege-card-pulled-now-officers-are-trouble-let-rcna41700 A woman showed a “white privilege” card after being stopped. Now the officers are in trouble for letting her go.