Anchorage police break guidelines by letting a Trump supporter go when she used the White Privilege card instead of a driver’s license
Two Alaska officers are in hot water with their local law enforcement agencies after officers found they violated department guidelines in a recent traffic stop. Police allowed a woman to continue driving despite not having a driver’s license after showing a so-called “white privilege card.”
On Thursday, July 7, Mimi Israelah was pulled over by officers from the Anchorage Police Department for swerving in a traffic lane.
Anchorage Police Officers Nicholas Bowe and Charles Worland pulled Israelah over at 3:37 a.m. She allegedly told them before they stopped her that she was on her way to get pizza. The woman told officials she had traveled to a northwestern city to attend a political rally for former President Donald Trump at the Alaska Airlines Center next Saturday.
At that point, officers asked for her ID. When she couldn’t find it, the woman of Pinay or Filipino descent showed officers a novel “white privilege card” she bought online.
The incident was made public and was brought to the attention of APD officials two days later when the woman published a Facebook post about the incident.
In the now-deleted post, she posted a US ie with one of the cops, Officer Bowe, and beamed as she held up a “white privilege card.”
Her post read: “As an SOP, he asked for my driver’s license. I checked my wallet but couldn’t find it. When I saw my White Privilege card, I gave in [it] to him [and asked] if it is OK.”
“He laughed and called his partner. It’s the first time they’ve seen a White Privileged card,” she wrote. “I’m already having so much fun here in Alaska.”
According to the post, the woman dripped into red, white and blue paraphernalia (including rings) posted where she bought the gag card and said: “Have a white privileged card from The Hodgetwins Conservative Twins.”
In addition to the picture, she also took a video of the exchange, she can be heard asking Bowe, “Do you like my white privilege card?”
Bowe smiles and says, “That’s hilarious,” before asking her name.
Officers saw no signs of poisoning or impairment and eventually let her go without a subpoena, despite Anchorage City Bylaws requiring all motorists to carry their driver’s license with them at all times when operating a vehicle. In cases where a driver does not have a driver’s license with them, there is a computer checking service to determine if the person has a valid ID.
Both the post and video went viral, with people in the community pointing out the racist and bigoted undertones of the exchange — particularly the inside joke of “white privilege.”
Just under a week after the job was advertised, APD boss Michael Kerle published a broad statement on the department’s website about his commitment to serving all people and against discrimination.
He said he wanted to “personally address the community to provide clarity about our internal standards of conduct” from police officers and staff employed by the city under his supervision.
“As law enforcement officers, we are held accountable for our actions and I recognize that the action of a single officer can damage the trust between the police force and our community,” he wrote. “I know we are all human. But we belong to a profession that does not tolerate, practice, condone, encourage or cooperate with any form of discrimination. This job requires our employees to treat everyone with respect, cultural awareness and competence.”
As a city, whites make up over 61 percent of the population, according to the latest U.S. census data. People who identify as biracial or mixed make up 11 percent. Asians and people of Hispanic or Hispanic descent make up just over 9 percent per racial classification. Indigenous Americans make up 7.5 percent, while blacks make up about 5.3 percent overall. The only population among blacks are Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders.
People of color are overwhelmingly in the minority in the city, making the conversation about “white privilege” more poignant.
The Anchorage Daily News reports that the incident was brought up during a Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday, August 3.
Deputy chief Sean Case was vague about his officers’ behavior but said the department needed further training on how to deal with situations like this could not be ruled out.
Case said: “We recognize that the post, what was contained in this post, caused a small public uproar and there were a lot of people who saw that and disliked that post and had negative reactions to it – thought it was an inappropriate one contribution – and we recognize that.”
The boss said an 11-day investigation had been conducted and during those two weeks both officers were placed on administrative leave. He would not share information about the internal investigation, what policies were violated, or whether either Bowe or Worland faced consequences for their actions (or inaction).
“The investigation into the incident has been completed and is part of confidential personnel files that will not be released to the public,” department spokeswoman Sunny Guerin wrote in a prepared press statement.
Guerin also wrote, “While this is not a citable offense, it is one of many indicators an officer uses as a possible sign that he is driving under the influence.”
Writing people down for minor offenses like not having a physical license is usually at the officer’s discretion, says Jeremy Conkling, the police union president and a sergeant with the department.
He said: “Especially in these circumstances where you had a very, very minor minor offense 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.”
However, some believe that the focus should not be on the fact that the woman did not have a license. The problem, according to Alaska Black Caucus President Celeste Hodge Growden, is the “hilarious” gimmick of the “White Privilege” card.
Wondering if the woman didn’t get a subpoena because of the gag, she asked, “Is it because the white privilege card was in effect?”
A local politician, Assemblyman Kevin Cross, said at the Public Safety Committee meeting he didn’t think officials “intended anything of malice or evil content”, adding he was pleased with the way in which it was done the department dealt with the incident.
Cross said in defense of the one officer who smiled to take a picture with the motorist, “Our public carries cameras everywhere and they’re taking snapshots and we all understand how imprecisely the public can handle information as it is.”
“I commend them for taking 11 days to investigate while this poor chap was on administrative leave because someone in the car had their hands on a silly thing,” he continued. “The officer’s expression could have been ‘That’s ridiculous’ or ‘What is that?’ Sometimes you’re just surprised by the absurdity of people.”
But Growden said it wasn’t just silly, it was insulting.
“As a black person, I was really offended and maybe some can’t understand that because they’re not a person of color, they’re not black, but this was deeply offensive to members within our community and to some who are racist by law enforcement.” profiled. … I can’t understand why the officers found that humorous,” she said, while urging the department not only to take responsibility for how inappropriate the officers’ behavior was during the encounter — but also to be transparent about how how (and if) you were penalized for the policy violation.
Case explained that the department runs sessions on diversity and inclusion.
“Those wheels are already moving,” Case said. “It’s not the result of this particular situation – there is an ongoing need within the police department, not for any specific reason other than that part of our job is to continuously train our officers on everything related to it – be it cultural diversity.” whether it’s about communicating better with the people we serve.”
Cherie Zajdzinski, another spokeswoman for the department, confirmed that Bowe and Worland are still employed by the force.
https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/08/07/anchorage-police-violate-policy-by-letting-trump-supporter-go-when-she-used-white-privilege-card-instead-of-drivers-license/ Anchorage police break guidelines by letting a Trump supporter go when she used the White Privilege card instead of a driver’s license