The left is crying foul after a woman was pulled over during a traffic stop in Alaska last month and jokingly showed her “white privilege” card instead of her license to the officers.
The Anchorage Police Department did not see the humor in it and stated on Thursday that the two officers had violated department policy when they let Mimi Israelah go without a citation, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Israelah was pulled over for allegedly weaving in and out of her lane in the early morning hours on July 7 after she returned to Anchorage on a flight from California. It should be noted that the woman is evidently a supporter of former President Trump and is Filipino. She attended a rally for the former president which she wrote about in a now-deleted Facebook post.
The woman claims she could not find her driver’s license. While going through her wallet, she found her “white privilege” card and presented that instead.
Wondering why APD posted a strange mea culpa today? It's because this person reported not being cited for driving without a driver's license after she told police she was in Alaska from out of state for the Trump Rally and presented a novelty "White Privilege" card instead. https://t.co/WfCPImzG6h pic.twitter.com/0srIkn6prw
— sAvE aNcHoRaGe (@SaveAnchorage) July 13, 2022
Israelah describes herself as Pinay, a woman of Filipino ethnicity, in her Twitter bio. The “white privilege” card read, “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything.” She handed it to one of the officers and asked if that would suffice.
“He laughed and called his partner. It’s their first time to see a White Privileged [sic] card,” she commented in the Facebook post.
Police can do a computer check to determine whether a person has a valid driver’s license if it is not presented, according to the department.
One officer stated that he thought the card was “hilarious” during a video recorded by Israelah that was reposted to Twitter.
— Ben Owen 🇺🇸🦅 (@hrkbenowen) August 5, 2022
The officers involved were Nicholas Bowe and Charles Worland.
Anchorage Police Deputy Chief Sean Case remarked that many people felt the interaction over the incident was inappropriate.
“We recognize that the post, what was contained in that post, caused a bit of a public uproar, and there were a lot of people that saw that and did not like that post and had negative reactions to that — thought it was an inappropriate post — and we recognize that,” Case asserted.
Police spokeswoman Sunny Guerin wrote in an email, “While this is not a citable offense, it is one of many indicators an officer uses as a possible sign of driving under the influence.”
Officers saw no signs of impairment when they stopped and questioned Israelah.
— Christopher Paul (@MyDogDukeAndI) August 5, 2022
Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Alaska Black Caucus, was one of those carping over what seemed to be a joke taken way out of context. She wanted to know if the officers didn’t give her a citation due to the card.
“Is it because the white privilege card was effective?” she asked feigning offense.
Unbelievably, while the Anchorage Police investigated the issue for 11 days, they put the two officers on administrative leave, according to Case.
Following the internal investigation, the two officers were found to have violated department policy. The department is not saying which policy they violated or if they will be punished for it.
“The investigation regarding the incident is completed and is a part of confidential personnel files that will not be released publicly,” an Anchorage Police Department spokesperson said in a statement.
I have one too. Damn guess I better start using mine now….
— Joy Smart (@420joyS) August 5, 2022
The two officers thankfully are still employed by the Anchorage Police Department and there have been no policy changes due to the altercation and its handling.
Hodge Growden is demanding in the name of transparency that the police department release details of the investigation and how the officers are being reprimanded. She asserted that the incident could have been used as a teachable moment.
If in the officer’s estimation a driver is safe to drive and he/she feels it is alright to allow the driver to continue without citation it is within that officer’s purview. It’s called the tricky little thing called the “law”.
— Charles McDaniel (@ck1181953) July 17, 2022
Jeremy Conkling, who is a sergeant with the department and the president of the police union, said officers generally don’t write citations for minor offenses like this one.
“Especially in this circumstance, where you had a very, very low-level minor offense and the officers are really just focused on trying to find DUIs — I’m not at all surprised they didn’t write a citation. I don’t know that a lot of officers would have written that citation, if any,” Conkling noted, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
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