Anchorage, Alaska. Two Anchorage police officers violated department policy during a traffic stop last month after a woman attending a rally for former President Donald Trump in the city showed them a “white privilege card” instead of a driver’s license and unpaid tickets. the newspaper reported.
But it’s not clear what policies were violated or what, if any, disciplinary action the two officers faced because the department is treating it as a confidential personnel matter. Anchorage Daily News reported
Mimi Israelah said in a Facebook post that on July 9 At 3:43 a.m. on her way to a pizzeria in Anchorage after an early-morning flight from California for a Trump rally, she was forced to weave.
She did not find the driver’s license, she wrote on Facebook in a now deleted post.
“When I saw my White Privilege card I handed it to him if it was okay,” she wrote. “He laughed and called his partner. This is the first time they see the White Privileged (sic) card,” she said.
At the top of the novelty card, it says, “The White Privilege Card Beats All.”
Israelah describes herself as Pinay, or a woman of Filipino descent, in her Twitter bio.
A video, apparently taken by Israelah, of the encounter was retweeted on Twitter. Two officers can be seen standing outside her car window. She asks one, “Do you like my White Privilege card?” One officer says, “It’s ridiculous.”
Anchorage police officers identified at the time of the incident were Nicholas Bowe and Charles Worland.
Deputy Chief Sean Case said some people who saw the post reacted negatively to it and thought it was inappropriate. “We recognize that,” he said.
Israelah was not mentioned during the stop. She did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Anchorage Municipal Code requires all drivers to carry their license 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. Police union president Jeremy Conkling said officers have discretion and typically don’t issue citations for minor violations, such as not having a physical ID.
“Especially in those circumstances where you’ve committed a very, very low-level minor offense and the officers are really just focused on trying to find a DUI — I’m not at all surprised they didn’t issue a citation.” “I don’t know that many officers would have written that citation if there was one,” Conkling said.
But Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Alaska Black Suffrage Association, said she wondered if the lack of citations was tied to the novelty card.
“Is it because the white privilege card was effective?” she asked.
Worland and Bowe were administratively charged during the 11-day investigation, Case said. Police would not release additional details about the internal investigation, including what policies were violated and what consequences, if any, the officers faced.
“The investigation into the incident has been completed and is part of confidential personnel files that will not be made public,” Guerin said.
Another police spokesman said both officers remain with the department.
Hodge Growden said she wants the police department to take responsibility for what happened and be transparent about any disciplinary action taken by officers. She said it could have been a teachable moment.