ANCHORAGE, Alaska (TSWT) – Two Anchorage police officers violated department policy during a traffic stop last month when a woman in town before a rally of former President Donald Trump showed them a “white privilege card” in lieu of a driver’s license and no ticket got , reported an Alaska newspaper.
However, it’s not clear what policy was violated or what disciplinary action the two officers faced, if any, because the department is treating it as a confidential personnel matter, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Mimi Israelah said in a Facebook post that she was stopped at 3:43 a.m. on July 9 for weaving while driving to a pizza parlor in Anchorage after arriving on an early flight from California for Trump’s rally.
She couldn’t find her driver’s license, she wrote on Facebook in a now-deleted message.
“When I saw my White Privilege card I gave it to him,” 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 all.”
Israelah describes herself in her Twitter biography as Pinay, or a woman of Filipino descent.
A video apparently taken by Israelah of the encounter has been reposted on Twitter. Two officers are standing in front of her car window. She asks one, “Do you like my White Privilege card?” An officer says, “That’s hilarious.”
The Anchorage police officers identified in the incident were Nicholas Bowe and Charles Worland.
Deputy Head Sean Case said some people who saw the post had negative reactions to it and felt it was inappropriate. “We recognize that,” he says.
Israelah was not quoted during the stop. She did not immediately respond to a message asking for comment.
Anchorage’s municipal code requires all drivers to carry their driver’s license with them at all times when operating a vehicle. Police spokesman Sunny Guerin said police can do 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 citations for minor offenses, such as not having a physical permit.
“Especially in this circumstance where you had a very, very 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 quote. I don’t know if many officers would have written that quote, if there was any,” Conkling said.
However, Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Alaska Black Caucus, said she wondered if the lack of citation was related to the novelty map.
“Is it because the white privilege card was effective?” she asked.
Worland and Bowe were placed under surveillance during the 11-day investigation, Case said. Police declined to provide additional information about the internal investigation, including what policies were being violated and what the possible consequences were for the officers.
“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 spokesperson said both officers will remain with the department.
Hodge Growden said she wants police to take responsibility for what happened and be transparent about any disciplinary action the officers faced. This could have been a teaching moment, she said.