ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Two Anchorage police officers violated department policy during a traffic stop last month when a woman in town for a rally for former President Donald Trump gave them a “white privilege card” instead of a driver’s license. Showed up and didn’t have a ticket, an Alaska newspaper reported.
However, it is not clear which policy was violated or what disciplinary action the two officers faced, if any, as the department is treating it as a confidential personnel matter, Anchorage Daily News informed of.
Mimi Israel said in a Facebook post that she was pulled over for knitting at 3:43 a.m. on July 9 while driving to a pizzeria in Anchorage after taking an early morning flight from California for a Trump rally.
He didn’t get his driver’s license, he wrote in a now-deleted post on Facebook.
“When I saw my White Privilege Card, I gave it to him, if that’s okay,” she wrote. “He laughed and called his partner. This is his first time seeing a White Privilege (sic) card,” she said.
The top of the novelty card reads: “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything.”
Israel describes herself in her Twitter biography as a Pinay or a woman of Filipino descent.
A video apparently taken by Israel of the encounter has been reposted on Twitter. Two officers are seen standing outside the window of his car. She asks one, “You like my White Privilege Card?” “It’s hilarious,” says one officer.
The Anchorage police officers identified in the incident were Nicholas Bowe and Charles Vorland.
Deputy Chief Sean Case said some people who saw the post reacted negatively to it and believed it was inappropriate. “We recognize it,” he said.
Israel was not cited during the stop. He did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Anchorage Municipal Code requires that all drivers carry their license at all times while driving. Police spokesman Sunny Guerin said police can do a computer check to determine whether a person has a valid driving license.
Jeremy Konkling, president of the Police Sergeant Police Union, said officers have discretion and generally do not write citations for petty crimes, such as if a physical license does not exist.
“Especially in this situation, where you had a very low level minor offense and the officers are really just trying to find DUIs – I’m not surprised they didn’t write a citation. I don’t know that much All officers must have written that citation, if any,” Konkling said.
However, Celeste Hodge Groden, president of the Alaska Black Caucus, said she wondered whether the lack of a citation was linked to the novelty card.
“Is it because the white privilege card was in effect?” He asked.
Case said that Verland and Bowe were placed on administrative custody during the 11-day investigation. Police will not provide additional information about the internal investigation, including which policies were violated and what, if any, the consequences for the officers.
“The investigation regarding the incident has been completed and there is a portion of confidential personnel files that will not be released publicly,” Guerin said.
Another police spokesperson said that both the officers are working in the department.
Hodge Groden said she wants the police department to accept accountability for what happened and be transparent about any disciplinary action that officers face. It could have been a teachable moment, she said.