The Anchorage Police Department found two officers’ violated department policy after accepting a woman’s novelty “White Privilege Card” instead of a driver’s license during a traffic stop in July.
Officers Charles Worland and Nicholas Bowe accepted the novelty card instead of a driver’s license during the July 7 traffic stop of Mimi Israelah, Anchorage Daily News reports. Officials became aware of the incident after Israelah posted a now-deleted video of the traffic stop.
Worland and Bowe initially pulled Israelah over due to her vehicle weaving in her lane at 3:37 a.m. She told officers she was on her way to pick up a pizza after attending a political rally for former President Trump. Israelah told police she couldn’t find her driver’s license so she handed officers a “White Privilege Card” instead, much to the delight of the officers.
These cops are playing it pretty cool for a suspected DUI. An Anchorage Police spokesperson told the Anchorage Daily News that handing the incorrect form of I.D. to officers is also a possible sign of driving under the influence, yet no roadside test or breathalyzer was administered. From the News:
The incident has not led to any policy changes, the police department said. During a Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday, Deputy Chief Sean Case made a broad statement about what happened and said the department always has room for changes or additions to their training.
The situation was brought to the police department’s attention two days after it occurred because of a Facebook post made by Mimi Israelah, who was stopped by officers on July 7, that was widely shared on social media. In the post, Israelah took a selfie with Anchorage police officer Nicholas Bowe as she held up a “white privilege card,” which she said worked in place of a driver’s license. Many found the now-deleted post offensive and called the officers’ conduct unacceptable.
“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 said.
Officers were amused by the card and ended up letting Israelah off with a warning. The video caused an uproar in Alaska and across the country.
But Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Alaska Black Caucus, said she still wonders if the lack of citation was tied to the card — “Is it because the white privilege card was effective?”
Both Worland and Bowe were placed on administrative leave while the 11-day investigation was ongoing, Case said. Police would not provide additional information about the internal investigation, including which policies were violated and what, if any, repercussions the officers faced.
Both officers received an 11-day administrative leave while the department investigated the incident. They are both still employed by the department and no policies will change due to this incident. A department spokesperson told the News that cultural sensitivity training is already in the works for officers but has nothing to do with this incident. Here’s an example of the eye-roll inducing card Israelah handed the officers:
The “White Privilege Card” is a widely available novelty card that fans of the former president can buy on Amazon in bulk. It vaguely recalls the homemade IDs of the Sovereign Citizen movement while, for some reason, looking like a credit card. While these are still considered for laughs, Sovereign Citizens can only dream of the day their goofy homemade IDs get them off with a few laughs and a warning from police.