Whom among us has never tried to talk our way out of a ticket? One woman was apparently successful after flashing a “white privilege” card and having a laugh with officers.
But now those officers might be in trouble.
Mimi Israelah, who is of Filipino descent, was pulled over on July 7 after officers from Anchorage, Alaska, noticed she was weaving in a lane during the early morning hours. When she couldn’t find her license, Israelah flashed a novelty “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything” card and had a laugh with officers.
“He asked for my driver’s license,” Israelah wrote in a Facebook post. “I looked in my wallet but couldn’t find it. When I saw my White Privilege card, I gave [it] to him … He laughed and called his partner. It’s their first time to see a White Privileged card.”
In video she posted online, one officer calls the card “hilarious” and notes that the card is valid until “death.”
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
A variation of “white privilege” cards are sold online, ranging from about $10-$15. One sold on Amazon reads, “Member Since: Birth,” and “Good Thru: Death.”
Israelah said in the Facebook post that she bought hers from conservative commentators known as the Hodgetwins. The duo, who are black, currently sell two “cards” in their collection: an “Official Race Card” and a “Reparations Card,” each $10.
Anchorage Police Chief Michael Kerle released a statement on the matter last month after complaints, claiming the officers were involved in an incident “a lot of people” thought was “inappropriate.”
Subsequently, the two officers, identified as Nicholas Bowe and Charles Worland, were placed on administrative leave for an 11-day investigation, the New York Post reported.
Bowe and Worland were found to have violated department policy, though it’s unclear which policy they violated or if the officers were further punished. Bowe and Worland are still employed by the department.
“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, the Post noted.
Some online commenters seemed to side with the officers and Israelah. “Lmfao you people realize this is a gosh darn joke right?” one person said, with another writing, “She’s not even white.”
“She has sense of humor, we are human, we might forget the license in the wallet or purse at home, it happens, not on purpose people go out driving without their license,” another comment said. “Cops give you a break sometimes after you have showed them other id and they check them with your registration.”
Below is the full message issued from Chief Kerle on July 12:
Message from the Chief,
I want to personally address the community to provide some clarity regarding our internal standards of conduct and ensure that it is clear to Anchorage citizens what the expectation of APD employees are and how we interact with our community.
As law enforcement professionals, we are held accountable for our actions, and I am aware that the action of one officer can impact the trust between the police force and our community. I know we are all human. But we belong to a profession that does not tolerate, practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any form of discrimination. This profession requires our employees to treat everyone with respect and be culturally aware and competent.
Our mission is to protect and serve our community in the most professional and compassionate manner possible. Our vision is to create an environment where everyone matters. As the Chief of Police, I take these two statements to heart. We must work hard to foster a healthy relationship with the community and work even harder to maintain that relationship. We will continue to work diligently to maintain a positive relationship with our community. That relationship is earned by the hard-working people, who show up every day and embody our mission and vision.
I am grateful to serve a community that shows our police department overwhelming support and I don’t take this support lightly.
Chief Michael Kerle