An investigation was launched after a person believed to be a police officer from Anchorage, Alaska, appeared in a photo with a woman in town for a Donald Trump rally displaying a novel “white privilege card.”
The social media post raised concerns about racial equality in Alaska’s largest city.
Mimi Israelah claimed in a Facebook post that she was pulled over for knitting at 3:43 a.m. while driving to a pizzeria in Anchorage after arriving on an early morning flight from California for Trump’s rally on Saturday to support the candidates. local Republicans he supports.
“Officer Bo” asked for his driver’s license but couldn’t find it, he wrote on Facebook.
“When I saw my White Privilege card, I told him if it was okay,” he wrote. “He laughed and called her partner. It’s the first time they see a White Privileged (sic) card,” she said.
The top of the novelty card reads: “The White Privilege Card Trumps All.”
Israelah in her Twitter bio describes herself as Pinay, or a woman of Filipino origin.
A video apparently taken by Israelah of the encounter has been reposted on Twitter. She sees two officers standing outside the window of her car. She asks one: “Do you like my White Privilege card?” The unidentified officer says, “That’s funny.”
In the Facebook comments shown at the end of the video, someone asks if he got a ticket. She replied, “no.”
The original Facebook post has since been deleted, but screenshots and video appear on social media.
It was not immediately clear if disciplinary action would be taken against the officers involved or if Israelah was actually issued a citation.
“According to the city attorney’s office, we are unable to answer these questions as the incident is currently under investigation and relates to personnel matters,” Anchorage police spokesperson Sunny Guerin said in an email to The Associated. Press.
Attempts to contact Israelah through his Facebook page were not immediately successful.
Police Chief Michael Kerle posted a message on the department’s website Tuesday.
“Our mission is to protect and serve our community in the most professional and compassionate manner possible,” he wrote. “Our vision is to create an environment where everyone matters.”
Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Alaska Black Caucus, an advocacy group for black and indigenous people of color, said, “When you’re not able to acknowledge black lives, you just don’t reach all lives.”
Hodge Growden said that she was disappointed by the image. She also wants to know what the consequences would be for Israelah if she didn’t have her driver’s license and was knitting while she was driving.
“I know there are people of color who knit and get tickets,” she said. “They don’t have that white privilege, the card to get out of a citation.”
Anchorage Police Sgt. Jeremy Conkling, president of the Anchorage police union, said the officers involved have received a notice of investigation.
Conkling told the Anchorage Daily News he knew little about the situation and couldn’t say how many officers were under investigation.
“There is always more to the story than a photograph tells,” said Conkling, who did not immediately return an AP message.
When the investigation is complete, Hodge Growden said the results should be made public.