A mother and her two daughters were unlawfully arrested outside a Starbucks in 2019 for being Black and minding their business. Now, the county sheriff’s office owes them $8.25 million in settlement money for violating their civil rights, per Fox 2 KTVU.
A few years ago, Alameda County sheriff’s deputies approached Aasylei Loggervale and her two teenage daughters while they sat parked outside a Starbucks. The report says the family had been driving from Nevada to take the eldest daughter to a statistics exam at Berkeley College. The deputies approached their vehicle, unprovoked, and told the women they were on patrol for car burglaries committed by Black men. Suddenly, the conversation turned into an interrogation as the deputies began badgering Ms. Loggervale with questions.
The encounter escalated from questioning the validity of her handicap tag to grabbing her out of her vehicle to put her in handcuffs.
Read more about the incident from Fox 2 KTVU:
The deputies also demanded to see the elder Loggervale’s identification, which she declined to provide. Under the 4th Amendment, citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable searches, which includes being asked for ID if an officer can’t articulate that a person has committed a crime.
“Ms. Loggervale did not want to engage further with defendants because as a Black person, she feared the encounter could result in serious physical harm or death to her and/or her daughters,” the original civil suit stated.
Still, the deputies arrested the women, put them in the back of their patrol car and searched their trunk.
They were never told why they were being detained - for an hour at that - but were released without any charges. Instead, they left with the trauma of being treated like a criminal while having done nothing wrong. In their lawsuit, they accused the deputies of false arrest, invasion of privacy, negligence and violations of their 1st, 4th and 14th Amendments.
The internal investigation into the deputies actions found they did nothing wrong. However, a grand jury found the deputies and the county liable for the accusations indicated in the lawsuit.
“I think what makes me upset is that the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office didn’t take the initiative to correct what to me seems like such an easy thing to have corrected early on. And instead, they wanted to sweep it under the rug,” said their family attorney, Craig Peters via Fox 2.
It was swept so far under the rug the two deputies accused of implicit bias have been promoted to sergeants.