Woman Flashed “White Privilege” Card at Traffic Stop and Was Let Go

The card stated, “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything.”

Mimi Israelah during a "Save America" rally on July 9, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Credit: Getty Images
Mimi Israelah during a "Save America" rally on July 9, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Credit: Getty Images

Two Anchorage, AK, police officers are under fire for an incident that took place last month, in which they allegedly didn’t ticket a woman they pulled over after she showed them a “white privilege card” in place of her driver’s license.

Anchorage Police Department Director of Community Relations Sunny Guerin said that officers Nicholas Bowe and Charles Worland conducted a traffic stop on July 7 “for a car weaving in the lane.” It’s unclear what department policy the officers violated or whether they faced punitive action.

“The investigation regarding the incident is completed and is a part of confidential personnel files that will not be released publicly,” Guerin said.

The woman, Mimi Israelah, shared a Facebook post several days after the incident, saying she had been pulled over by police after arriving in Anchorage for a Trump rally. The since-deleted post showed Israelah posing for a selfie with Bowe as she displayed her “white privilege card,” which she claimed worked in place of her driver’s license. The card stated, “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything.”

“When I saw my White Privilege card, I gave to him if it’s ok,” Israelah wrote in the Facebook post. “He laughed and called his partner. It’s their first time to see a White Privileged (sic) card.”


 

In a video purportedly taken by Israelah during the interaction — but posted by someone else — she can be heard asking the officers if they like the card. One officer can be heard replying, “That’s hilarious.”

During a Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Sean Case said, “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 added that both Bowe and Worland were placed on administrative leave while the nearly two-week investigation took place.

Others were far from satisfied with the way the situation was handled. “As a Black person, I was truly offended,” Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Alaska Black Caucus, said. “And maybe some can’t understand that because they’re not a person of color, they’re not Black, but that was deeply offensive to members within our community and to some that are racially profiled by law enforcement. ... I can’t understand why the officers found that humorous.”

In the wake of the backlash the Anchorage Police Department received, Chief Michael Kerle issued a statement saying, “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.”

The statement didn’t directly address the incident between Israelah and the two officers.