BY Francis Akhalbey, 7:02am March 08, 2023,

Black mom and her two daughters get $8.25M after being handcuffed on their way to a math test

Aasylei Loggervale and her daughters were unlawfully handcuffed and searched -- Image via KTVU

A mother and her two daughters were awarded $8.25 million by a federal jury after Alameda County sheriff’s deputies unlawfully searched and handcuffed them during an encounter outside a Castro Valley Starbucks.

According to KTVU, the September 2019 incident happened when Aasylei Loggervale and her two daughters – Aaottae and Aasyeli Hardege-Loggervale – were heading to Berkeley. Aasyeli Hardege-Loggervale was to undertake a college math test that day. And though the deputies did not physically harm the women, the amount awarded reportedly shows that the jurors determined the constitutional rights of the family were violated because of their race.

“I think that everybody recognizes we all have implicit bias,” the attorney representing the family, Craig Peters, said. “I have it. You have it. We’ve all got it. These officers are no different. And so, subconsciously, there was something going on that made them unreasonably suspicious of this family. I think that if this same scenario happened and these were white women, it would have played out very differently.” 

Aasylei Loggervale and her two daughters were inside a Cadillac they had rented when deputies Steven Holland and Monica Pope approached them. The vehicle was parked outside a Starbucks store at the time. 

During the encounter, the deputies informed the family they were investigating unknown Black men who were behind car burglaries. But Peters said a police report revealed one of the suspects was identified as a Latino man, KTVU reported. The other suspect was said to be a Black man. The family were initially grateful as they thought they were being cautioned about the crime. 

But things escalated and the deputies started asking Aasylei Loggervale if she had the right to park in the disabled spot. Meanwhile, the car visibly had a placard displayed in the window. The deputies also asked the mother to provide her identification. But she refused.

The 4th amendment protects citizens from being unreasonably searched. This includes asking an individual to provide identification if an officer cannot explain that a crime has been committed.

“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 suit stated.

The deputies ultimately searched their vehicle after they arrested the family and handcuffed them. The deputies also accused the mother of “battery” after the car door hit Holland when she opened it. But the footage that was shown in court proved otherwise. The women were also heard crying during the encounter.

The family were released after they were detained for more than an hour. Peters said an Internal Affairs investigation that was done in the wake of the encounter cleared the deputies of any wrongdoing. The two deputies are sergeants now.

“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,” Peters said. “And instead, they wanted to sweep it under the rug.”

Peters added that it would have made sense if someone in the sheriff’s office probably said, “we need to fix this, let’s talk to this family, apologize, say, ‘Hey, we were wrong, we’re working on this,’ do some retraining. That would have been the responsible thing to do.” 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 8, 2023

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