Jury Awards Black Mother, Daughters $8.25M After Unlawful Police Search | Video

*A federal jury has awarded a Black mother and her two daughters $8.25 million after police unlawfully detained them and searched their vehicle outside a Starbucks in California in 2019. 

As KTVU reports, the jurors determined that deputies with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office violated the constitutional rights of Aasylei Loggervale and her daughters, Aaottae Loggervale and Aasyeli Hardege-Loggvervale, based on their skin color.

The Loggervales were traveling from their Las Vegas home to California’s Berkeley City College for the eldest daughter to take a statistics exam the next day. When they arrived in Castro Valley, Calif. on September 19, Loggervale pulled into a Starbucks parking lot. As The Washington Post reports, she and her daughters planned to use the bathroom and get coffee. But when sergeant Steven Holland knocked on her window, a tense confrontation ensued and resulted in the family being detained and interrogated on the spot by Holland and deputy Monica Pope.

In a confrontation captured on body-camera footage, Holland explains to Loggervale that he is investigating car break-ins in the area. When she refuses to hand over her identification, Holland orders all three family members out of the car. Loggervale and her daughters are handcuffed and detained in a patrol car without being cited for a crime. 

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When Loggervale asked Holland to call a supervisor, he repeatedly refused. 

Here’s more from WashPo:

Holland wrote in his report on the detentions that, in response to reports of car break-ins, officers had been on alert for young Black males in a silver vehicle like the one Loggervale was driving, according to Peters, who reviewed Alameda County Sheriff’s Office documents for the case.

But Holland’s report was wrong, Peters said. A report of a car break-in from the previous day described a Black male and a Latino male driving a two-door, dark gray hatchback as suspects who broke into a victim’s silver SUV.

The family was detained for hours and eventually released with no charges filed.

“Maybe he would have done the same thing if it was a carload of White women,” Craig Peters, one of the attorneys representing the Loggervales, told The Washington Post. “But that seems unlikely to me.”

On Wednesday, a jury awarded the Loggervales $8.25 million in damages. Per KTUV, “Specifically, the jury found Deputy Steven Holland liable for $2.7 million to mother Aasylei Loggervale and $2 million apiece to her daughters,” the outlet writes, adding that then-Deputy Monica Pope is “liable for $750,000 to both daughters, and that Alameda County is liable for the actions of its deputies.”

“They’re a rather private family,” Peters said. “But they felt that what had happened was really wrong, and so they were willing to file the lawsuit and try to hold the sheriff’s office accountable.”

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