Black Mom and Two Daughters Get $8.25M After Being Handcuffed on Their Way to a Math Test

Aasylei Loggervale

A federal jury awarded $8.25 million to a mother and her two daughters after Alameda County sheriff’s deputies wrongfully searched and handcuffed them outside a Castro Valley Starbucks.

According to KTVU, the event occurred in September 2019 as Aasylei Loggervale and her two daughters – Aaottae and Aasyeli Hardege-Loggervale – were on their way to Berkeley. Aasyeli Hardege-Loggervale had a collegiate math exam that day. Even though the deputies did not physically injure the women, the amount awarded apparently demonstrates that the jurors determined the family’s fundamental rights were infringed due to 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.”

Deputies Steven Holland and Monica Pope approached Aasylei Loggervale and her two daughters as they were inside a rented Cadillac. At the time, the automobile was parked outside a Starbucks.

During the interaction, the deputies informed the family that they were looking into unknown Black guys who were responsible for auto burglaries. But, Peters stated that a police investigation revealed that one of the suspects was identified as a Latino guy, according to KTVU. The other suspect was described as a Black male. The family was initially relieved because they believed they were being warned about the crime.

But things quickly escalated, as authorities began questioning Aasylei Loggervale about her permission to park in the disabled place. Meanwhile, a banner was visible in the car’s window. Deputies also requested identification from the mother. She, however, declined.

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. This includes requesting identification from a person if an officer cannot explain why a crime was 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.

After arresting and handcuffing the family, the deputies searched their vehicle. The mother was also charged with “battery” after the car door hit Holland when she opened it. But, the evidence presented in court proved different. Throughout the interaction, the women were also heard crying.

After being imprisoned for more than an hour, the family was freed. According to Peters, an internal affairs inquiry conducted in the aftermath of the interaction exonerated the deputies of any misconduct. The two deputies are now sergeants.

“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.”

Leave a Reply