Need Not Apply Has Turned to Need Not Comply. The following article has been written by Mike Simonelli. It includes editorial content which is the opinion of the writer.
Two headlines on March 9, 2023, detailed remarkably divergent outcomes from what should have been ‘routine traffic stops’ where the law enforcement officers (LEOs) asked a few questions and possibly issued a few tickets. During both incidents, the LEOs acted lawfully, and the drivers refused to comply with their instructions. In the end, one stop turned an uncooperative family into multi-millionaires and the other resulted in an armed male being the subject of justified deadly force.
Bodycam footage shows would-be cop killer pull out a gun, open fire on officer from just feet away
The first incident happened over three year ago, but the outcome of the lawsuit was just recently announced. In that case, on September 20, 2019, Alameda County deputy sheriffs observed an occupied vehicle with out of state plates parked in a Starbucks parking lot that had numerous vehicle break-ins during recent mornings. Upon deputies approaching the vehicle, Aasylei Loggervale turned the vehicle on, rolled down the window and was informed of the reason for the stop. After Loggervale explained that she rented the car in Nevada and just drove through the night from there, the deputy requested her identification. At that point body camera video shows Loggervale repeatedly refused, telling the deputy, “I do not have to give you my ID, I’m not doing anything wrong. No I don’t.” Loggervale and her two daughters then refused to comply with the deputy’s orders to remain in the vehicle. When the three females exited the vehicle they were handcuffed and detained as the deputy looked for the driver’s license and ran it in the database. When the driver, passengers and vehicle came back without any alerts, the three ladies were uncuffed and released in just over an hour from start to finish. Had Loggervale cooperated, the whole incident would have taken less than 10 minutes. In the lawsuit that was filed, a northern California jury unanimously ruled the deputies violated the women’s constitutional rights and awarded them $8.25 million.
In the second incident, body camera video from March 1, 2023, shows Farmington, Utah police officers speaking to Chase Allen while he is in the driver’s seat of his vehicle. Allen was pulled over because an officer noticed his vehicle had an invalid paper license plate and was not registered. Consistent with his history of noncooperation with government authority, Allen “asserted his independence from the laws of the land” and told the officer, “I don’t need registration and I don’t answer questions.” Despite the officers repeated commands, Allen refused to show his drivers license and to exit his vehicle. When the officers were forcefully pulling him out of his vehicle, they became alarmed when they saw Allen was armed and going for the gun. Shouts of “GUN! GUN! GUN!” are heard from the officers as they opened fire and shot Allen multiple times, killing him.
Contrary to what anti-police activists might believe, drivers across the United States are required to present a valid driver’s license upon the request of a LEO during a vehicle and traffic stop. Section B of California Vehicle Code 12951 CVC and Utah Code § 76-8-301.5 state as much and inform it is a misdemeanor for any driver who fails to do so. The LEOs in these two incidents were proactively policing and conducted lawful car stops. As the interactions proceeded, the officers’ suspicions were raised and they wanted to confirm the motorists had valid licenses and were lawfully in possession of the vehicle. The officers did not treat either motorist differently because of their race, but race has everything to do with how the officers were treated in the end.
Alameda County borders San Francisco and encompasses the other ultra-liberal and since 2019, the ultra-defund the police populations of Berkely and Oakland. Had the Alameda County deputies broken the law and illegally detained the family they surely would have been criminally charged. However, the Internal Affairs investigation cleared the deputies of any wrongdoing and they have since been promoted. Race was brought to the forefront in the civil suit which “claimed the mother didn’t want to further engage with the defendants “because as a Black person,” she was afraid of “serious physical harm or death to her and/or her daughters.”” Loggervale’s remarks mirror the false but repeated narrative by the mainstream media, progressive politicians, and social justice activists. The jury award of $8.25 million from the county and the two deputies to the black mother and her teenage daughters wasn’t about the law. The massive payout was about revenge for perceived “systemic and institutional racism”. It was about “equity.” And for the ultra-liberal jurists, it was an opportunity for them to personally rebuke the rule of law and “defund the police.”
Our police are dying now more than ever, let’s show them we care
Fortunately, the deadly force shooting by the police officers in Utah was of a white male in a conservative state. The fact that Allen was armed and going for the weapon should be the determinant factor, but as witnessed in the outrage over numerous recent fatal police shootings, race is more important. The aftermath of the justified deadly force shootings of: an armed Ma’Khia Bryant who was about to stab another girl; an armed Alton Sterling who was going for the gun in his pocket; an armed Philando Castile who was going for the gun in his pocket; an armed Keith Lamont Scott who refused to drop the gun in his hand; and an armed Atatiana Jefferson who pointed a gun at a police officer, all prove that when the person killed by police is black, their race trumps everything else. Since Allen was a white male, his shooting will be correctly classified as justified based upon the facts and there will be no protests, riots, political pandering, fanfare, wrongful convictions or million-dollar payouts.
This is not how our criminal justice system is supposed to work. This is not how our civil society is supposed to work. This is not how Americans are supposed to be judged. Yes, that’s how it was in the 1800’s but a civil war and civil rights movement have been fought and won to ensure we are all treated equally. Those signs in the window telling certain racial and ethnic groups they need not apply for the job were wrong then. Telling people based upon their race or political ideology they need not comply with the police is wrong now. The modern progressive movement is taking America backwards, replacing equality with equity, racism with anti-racism, and denigrating the rule of law for all.
Mike Simonelli is a retired US Army officer who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an active police officer in New York for 23 years. His book on policing can be found at www.jdfinformation.com.