A federal jury found that sheriff’s deputies wrongfully detained a black family at a Northern California Starbucks and ordered it to pay $8.25 million in damages.
Aasyli Loggervale and her two daughters pulled into a Starbucks in Castro Valley, about 25 miles southeast of downtown San Francisco, in September 2019 when Alameda County sheriff’s deputies pulled them over for auto theft, according to her federal lawsuit. Was handcuffed in this connection.
Jurors earlier this month found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded damages of $2.75 million to each of the three.
Their attorney, Craig Peters, told NBC News on Thursday, “It’s confirmation and recognition for the Lagerwels that they’ve been wronged and that means a lot.”
The plaintiffs said the deputies, who are white, allegedly told them they were being investigated for “car thefts committed by unknown black males” in recent months.
Logarvale refused to show her driver’s license as she and her daughters, 19 and 17 years old at the time of the incident, “firmly but calmly” stated that they had done nothing wrong and had nothing to do with any auto theft, stated in his civil complaint.
All three were handcuffed as the deputy searched their car, purse, and cell phone before being released without citations or criminal charges.
A federal jury in the Northern District of California found that Deputies and Alameda County violated the constitutional rights of Asailie Logarvale and her daughters, Aotea Lagarvale and Asailie Hardge-Lagarvale, and violated state civil protections against police harassment.
“The community’s trust in my agency is fundamental to my mission to maintain positive relationships with the people we serve,” Alameda County Sheriff Yesenia Sanchez said in a statement to NBC News on Thursday.
“The facts of this case are extremely important to me and the members of our community, however, I must reserve my comment until the matter has been fully decided through the court system.”
The county has until the end of the month to file an appeal, and Peters said Thursday that defense attorneys have given him no indication whether his side will continue the legal battle.
Representatives from the Alameda County Council Department and the county supervisor representing Castro Valley could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
A sheriff’s spokesman said the two deputies who took Logarwale and her daughters into custody are still employed by the department.
Logarvale’s two daughters are about to graduate from college this spring; Aote Logervale from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Asily Hardge-Logervale from UCLA.
“I really hope that this (lawsuit) becomes an opportunity for everyone to sit down together and say, ‘Okay, this is a problem, how do we solve it?’ Peters said.
“How can we empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs in a way that it’s not disproportionately impacting communities of color?”
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