Jury Awards Black Mother and Daughters $8.5M After Being Handcuffed by Cops at Starbucks

Jury Awards Black Mother and Daughters $8.5M After Being Handcuffed by Cops at Starbucks

In 2019, a Black mother and her daughters were harassed and detained by police officers outside of a Starbucks in Castro Valley, California. They sued based on the interaction and were recently awarded close to $10 million for the encounter.

According to The Sacramento Bee, a California jury awarded a mother, Aasylei Loggervale, and her two daughters, Aasylei Hardge-Loggervale and Aaottae Loggervale, $8.25 million. The final judgment on March 1 was a unanimous verdict, according to court documents filed in the United States District Court of Northern California.

On September 20, 2019, Aasylei was driving her two daughters, then 19 and 17, to their respective colleges from Nevada to California. They stopped at a Starbucks in Castro Valley, about 25 miles southeast of San Francisco.

They were resting in their vehicle and preparing to go inside, when they were approached by two deputies with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

The deputies claimed that there were several cars that had been broken into in the area. When one of the police officers requested Aasylei Loggervale’s identification, she refused. According to the lawsuit, she stated “As a Black person, she feared that the encounter could result in serious physical harm or death to her and/or her daughters.” The deputy insisted that Loggervale turn over her driver’s license to him. She told him several times that she didn’t have anything to do with any car thefts.

While this was going on, her daughters started to record the encounter on their phones. When the mother exited the vehicle to use the bathroom at Starbucks, the deputy informed her that all three of them were being detained.

The police officers handcuffed the mother and daughters and “forcefully” placed the three into patrol vehicles. The officers then searched their vehicle and belongings. The family was held for several minutes, although “no reasonable suspicion existed to detain” them, the lawsuit stated. They were later released without a ticket or charges against them. All  three of them had abrasions on their wrists and arms. Along with suffering physical pain, they also suffered “emotional distress, fear (and) embarrassment.”

Their attorney, Craig Peters, said, “If you retell this story, and you make this family into three white women, I think you get a very different result.”

The final judgment stipulated that one of the deputies and the county must pay $2.75 million to Aasylei and $2 million to Aasylei and Aaottae. The other deputy who took part in the incident, as well as the county, must pay $750,000 to each daughter.