Listen to this article Jury Awards $8.25M To Black Mother And Daughters Handcuffed At Starbucks.
In 2019, Alameda County sheriff’s deputies unlawfully searched a black mother and her two daughters, and handcuffed them. The incident occurred while they were on their way to a college math test in Berkeley.The incident took place at a Castro Valley Starbucks and left the family traumatized.
A federal jury recently awarded the black mother and daughters $8.25 million as compensation for the violation of their constitutional rights. Specifically, the jury found that the family’s constitutional rights had been stripped from them because of their skin color. This award highlights the jury’s belief that the family’s skin color played a significant role in the unjust treatment they received from law enforcement officers.
The jury found Deputy Steven Holland and then-Deputy Monica Pope responsible for the actions of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office during the trial. The jury found them guilty of false arrest, invasion of privacy, negligence, and violations of the 1st, 4th, and 14th Amendments.
Attorneys Joseph May and Brian Gearinger were responsible for litigating the civil trial. Furthermore, they played a critical role in presenting compelling evidence to support the family’s constitutional rights, thereby ensuring a favorable outcome for their clients.
The family’s attorney, Craig Peters, spoke on their behalf and stated that the officers had an “implicit bias” that contributed to the family’s unjust treatment. Peters also emphasized that if the same scenario had happened to white women, it would have played out differently.
The Impact of Implicit Bias
Implicit bias is a type of unconscious prejudice that affects how individuals perceive and interact with others. It can be particularly damaging in law enforcement, as it can lead to unfair treatment of individuals based on their race or ethnicity.
This case highlights the impact of implicit bias on individuals and communities. Unjust treatment by law enforcement officers can cause significant emotional and psychological trauma to individuals, even if they are not physically harmed, as demonstrated by the experience of the family.
The Significance of This Verdict
The verdict clearly communicates that law enforcement officers should be accountable for their actions, especially if they violate an individual’s constitutional rights. It also underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing implicit bias in law enforcement to ensure fair and just treatment for all individuals, regardless of their skin color.