THE THIN BLUE LINE
Aasylei Loggervale and her two teenage daughters had been driving all night. They set out at 10 p.m. from Loggervale’s Las Vegas home in September 2019 to complete the nine-hour trip to California’s Berkeley City College in time for Loggervale’s older daughter to take a statistics exam the next day.
They made an early morning stop in Castro Valley, Calif., where Loggervale pulled into a Starbucks parking lot. She and her daughters planned to use the bathroom and get coffee before driving the final 30 minutes to Berkeley.
Then a deputy from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office knocked on her window.
In a confrontation captured on body-camera footage, the deputy, Steven Holland, told Loggervale that he was investigating car break-ins in the area. He then asked to see Loggervale’s identification. Loggervale refused. She said she hadn’t done anything wrong and asked why she was being questioned.
Holland ordered all three family members out of the car and detained them, video shows. Officers handcuffed them and held them in a patrol car without citing them for a crime.
On Wednesday, a jury awarded the Loggervales $8.25 million in damages, concluding a years-long lawsuit against Alameda County, Holland and another deputy who assisted in handcuffing the family members. Craig Peters, one of the attorneys representing the Loggervales, said the sum was increased by a California law, the Bane Act, that allows juries to quadruple damages awarded in cases involving a violation of constitutional rights.
They were never told why they were being detained – for an hour at that – but were released without any charges. Instead, they left with the trauma of being treated like a criminal while having done nothing wrong. In their lawsuit, they accused the deputies of false arrest, invasion of privacy, negligence and violations of their 1st, 4th and 14th Amendments.
The internal investigation into the deputies actions found they did nothing wrong. However, a grand jury found the deputies and the county liable for the accusations indicated in the lawsuit.
“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. And instead, they wanted to sweep it under the rug,” said their family attorney, Craig Peters via Fox 2.