Detective Sandra Aldridge

CONVEYOR BELT INJUSTICE

FLAWED MODELS WITHIN A BROKEN SYSTEM

In 1968, Herbert Packer, a Stanford University law professor, identified two distinct methodologies that co-exist within the criminal justice system:  The Crime Control Model and the Due Process Model. While conflicting principles exist between these two modes of criminal administration, they are each beneficial for the efficient and effective operation of the judicial system.

On the surface, the two approaches can be summarized as follows:

 

CRIME CONTROL MODEL

DUE PROCESS MODEL

FOCUSES ON:

 

… swift adjudication and punishment

 

… protecting the rights of the accused

 

BELIEF THAT: … legal technicalities hinder police work & should be disregarded for the sake of criminal apprehension, adjudication & punishment … constitutional rights are not technicalities & should be guidelines to assure fairness and consistency within the legal process
 

DETERMINATION OF GUILT:

 

… occurs during investigation; relies heavily on law enforcement decision making

 

… occurs during court process & relies heavily on defense attorney adversarial process

Amid explanations, comparisons and commentary of Packer’s opposing theories, a subtle but shocking reality surfaces:  Both models operate under the assumption that once arrested and charged, the accused is considered a criminal.

Packer separates ‘the law abiding citizens” from “the criminals” and then defines criminals as those who have been arrested and charged.  Both models assume that if  police make an arrest and a prosecutor files criminal charges, the accused is presumed guilty because the fact‐finding of police and prosecutors is reliable. This premise fails to acknowledge misconduct and mistakes, whether intentional or inadvertent, particularly in relation to actions of law enforcement during the early stages of investigation.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT & WRONGFUL CONVICTION

The National Registry of Exonerations, a joint project of University of Michigan Law School and the Center for Wrongful Conviction at Northwestern University, has been tracking and studying the nation’s exonerations since 1989.  According to the organization’s statistics, in 47% of exonerated cases, “OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT” was identified as a factor.  The Registry defines official misconduct as follows:

“Police, prosecutors, or other government officials significantly abused their authority or the judicial process in a manner that contributed to the exoneree’s wrongful conviction.”

WHEN A DISHONEST DETECTIVE IS COLLECTOR OF EVIDENCE & CONVEYOR OF FACTS

Abuse of authority by VPD Detective Sandra Aldridge has led to numerous formal complains, wrongful convictions and civil actions against her.

As evidenced in a 4-year span of probable cause statements,  Aldridge makes bold and frequent claims about the absolute guilt of the accused within the first few hours of being assigned each case. This occurs prior to forensic analysis, witness interviews, jail phone call surveillance, or formal review of evidence.

Through  criminal appeals, state and federal civil actions, and in over 20 internal affairs complaints since 2014, Detective Aldridge’s conduct and integrity have been brought under scrutiny in the following categories:  Bias-based policing; submitting false reports; evidence tampering; unlawful search and seizure, mishandling of evidence; unbecoming conduct; misuse of work email; false arrest; neglect of duty; falsification in search warrants; failure to investigate, witness intimidation, witness tampering, harassment and retaliation.

DETECTIVE SANDRA ALDRIDGE & “CONVEYOR BELT” INJUSTICE

VPD Detective Sandra Aldridge uses a templated  system to create probability of conviction through false reporting and tampering with evidence within the first 24 hours of an investigation–well before case information reaches the prosecutor. Because she operates alone and without direct supervision, Aldridge’s official misconduct occurs in the shadows and continues to go unchecked.

**Upcoming segments of the investigative series “Conveyor Belt Injustice” will reveal specific elements of a pattern and practice of official misconduct by Vancouver Police Department Detective Sandra Aldridge.  Her unremitting violations of policy, procedure, civil rights and law have been exposed and documented over time, litigated in State and Federal courts, reported to–and marginalized by—Vancouver Police Department’s Professional Standards Unit and command staff, and are now drawing the attention of federal authorities.

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