CLARK COUNTY OFFICIALS CHOOSE PRISONER “CHAIN” TRANSPORT
N.B., an Arizona working wife, mother, and grandmother with no criminal history, was arrested in her home town and held for two weeks without bail. Unaware that this bad dream was about to turn into a hellish nightmare, N.B. waited in a jail cell from March 14th through March 28th for an extradition decision from Clark County, Washington. During that time, she was granted an extended leave of absence from her job, and she relied heavily on the moral support of her husband through visits and frequent phone calls.
On Thursday, March 29th, without prior notice or opportunity to notify her husband, N.B. was put in shackles and added to a prisoner “chain” transport that would take her from one jail facility to another, through multiple states, over a period of up to 15 days. The “chain” transfer method of extradition is the cheapest for the requesting jurisdiction costing from $1.50-2.00 per mile (between $2,000 – 3,000 for Clark County in N.B.’s case). However, it is also known to be the most harsh and abusive method of transport, even by hardened criminals.
According to reports from inmates who have endured the transport “chain”, as well as documentation from numerous lawsuits, conditions during these extradition trips range from “extremely uncomfortable and degrading” to “high risk to health”, and even “risk of death”. Multiple reports corroborate lack of food (2 fast food meals per day), no change of clothes or opportunity to shower for up to two weeks, denial of medical treatment, limited and/or denied phone communication, overcrowding of prisoner transport vehicles, sleeping on floors without adequate bedding, long term shackling and related sores, and limited access to bathroom facilities resulting in urination and excretion in containers while traveling, to be discarded during fuel stops.
RETALIATORY ARREST BY VPD OFFICER
On March 14, 2018, Vancouver Police Officer Sandra Aldridge arranged for the execution of an out-of-state arrest of the Arizona grandmother. N.B. had filed multiple complaints against Aldridge for bias-based policing and ongoing retaliation beginning in early December 2017. Carney’s complaint represents just one of multiple current IA investigations against Aldridge.
N.B.’s concerns about the conduct of Officer Aldridge began after her son was arrested at a Vancouver hospital on November 18, 2017. He had just undergone emergency surgery for a life-threatening stab wound that severed an artery ¾ of an inch below his heart.
To ascertain information about the incident leading to her son’s arrest, N.B. contacted Vancouver PD and was referred to Aldridge, who had been assigned to investigate the case. According to N.B., the conversation became adversarial after Officer Aldridge informed her that her son was guilty regardless of circumstances. The officer then added a casual comment about the excessive amount of N.B.’s son’s blood found in the driver’s seat of his car.
Over three months after the initial phone contact, and while under investigation in relation to N.B.’s formal complaints, Officer Aldridge initiated a warrant for the arrest of N.B. for 1 count of “Tampering with a Witness” (RCW 9A.72.120(1)(a)). This charge was based on two voice messages from N.B. to her son’s girlfriend left within days of the November incident, while N.B. was still trying to piece together what had happened to her son.
While Aldridge mentioned conducting hours of jail phone call surveillance between N.B. and her son in the PC statement, she failed to include N.B.’s references to the complaints she had filed against Aldridge, or the criticisms made of Aldridge’s conduct by N.B. during the phone calls. Officer Sandra Aldridge has a court documented history of being triggered by criticisms of her police work.
A FAMILY TRAUMATIZED WHILE OTHER AVAILABLE OPTIONS ARE IGNORED
N.B. could have been served a summons that would have required her to appear in Clark County to answer to the charge filed against her, at her own expense rather than Clark County’s. She could have been transported privately by Clark County Sheriff’s Deputies from Arizona to Washington, either by land or air. Instead, she and her husband have been subjected to a kind of trauma that is reprehensible and likely irreparable.
On this Easter weekend, N.B. is at an unknown jail location somewhere between Arizona and Washington, separated from her husband and the 5 year-old grandson they are raising together. According to her husband, N.B. is frightened and prays for an end to this ordeal. He says he wakes up every 30 minutes through the night from worry and has lost faith in this country’s justice system.
Officer Sandra Aldridge’s name remains as the “authority to contact” on N.B.’s warrant for arrest and extradition paperwork.