It was bound to happen eventually… another Santa Clara Co. Sheriff’s Office botched investigation goes national. Rolling Stone will have the Audrie Pott story in their Sept. 26th issue, it is already on-line (link at bottom of this blog post).
A lot of things in this article caught my eye about this long standing case which we’re hearing the beginning echoes of “not enough evidence” yet again. This statement in particular drew my attention: “In the wake of Audrie’s death, Saratoga police agreed with school administrators to wait until the following week, September 17th, to initiate an investigation to “allow students, friends and staff to mourn and grieve.” A signature move of the Sheriff’s administration making decisions. Delay and hope it goes away so we don’t have to spend to much on resources to investigate an actual crime.
School administrators making decisions on when police investigate the sexual assault and death of a young teen? Police (let’s be clear, they say Saratoga Police, we know it’s Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office) agreeing to put off an investigation into a death for a week? Phones destroyed, conversations removed during this week of legal reprieve? What administrator made this outrageous decision and who in their right minds backed it? Who sat in an office, meeting with school administrators and agreed to this? What person up the ladder nodded their head in agreement and didn’t ream out the person who sat in that meeting and made that decision?
It’s just more shades of DeAnza, delayed investigations lead to cases that sit in purgatory for years, if they go anywhere ever — we all know the DeAnza case won’t. Don’t you wonder if those young men would be sitting in prison today if the Sheriff and her Captain found crime a more serious issue than paying overtime to detectives? A lot of deputies wonder that to this day, I imagine many of them are still sick over it. A lot of them seem to be sick over this investigation too.
And of course Sierra Lamar, where a young girl’s clothes and purse are found on the side of the road two days after she goes missing, yet more than a week later she’s being treated as a “missing person” rather than a victim of a crime because there’s “no proof”. How many 14/15 year old girls do you know strip down, drop their neatly folded clothes and purse on the ground and stroll off down the street naked? They have a suspect in custody. Of course his plea keeps being delayed because his legal team is still waiting for “evidence from the Sheriff’s Office” a year later, a team which says there are concerns about the way in which the investigation was conducted.
Then you have all the sex offenders in violation who “wouldn’t have been arrested” if it wasn’t for Sierra Lamar. Really? What is the SAFE task force doing day to day if they’re not on these people unless there is a missing girl? If you look at the Sheriff’s informational page about the SAFE program, this is exactly what they do, track down sex offenders who are in violation. Maybe it would be what they do if the SAFE deputy stuck around and did his job once in awhile instead of just disappearing into the mists to do whatever the hell he pleases because he’s a Sheriff’s “tool” and therefore untouchable. Yes, being a Sheriff’s tool is also more important than doing your job to protect the well-being and safety of the public.
It makes you wonder how many young girl’s lives have been left behind because the Sheriff doesn’t want to spend money on overtime seeking out the bad guys that tax payers have tasked her office with getting off our streets?
All we can hope is, despite the typical penchant of the Sheriff’s administration to not investigate until there is a media spotlight, we can only hope that Audrie finds peace on the other side, even if she won’t get justice here.