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WPD says it took appropriate disciplinary action after May use of force

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department says it took appropriate disciplinary action after a May arrest involving use of force.

WPD has released information about the arrest of Stanley Aldridge, 54, including a video of the incident.

Police say at 9:21 p.m. on May 7, two officers responded to a breaking and entering call at a beauty salon near Princess Place Drive. The caller told dispatch that the suspect was headed toward the Wells Fargo Bank. Officers found Aldridge, who police say fit the description of the suspect, in the area. Aldridge was sitting in a parking lot at 4195 Market Street.

The video shows Mr. Aldridge being approached by two Wilmington Police Officers and after a lengthy verbal exchange and a brief physical altercation, he was arrested and charged with Drunk and Disruptive and Resisting Arrest.

While reviewing the incident, WPD spokeswoman Linda Rawley says the department’s Internal Affairs Division noted tactics during the arrest that warranted further investigation. A copy of the video was shown to the District Attorney’s Office, which declined to press charges.

“I saw no actions on the part of either officer that would amount to a criminal offense,” Assistant District Attorney Tom Old wrote in a July 2 letter.

Old’s review said that Aldridge was clearly intoxicated, and that officers R.S. Young and C.K. Crumpler did everything they could to make sure Aldridge was safe as they put him into a police car. That’s when Aldridge he became combative, Old said. Aldridge was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, drunk and disruptive and resisting arrest.

Despite the decision not to pursue criminal charges, WPD conducted an internal affairs investigation into any possible policy violations. Rawley said appropriate disciplinary action has been taken internally as a result of that investigation.

“We are committed to policing our community and the officers of our agency,” Chief Ralph Evangelous said in a statement. “It is imperative that we hold our employees to the same standards that we hold our citizens.”

Aldridge could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tune in tonight to WWAY NewsChannel 3 for more on this story, including a look at the video.

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