Letters to the Editor

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LAKEWOOD: Former officer was a good cop

Letter by Mackenzie S. Fleming, Lexington, Ky. on July 20, 2011 at 10:18 am with 15 Comments »
July 21, 2011 8:55 am

Re: “Lakewood officer lied about crash” (TNT, 7-18).

I have recently moved out of state, but as I still call Tacoma home, I keep up with the local news. Seeing the reports alleging that Lakewood police officer Adam Leonard lied about the events surrounding his crash this spring has made my heart incredibly heavy – not because I feel duped by someone in whom a great deal of trust has been placed, but because I know a great man’s name is being falsely tarnished.

I am not the kind of person who believes police officers are inherently more honorable than others, but I have known this man for many years; I know that he is as honorable and as conscientious a law enforcement officer as there could be. The News Tribune’s own article on the matter listed many of his accomplishments. Being a cop was not what he did, it is who he was. He readily accepted the responsibility he was given and took it seriously.

I beg the citizens of Lakewood to remember that, by the admission of everyone involved, it is not known exactly what happened. Please keep that in mind before vilifying someone who has served you for many years with nothing but your safety in mind, and please know that you have lost one of your finest protectors.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. walkineasy says:

    Hey TNT Editor – why aren’t you naming the officer? You named 3 officers from Fife when none of them had been charged with a crime.

    Something is smelly here.

    Note to walkineasy: I have updated the letter to include the officer’s name. Please see my note about this in a later comment.
    Cheryl Tucker
    Editorial writer

  2. jjohnson67 says:

    A “good” cop doesn’t lie.

  3. gonefishin69690 says:

    Jim Jones was a great preacher too.

  4. Misunderestimated says:

    We should not be judging this man.
    When the Lakewood Four were slain, it was widely reported how “guilty” this officer felt for taking that day off and having another die in his place. I can not imagine how damaging that would be to one’s psyche.
    I do not know what happened when he wrecked his cruiser, nor why he lied about it.
    Still, I will not sit in judgement of this man because I surely have not walked in his shoes.

  5. Thank you, Misunderestimated. Very well put.

  6. Roncella says:

    Being a Police Officer in todays world has to be very difficult.

    Every single thing they say or do is watched and can cost them their job if they make or are accused of making the slightest mistake.

    In todays politically correct society it has to be very difficult for Police Officers to do their job without making any mistakes, how many of us could do that ??

  7. jjohnson67 says:

    Mis, a person is either a liar or they aren’t. Yes, I’m sure he feels some guilt, but if he lied once, how many other lies did he tell. Maybe he lied during one of his arrests and somebody innocent paid the price for that lie. You say that wouldn’t happen, but how do you know? After all, he’s a liar.

    It puts all his arrests under a veil of suspicion. That’s why he resigned – he knew he was through.

    And how long is Lakewood going to get a pass because of a tragedy that happened long ago? If it had been Tacoma or Seattle, people wouldn’t be giving them a pass.

  8. stetsonwalker says:

    Being a Police Officer in todays world has to be very difficult????

    I do not know what you have done for a living but most jobs I know of or have had are the same way!

  9. WarmNfuzziOne says:

    I wonder how many times he’s gone through the events preceding him missing that day at work. He’s screwing up. He needs a form of redemption.

  10. harleyrider1 says:

    He may have been all the things you thought he was – at one time. You’re a good friend to support him now in his time of need.

    But know this: the guy is no longer fit to wear the uniform, period. It may have been a breakdown, but it wasn’t because of our officers dying. He was not there. He has emotional problems from something else and Chief Faraar was correct and very professional in how he reacted to this officer.

  11. jjohnson67 says:

    Harley, how was the chief ‘professional’ in how he reacted? He couldn’t react any other way. He saw evidence that one of his officers was a liar, he did an investigation, and the officer resigned instead of going any further.

    How does that make the chief a hero in your eyes? He did his job the only way he could and he didn’t do anything beyond that.

  12. tigger1813 says:

    This officer was not the officer who took the day off to celebrate his birthday – – he actually worked his shift that day. He was not at the coffee shop because he was completing paperwork from the previous call. He is a good man, as the letter writer states. We are all human, and we all make mistakes – – I do not want to be judged for my mistakes – do you? I would rather correct my error and move on. I would also rather be judged for the good things I do, which far outweigh the mistakes I have made.

  13. Cheryl Tucker says:

    Note to readers: I have updated this letter to include the officer’s name (which is how the letter originally came in to us) because a news story today (7-21) named the officer, Adam Leonard.

    I checked with our newsroom to ask why his name wasn’t used in an earlier article when we HAD named the Fife officers who didn’t face charges after they had gotten into trouble and resigned.

    Breaking News team leader Randy McCarthy said the newsroom decision to withhold Leonard’s name at first was a judgment call because it wasn’t clear what was going on. When in doubt, they withhold the name. They decided to go ahead and use the name in the follow-up that gave more details on the incident that led to Leonard’s resignation even though he hasn’t been charged with anything.

  14. This has got to stop! By officers being allowed to “resign”, and the investigations then being stopped; this provides the officers the ability to go work for another department in the near future, with nothing on their records to prove themselves unfit for duty. This is happening over and over. No criminal charges against these criminals; no completion of the investigations finding fault. These officers need to be stripped of their certification as part of the process versus them just being allowed to resign, let the scandal blow over for 6 months, then apply with another department. What about the money this officer stole on leave since March????

  15. slugoxyz says:

    “A person is either a liar or he isn’t”. Hmm. Is that right? I might contend that at some point in the vast majority of our lives, we have told a lie, fib, omitted an important point. Does that make us a “liar” by JJohnson’s definition? How many lies does it take to be a liar? If you have lied once, are you a liar? If that is true, then I suppose, I am a liar. Do I lie now? I have learned that lying makes everything a lot more complicated and remembering my lie is simply too much work. Would I lie? Hmm. Could I be forced to lie to say, save my job and continue to support my family? Could I be made to lie to protect my best friend from harm or trouble? So, I don’t lie as a rule but I’d be a liar to say I would never lie under any circumstances. I’m wondering where JJ falls in this discussion. He sure is one tough judge.

    This black and white judgment thing is getting a little old. JJ wants us all to think that he or she has never lied. Maybe JJ doesn’t do it now and has developed a somewhat sanctimonious attitude towards a person they have judged as a “liar”. Maybe JJ just holds cops to a higher standard. All right. I get that. But should we presume that when a person pins a badge that they are completely above mistakes? Man, that makes a tough job even tougher. JJ is a tough judge. I worry whether I would make the grade. For that matter, would JJ make his own grade? I kind of doubt it.

    JJ wonders how many “innocent” persons were lied about by Adam in the course of his professional duties. Well, let’s think about that. How many “innocent” people do you think Adam encountered every day? I’d wager, that the cops that patrol Lakewood/Tacoma/wherever don’t seek out “innocent” people to arrest just because they feel like it. They don’t drive around looking for some innocent person to pester. They usually respond to calls or see a crime in progress and they act. So, am I worried about Adam’s record of arresting innocent people? Not even a little bit. So, I read a little more and JJ is just a hard man. He doesn’t like Adam, he doesn’t like the Chief. There is no credit from JJ. I kind of think JJ doesn’t like cops at all. We’re all in big trouble. Or are we? Maybe JJ needs a little introspection. Look in the mirror buddy. Judge yourself. Do you measure up to the same standard you are imposing on all of us out here?

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