Bravo Zulu To Mr. Collingwood And Ms. Sikes
Tom Collingwood's letter calling for Lakewood Police officer Kevin Jones' immediate termination was right on point, highlighting the lack of leadership in Lakewood PD and in this City, which instead of doing the right thing is concerned about covering its derriere.
As someone who served in law enforcement in Indiana years ago, however, I wouldn't call Mr. Jones or his boss Tim Malley public servants, as their behavior and that of the City causes one to fairly wonder whether they "get it" and what "service" they are providing.
Let's keep in mind that when one of Lakewood's "finest" - Detective Tom McLaughlin - played 'Lola' on his computer while a transgender individual awaited questioning a couple of years ago, Mr. Malley felt a reprimand and sensitivity training were sufficient "discipline." Malley's lack of leadership is apparent almost daily as one sees Lakewood Police vehicles trespassing in the Toledo Edison property by the Giant Eagle on Bunts Road, in the Cove Church and Belle Apartment parking lots, and other private property in the name of the almighty dollar derived from speeding tickets and fines assessed by a Municipal Court Judge who suffers the misperception that his job description includes returning money to the City.
Ms. Sikes rightly points out the City's failure or refusal to do the right thing vis a vis repeated and incompletely fulfilled document requests. While she expresses optimism that Lakewood voters can rely on their elected council members, her suggestion that the council should call for independent investigation - and Mr. Collingwood's call for officer Jones' termination - don't go far enough.
It's time to pass the baton to someone with a bigger bat. The FBI investigates civil rights violations by those acting under color of authority. It's codified at 18 United States Code section 242. You can write - or send a copy of this article to: Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1501 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland OH 44114.
While we wait for the results of the investigation, some of the council members who apparently tolerate the City's shenanigans and the failure of leadership in the Police Department are up for election this November. Let's also remember singer Kinky Friedman's advice: "Don't re-elect nobody."
Bob Soltys is a photographer, former Navy officer, and proud former campus radical.