On the one year anniversary (June 18) of the death of 28-year-old Patrick O’Meara, killed by Lakewood Police in a felony arrest attempt shortly before midnight in Tillicum, Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson comments on the city Facebook page:
“Mr. O’Meara’s death was tragic. It was tragic for him, his family and for the officers who he, by his willful choice, forced into a situation where their lives were threatened and they are involuntarily compelled to live with the consequences. Was it “suicide by cop,” most likely; or just being incredibly stupid? Perhaps we will never know. Officer’s lives will not be risked and policy will not be changed based on an individual’s grudges.”
Mayor Anderson was responding to my post inquiring as to why Lakewood City Attorney Heidi Wachter’s promise had not been kept.
Wachter emailed the following on October 21, 2013:
“We will review your suggestions (I had spelled out my concern over the three statements – valuing life over the use of deadly force – missing from Lakewood’s Use of Force Policy – UFP – a reflection of the ACLU’s 2012 research of UFP’s of Police Departments across the country) and proceed accordingly. We are obligated to employ a process that respects those on staff with the expertise to propose policy and those on our Boards, Commissions and Council who have been appointed and elected to authorize policy. It is clear that you believe these changes will benefit the department and we appreciate the opportunity to properly consider your input.”
My continued appeal, Mr. Mayor, is not about feeding a grudge but rather, in fact, concerns that of keeping a promise – a promise for which there should be provided a due diligent, substantive, evidence-based response that the promise was kept, in keeping with the integrity of the one in the position of acting-city-manager at the time the promise was made.