lauren walker01.jpg
Tacoma Councilmember Lauren Walker.
Tacoma City Councilmember Lauren Walker is making it very clear that she does not want to talk about the Zina Linnik


Lauren Walker, Tacoma Councilmember, Refuses to Say When She Learned About Zina Linnik AMBER-Alert Scandal

lauren walker01.jpg
Tacoma Councilmember Lauren Walker.
Tacoma City Councilmember Lauren Walker is making it very clear that she does not want to talk about the Zina Linnik case. She doesn't want to talk about when she learned that Tacoma Police Officer Mark Fulghum had fallen asleep instead of issuing the AMBER Alert that might have saved the 12-year-old girl's life. She doesn't even want to talk about whether it was a newspaper article or a conversation with someone else that alerted her to the screw-up in the first place. She basically doesn't want to say anything.

Not that a politician's "no comment" is necessarily news. But in this case, every other member of the Tacoma City Council has stated on the record when and where they heard about what has to be one of Tacoma's saddest and most damaging scandals.

Backstory: Zina Linnik was abducted by convicted sex offender Terapon Adhahn in July 2007 in an alley near her house. Her father saw a van take off and he managed to jot down a partial license plate number and call the police. Tacoma police ordered Ofc. Fulghum to issue an AMBER Alert for the girl, but instead he fell asleep and the alert was delayed for six hours.

Between the time of her abduction and the time of the AMBER Alert's issuance, Linnik was raped and killed.

Zina Linnik was abducted and killed in 2007.
The fact that Fulghum fell asleep wasn't revealed to the public until April of this year, when Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell admitted that he lied to reporters when he told them that the reason for the delay was because the department needed more time to compile information.

Since then, many unanswered questions have remained as to when other members of the city administration learned the truth about the alert's delay.

Some city officials have helped answer those questions. Others have not.

The News Tribune reports:

As we've reported in recent days, nearly every member of Tacoma's 2009 City Council has told The News Tribune they do not recall ever being informed two years ago that an Amber Alert for Zina Linnik was delayed in 2007 because an officer awakened by a call requesting he send out the alert instead fell back to sleep.

Every council member, that is, except Lauren Walker, who had not responded to the newspaper's requests for comment for several days.

The only response the paper has been able to squeeze out of Walker is as follows.

I honor the rules and importance of executive session and attorney-client privilege. This discussion took place two years ago. As with all cases discussed in executive session, I remember some very specific details and general information of what was presented.

The newspaper followed up with Walker after she released that statement, and pointed out that all the other councilmembers have said it was TNT's own reporting that alerted them to the sleep scandal.

Asking Walker if this was the case for her as well, she again pleaded the Fifth, saying simply "I stand by my statement."

Obviously the desire to cover one's ass on a royal fuck-up such as this isn't surprising. But given the fact that the city lied and covered up the truth about what led to a young girl's death for more than three years, a simple answer to when and how she heard about it is far from an unreasonable request.

And the fact that the rest of her colleagues on the council have found no qualms with discussing what they knew or didn't know puts Walker's silence in a direct spotlight.

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