Cincinnati police lieutenant Tony Carter played linebacker at Moeller High School back in the '80s, so he's always been partial to Bengals defensive players like cornerback Adam Jones.
But on Tuesday, Carter and his Cincinnati police department went on offense when they reached out to the Bengals and met with the team at Paul Brown Stadium to clear the air in the wake of Sunday's incident.
A day after Cincinnati police chief Tom Streicher issued public and private apologies to Jones, Carter and District 1 commander Capt. Doug Wiesman talked to the team during their bye week about how both sides can avoid similar problems in the future.
"Adam did nothing wrong. We think the chief was pretty clear about that Monday," Carter said. "What we wanted to let them know is that we're both high-profile members of the community and we want to have a good working relationship with them. We wanted to let them know that if there are negative issues, we want to try and work through them. There are going to be times people see a situation differently and they're both right. But we should be able to try and resolve it. And we wanted to let them know that we can be a resource for them."
After leaving the stadium behind the wheel of his car with his fiancée following the Bengals game, Jones' car jumped a curb when he avoided another car that had pulled in front of him. A pregnant passerby was nearly hit and when Jones stopped to check on her, a series of events ensued that ended with him getting handcuffed and detained for 45 minutes before he was released and not charged.
Streicher phoned Jones on Monday with his apology, a move that impressed Jones attorney Tom Hunter. Hunter had raised the possibility that Jones might sue, but on Tuesday night Hunter said it sounds like Jones "wants to move beyond what's happened and focus on the team."
"The chief extended a sincere apology and they've acted quickly and that's something that Adam appreciates," Hunter said. "With the chief's call to Adam and a liaison group going over to talk to the team, they've met the issue from top to bottom and they could have covered it up. I think the big thing is that they not only admitted they violated some policies, but they are also changing some of their policies."
Jones was detained when a general computer check of the name "Adam Jones" turned up a warrant but it proved to be the wrong Adam Jones, Hunter said.
Carter said he had a "dialogue" with Jones and with some other players during the meeting and found it to be productive. Carter's unit is in charge of the big downtown events and he says he's been working Bengals games for several years, so he's no stranger to them.
"I've seen Adam a couple of times in the locker room and he's been fine," he said. "I've never left that stadium after ever having a problem with a Bengals player. We wanted to let them know that we've got a job to do and we're trying to do the best we can and that if there is going to be something negative, let's try to work through it. I left feeling good about it."
Since he's been the head coach, Marvin Lewis has had programs in which he's invited the police to talk his players on a variety of subjects and Carter had already been talking to the team about another event before Sunday's incident. Carter anticipates a program next month and Streicher has told the club he's going to attend a practice next week.
Hunter says Jones has experienced anger and frustration in the wake of Sunday's events and "they've really had an impact on him." But he also said his client has been pleased at how the team and community stuck with him.
"The team didn't jump on the bandwagon when the news first broke," Hunter said. "They stood by him and they worked through it. And he was also surprised that the media didn't get on the bandwagon, either, but that they actually stayed with the story to clear up some of the errors that were out there."