This is just awful [Final Update – Suspect Dead]

This just happened a little while ago in Lakewood Washington,  (Tacoma)

slain_officers

The four slain officers, from left: Greg Richards, Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Mark Renninger

Police officers shot and killed in “ambush”

PARKLAND, Wash. – Four police officers have been shot and killed near McChord Air Force Base.

Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer says that the officers were in a coffee shop near 116th Street and Steele Street on the east side of the Air Force base at about 8:30 a.m.

Troyer says the officers were preparing for their shift when a suspect or suspects opened fire.

Troyer called it an “ambush.”

This comes on the heals of another senseless cop shooting in Seattle a few weeks ago, when some worthless piece of skin gunned down a Seattle cop.

My roommate, a retired cop was with some of his off-duty cop friends here when they all got the call to mobilize and head to Tacoma.

I was just checking the NW Cable News website and ran across THIS putrid comment posted there:

anonymoususer said on November 29, 2009 at 9:56 AM

From the front page ******** Police officers shot and killed **** Four police officers have been shot and killed near McChord Air Force Base. There is no word on what their conditions are. *********** I think “shot and killed” their condition is obviously dead. ************************ Too bad they were lakewood police (as just stated on KING) and not pierce county sheriffs deputies – the pierce county sheriffs deputies are control freaks – and the herd needs to be thinned to get rid of the numerous bad apples that were rejected from king county sheriff’s department.. (KING – PLEASE go back to the old format and stop looking like a KOMO clone. Not having paragraphs sucks)

Thinned from the herd?  OMG, it makes you want to rip someone’s head off and shit down their windpipe.

FIRST UPDATE:

Maurice Clemmons, is being sought as a “person of interest” in this case.  Some late-breaking reports are that he was arrested, but I have yet to confirm.  But here is his story:

ADDITION WA Officers Shot

Dead and Stinkin’

Maurice Clemmons had been serving a thirty-five year sentence in Arkansas for five violent felonies.  For some reason, his sentence had been commuted nine years ago and he eventually ended up here in Washington.  Recently, he had been arrested in Pierce County for Child Rape and Assault on a police officer.  He somehow made bail six days ago.  This from the Seattle PI:

Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer says Maurice Clemmons was wearing an ankle bracelet that may have been a condition imposed by a bail-bond company that posted his bail last week.

Troyer says the bracelet was found at a residence searched by police today.

Now I know how easy it is for some people to try and make political hay out of all of this.  Huckabee being the Republican governor of Arkansas and all of that, but frankly, that was nine years ago, and we don’t know the particulars of the clemency.  For all we know, Clemmons could have made parole in that period of time anyways and still have made it up here to commit this heinous  crime.  I find it MUCH more relevant that he was able to make bail on his current charges, and that the moment his electronic bracelet had been cut, there weren’t cops swarming all over his place.

SECOND UPDATE:

We are learning more about this scumbag.  As of this writing, he is rumored to be holed up in a house in the Leschi neighborhood of Seattle with a bullet wound to the leg, where there has been a standoff all night long.

We are learning more about his criminal history going back some twenty years.

Clemmons is a convicted criminal with a long rap sheet who had a 95-year prison sentence commuted in 2000 by then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, said Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer.

A 95-year sentence.  There is usually a reason why a judge gives out such long sentences, and it usually has something to do with the defendant deserving that sentence.

“Should [Clemmons] be found responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington state,” Huckabee’s office said in a statement Sunday night.

So nice of you to acknowledge that failure — now.  But trying to share the blame this way just looks like a case of CYA.  Don’t get me wrong, the system here in Washington have a lot to answer for their actions, but that isn’t for you to decide.  Just focus on your role in all of this Mr. Huckabee.  I know that you were only following the recommendations of your clemency board at the time, and I am not blaming you personally — just the failures of the system itself.

Clemmons was sentenced to 95 years in prison in 1989 for a host of charges, including robberies, burglaries, thefts and bringing a gun to school.

During a pretrial hearing, he hid a piece of metal in his sock, media reports at the time said. Before the start of another hearing, he grabbed a padlock off his holding cell and threw it at a court bailiff. He missed, and the lock hit his mother, who had come to bring him clothes.

Huckabee cited Clemmons’ young age — 17 at the time of his sentencing — when he announced his decision to commute the sentence, according to newspaper articles.

Clemmons was paroled in August 2000, after serving 11 years of his sentence.

And less than a year after being released?

“He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him,” the statement said.

CNN could not immediately confirm the account. But the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper reported that a year after his release, Clemmons was arrested for aggravated robbery and theft.

He was taken back to prison for parole violation. But, said the paper, he was not served with the arrest warrants for the robbery and theft charges until he left prison three years later, in 2004.

His attorney argued the charges should be dismissed because too much time had passed by then. Prosecutors dropped the charges.

So Huckabee isn’t personally responsible for this, it is the entire system of which he was a part of.  I don’t think you can find anyone here who doesn’t think that by 2004 this worthless piece of dung should have been buried deep in prison somewhere never to see the free world again.  Yet he got out and ended up here in Washington.

After moving to Tacoma in 2004, he apparently ran a pressure washing and landscaping business for about five years.  But then…

In recent months, Clemmons has displayed increasingly erratic behavior, the Seattle Times reported. In May, he punched a sheriff’s deputy in the face, the paper said.

In another incident, he had relatives undress, telling them families need to be “naked for at least five minutes on Sunday,” the newspaper said, citing a sheriff’s department incident report.

Clemmons also believed he was Jesus and could fly, a deputy wrote, based on conversations with family members.

After serving several months in jail on a pending charge of second-degree rape of a child, Clemmons was released on bond six days ago, according to the Seattle Times.

Who the fuck put up the money?  And only $150 for child rape?  That means someone other than this fuckwad put a house up along with $15,000 to let this guy loose.  The bail should have been ten times that.  Maybe we should consider no bail pre-trial commitments for crimes of rape and murder.

THIRD  UPDATE:

Now police have determined that Clemmons is NOT in the Leschi house, and his whereabouts are unknown.  They do know from people who know Clemmons that he IS wounded and has a bullet in his torso, NOT his leg — which is GOOD news.

But all of this begs the question:  who are these people who know Clemmons well enough to know the extent of his wounds?  And why aren’t they being seriously squeezed for information about his whereabouts?

FINAL UPDATE – SUSPECT DEAD

At approximately 2AM this morning, a vigilant Seattle Patrol officer came across Clemmons in South Seattle.  From the Seattle PI:

Clemmons was finally cornered near one of those addresses, in the 4400 block of South Kenyon Street.

Pugel said the shooting of Clemmons began with a Seattle police patrolman spotting an unoccupied vehicle that had been reported stolen Monday evening.

The officer detected movement behind him and got out of his car, Pugel said. He then recognized a man approaching him as matching the description of Clemmons.

The officer said the man ignored orders to stop and show his hands, then ran from the officer.

“He wouldn’t stop,” Pugel said. “The officer fired several rounds, took the person into custody.”

Seattle Fire Department personnel responded. Clemmons was pronounced dead.

Pugel also said Clemmons had a gun belonging to one of the slain officers. Clemmons did not return fire before he was killed, Pugel said.

Troyer said Clemmons had a significant gunshot wound in the center of the torso that he suffered before the Tuesday shooting, believed to be from a round fired by one of the officers killed Sunday morning.

“I’m surprised that he managed to get away,” Troyer said. “The officer did a good job in Lakewood.”

I am not surprised that Clemmons was found in South Seattle.  It is an area not unknown for its gang activity and other criminal elements.  I don’t think Clemmons had any real affiliation with gangs, but the area offers a place to blend in and hide.

Now that this Defect is terminated, the next task is to round up all of those who helped him escape.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Det. Ed Troyer said his agency had arrested three people for rendering criminal assistance to Clemmons and had taken a getaway driver into custody.

“We expect to have maybe six or seven people in custody by the day’s end,” Troyer added. “Some are friends, some are acquaintances, some are partners in crime, some are relatives. Now they’re all partners in crime.”

On Monday, officers detained a sister of Clemmons who they think treated the suspect’s gunshot wound.

“We believe she drove him up to Seattle and bandaged him up,” Troyer said.

Unfortunately, rendering criminal assistance isn’t that much of a crime here in Washington.  For the sister or other relative, it is only a gross misdemeanor and the top sentence is only one year.  For  a non-relative, it carries a maximum sentence of five years.  According to the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines,  rendering criminal assistance has a seriousness level of V, and depending on what the number of previous convictions will determine what their sentencing range is.

It won’t be enough.  The court could go for the exceptional sentence and give them the statutory maximum of five years, but even that isn’t enough.

For that matter, if the police are going to go after those who helped him get away, why not use the same charge to go after those who helped facilitate the crime?  By letting him out of prison and jail not once, but twice, aren’t any of those people guilty of accessory?

Anyways, the good news is that the carbon footprint has been reduced by one fuckwad this morning.

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