Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Maurice Clemmons and five fallen police officers
Posted by Letters Editor
Enough is enough
Enough. Please quit writing about the lunatic who gunned down the Lakewood officers. He doesn’t deserve the ink [“A path to murder,” page one, Dec. 6].
I did not read the lengthy article in the paper, but The Times sure devoted a lot of space to a man who took so much. He’s not worth my time to read about. His name should never be mentioned again.
What is the point of showcasing his miserable life? To show how society failed him? His family failed him.
I wonder how the left-behind family members feel about seeing his picture every day in the paper? What’s the point?
— John Meadows, Bonney Lake
Aunt deserves to be recognized for her courage
Please, won’t someone recognize the incredible courage of the aunt Chrisceda Clemmons and her husband Michael Shantz, who turned Maurice Clemmons in to the police [“‘I didn’t want him to hurt any more people,’ ” page one, Nicole Brodeur staff column, Dec. 3]?
It must have been a terribly difficult decision for them. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you have the courage to do what they did? I’m not sure I would.
The community should rise up to recognize them. They deserve more than a trashed house for their efforts. They deserve public recognition.
Someone — perhaps the police union — should offer to help her with the cleanup. That would be good community relations as well as simple justice.
If someone will start a fund to help her family with the cleanup, I would be happy to contribute.
— John Watkins, Seattle
Windows and doors are replaceable, lost lives are not
I am not surprised that after the tragedy of four police officers being murdered in cold blood, people are upset that Chrisceda Clemmons’ house was trashed by the Seattle Police Department in their search for a murderer [“Help is coming, and it’s only right,” NWFriday, Nicole Brodeur staff column, Dec. 4].
Yes, it is sad that the house was trashed, but the Seattle Police Department is helping her and her family. I admire her for doing the right thing, when no one else who knew this murderer would.
People don’t get it that the police just couldn’t go up to the front door, knock and say, “Come out Maurice Clemmons, we know you’re in there.” The police are trained in how to safely apprehend such a suspect without the loss of their lives or the suspect’s.
Broken windows and a front door — those and the other material things in Clemmons’ house that were trashed are replaceable, but those four officers are gone forever.
How sad that after this tragedy, people still get upset with the police for doing their job to protect us and keep us safe. Just because a person has a bad experience with the police, no police department should be judged as being bad.
— Donna Carlton, Federal Way
Wishing the blame game enacted real change
When something good happens, politicians run for the camera. When something bad happens, the blame game begins [“Fixing blame won’t fix this mess,” NWWednesday, Danny Westneat staff column, Dec. 2].
Within hours of the four police officers being shot, the blame game began. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blamed the system, the system blamed the judges and so on. Then Gov. Chris Gregoire blamed Arkansas, Huckabee, their system and our system.
Do these politicians not realize that they are the system?
These are the very politicians we elect to make sure these things do not happen. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have one of our politicians step forward and say, I am part of the system, so therefore I am part of the problem. They are all paranoid about their futures and therefore are hesitant about taking any blame.
How about taking the blame and take a stand to change the system.
Are these officers going to be soon forgotten or is this a turning point to protect the people who give their lives, to protect us? The catch-and-release program we seem to offer criminals needs a slight review.
Our judicial system needs to be changed to offer assistance to officers, rather than adding to their challenges.
— Bill Heimkes, Shoreline
Reflecting on recent events
Being a Seattle cop for the past 28 years has taught me one thing: Nothing surprises me about human behavior.
My reflecting over the past month about the abhorrent, vicious and senseless acts against our region’s police officers has caused me to rethink that statement. I understand that there are selfish, narcissistic criminals in society who go through life victimizing others and accepting no responsibility for their actions. I also know that a small percentage of those criminals present a clear danger to our community and to the police officers whose sole job is to protect society from them.
Even with this in mind, the carnage launched against this area’s law-enforcement officers over the past 30 days defies any logic, reasoning or justification.
These cowardly acts of murdering five of this community’s police officers in cold blood are so disturbing that it makes one question just how civilized our society is, and reminiscent of the Third World mayhem we all read about and dismiss as being irrelevant to our nation.
The late Maurice Clemmons is a shining example of people who leave behind a trail of victims throughout their life, with apparently no conscience or remorse for their acts. Not only did he discard the lives of four cops during his murderous rampage, but added a multitude of additional casualties such as the officer’s children, spouses, families, co-workers and most important, an increasingly frightened public for which no amount of comfort will ever make them feel safe.
— Jim Ritter, Seattle
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