Lakewood, WA: How Many More Murders Will It Take before the Callous Indifference Ends?


Isaac Zamora was sentenced to life without parole today.  In September 2008, he killed six people and wounded four others in a shooting rampage in Skagit County, WA.  I thought things here in Washington State would change because one of his victims was a police officer.  But, they didn’t.

My hope for change started with the murder of Crystal Judson Brame by her estranged husband David, who was chief of police in Tacoma, WA.

It grew when we learned the DC Sniper had killed 17 people and wounded 10 others.  The nation was terrified and outraged, but nothing changed.

Isaiah M.K. Kalebu allegedly killed three people and sent another to the hospital.  The Seattle area was terrified and outraged, but nothing changed.

What do all these murders have in common?  They all started with domestic violence.  The criminal justice system knew or should have known these guys were lethal, but it did nothing to protect their victims.

“This guy should have never been on the street.”

For years I have badgered local media outlets for their failure to probe into the callous indifference to domestic violence in Pierce County, WA courts.   Almost every week we hear about another domestic violence murder in Pierce County, but the local media didn’t see the pattern and didn’t ask hard questions.

Yesterday, four Lakewood, WA police officers were ambushed and assassinated in a coffee shop.  The suspect, Maurice Clemmons, is a career criminal.  He should not have been able to get his hands on a gun.  Yet, Pierce County’s sheriff’s spokesperson Ed Troyer said:

He was very versed with the weapon.  This wasn’t something where the windows were shot up and there were bullets sprayed around the place.  The bullets hit their targets.

CNN has a clip of Troyer’s outrage that witnesses didn’t report Clemmons’ threats to kill cops the night before their murders.  Troyer doesn’t have a lot of credibility with me.  I was similarly outraged when I learned from a 48 Hours documentary about Crystal’s murder that Troyer knew or should have known that David planned to murder her.  Troyer was paid to protect Crystal, but he did nothing to warn or protect her.  He was too busy sucking up to David.

Brian Wurts, the president of the Fallen Officers Guild, blew the whistle on a “justice” system that is in need of serious overhaul:

This guy should have never been on the street.

I agree.  Clemmons has been in the Pierce County jail four times this year.  Judge John McCarthy let him out on $40,000 for assaulting a police officer in May.  Judge Thomas Felnagle let him out on $150,000 bail last week even though the prosecutor asked for $300,000.  He had been in jail for allegedly raping his 12 year-old daughter.  His wife told the court he “had been acting crazy.”   KIRO news reports he’s facing at least 13 criminal charges in two states.  One of those charges is for beating up a cop.  The Seattle Times reported that Clemmons was a fugitive for weeks and that two bail bonds companies refused to work with him because he has a history of failing to appear.

Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee commuted his 95-year prison sentence in 2000.  He violated parole and was sent back to prison.  He got out a second time in 2004.  His crime?  He broke into the home of an Arkansas state trooper and stole his gun.

Huckabee chalks it up to “a series of failures in the criminal justice system.”  Yet, on FOX tonight he minimizes his own role.

Four dedicated police officers are dead.  Nine children have lost a parent.  I cannot fathom how a guy who has repeatedly been arrested and imprisoned for crimes against police officers is still out walking the streets.

I’m tired of the excuses and and the callous indifference of politicians like Mike Huckabee.  If it was his daughter or son, he’d protect them.

2 responses to “Lakewood, WA: How Many More Murders Will It Take before the Callous Indifference Ends?

  1. Pingback: Clemmons’ Bail: Judge Felnagle Grants Bail to Alleged Child Rapist; Denies Bail to Convicted Animal Abusers « Anne Caroline Drake·

  2. Pingback: Domestic Violence: What’s It Going to Take to Wake Up Pierce County WA Officials? « Anne Caroline Drake·

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