Posted by Curt on 30 November, 2009 at 7:31 pm. 64 comments already!

UPDATE BELOW

I apologize for the lateness in this post.  Traveling for the holidays made it quite difficult to do the quality post these four officers deserve.  Now home, I am looking at the faces of these four heroes and feel a sadness that is hard to describe.

fallenSgt. Mark Renninger, 39; Officers Ronald Owens, 37;
Tina Griswold, 40; Gregory Richards, 42.

As I’m sure most of you know by now, these four officers were ambushed in Tacoma, Washington yesterday morning as they sat in a cafe.  I will get to the killer in a minute.  First, the officers:

Tina was our conservative friend. She was excited to be a part of the Olympia Tea Parties and proudly stated why she got involved in politics over the past year. Tina was sharp too, only a couple mornings ago we had a great discussion on the future of our Republic and how we felt true limited government conservatives should take back out political party. If you wanted any details over the massive government spending she would have them for you. If anyone thinks these comments are off color then you did not know Tina well. She would tell you where you could go and like Mark you always knew where you stood with her. She was the toughest little cop I have ever known. Tina has two children and a husband who loves her deeply. My gut hurts that I missed your Halloween party this year. Your memory and strength will help guide our movement to retake our party, this I promise you.

Greg Richards was the drummer in a rock band you would never know was a drummer in a rock band. Greg was a great cop who cared about one thing above all else, his family. He was a proud dad to three kids and wanted nothing more than to spend all of his time off with his wife and kids. Greg and I spent some one on one time together recently at an overtime assignment where he talked mostly about his family, he was obviously so proud. I will always remember this summer when you and your band rocked the house for our member with all proceeds going to charity when he was in the hospital. Yantzerpaloza will take on new meaning for us in the coming years. For someone who does not have much hair, you helped me put it down for a night.

More:

Relatives said Renninger, who grew up in Bethlehem, Pa., came to Washington state through military service. The East Coast native was blunt-spoken but “never belittled anyone,” Wurts said.

“Mark had that spark that made you like him and respect him. He was truly a rock in our department, someone you always counted on,” Wurts wrote.

The union said Renninger was married with three children.

~~~

Relatives said Owens – known to friends and family as Ronnie – was a lifelong resident of Parkland, the Tacoma suburb where he was killed. The police union said Owens has a daughter.

Wurts said Owens’ fun-loving personality “made everyone around him feel positive.”

He “was the laid-back, dirt-bike-riding, surfer-hair-having cop you would always want at a party or with you on any call,” Wurts said. “Though he had a laid-back perspective, he was sharp and an extremely dedicated and hard worker.”

Owens was a Washington State Patrol trooper from 1997 until 2004, when he left to join the Lakewood police, Patrol Chief John Batiste said.

The killer, Maurice Clemmons, has a long rap sheet and was most recently in jail for the rape of a child.

…Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protestations of prosecutors.

“This is the day I’ve been dreading for a long time,” Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’ Pulaski County said Sunday night when informed that Clemmons was being sought in connection to the killings.

Clemmons’ criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. The record also stands out for the number of times he has been released from custody despite questions about the danger he posed.

Clemmons had been in jail in Pierce County for the past several months on a pending charge of second-degree rape of a child.

He was released from custody just six days ago, even though he was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Arkansas and was staring at eight felony charges in all out of Washington state.

Clemmons posted $15,000 with a Chehalis company called Jail Sucks Bail Bonds. The bondsman, in turn, put up $150,000, securing Clemmons’ release on the pending child-rape charge.

Clemmons lives in Tacoma, where he has run a landscaping and power-washing business out of his house, according to a police interview with his wife earlier this year.

He was married, but the relationship was tumultuous, with accounts of his unpredictable behavior leading to at least two confrontations with police earlier this year.

During the confrontation in May, Clemmons punched a sheriff’s deputy in the face, according to court records. As part of that incident, he was charged with seven counts of assault and malicious mischief.

In another instance, Clemmons was accused of gathering his wife and young relatives around at 3 or 4 in the morning and having them all undress.

Yup, you heard that right….Huckabee granted clemency to this scumbag, just as he did in the Dumond case, and many others, and how does he respond?

By blaming everyone else:

…Should he be found to be 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. He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, making him parole eligible and was paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. 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. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state.

And just earlier this evening in a typical softball interview by O’Reilly, he again placed blame on everyone else. O’Reilly is correct in saying during the interview that the judges had to take some responsibility. But, it the decision of the Governor that led to gates opening for this scumbag.

Michelle Malkin has a few articles from a few years back that should send chills up your spine:

Several prosecutors around the state are upset with Gov. Huckabee for granting clemency to violent criminals, but he is blaming the prosecutors for often not seeking the maximum penalty and keeping felons locked up longer.

Until now, Huckabee has refused to comment on his controversial policy of making violent prisoners eligible for parole– they include murderers, armed robbers and rapists, who often return to a life of crime after they’re freed – but in a statement to The Leader this week, he lashed out at prosecutors for not doing more to keep prisoners behind bars – to which Pulaski County Prosecuting Attor-ney

Larry Jegley had this response: “That’s a load of baloney.”

“I’m offended as a prosecutor and as a citizen. He can blame the prosecutors, but ultimately he’s the man responsible,” Jegley says. “He’s the only one who can sign on the dotted line.

~~~

In addition, Jegley, Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Herzfeld and others have accused Huckabee of violating the state Constitution when he commutes sentences without explanation. The Constitution requires the governor to give reasons why he grants clemency to criminals.

“He doesn’t do it,” insists Herzfeld, who recently had a clemency overturned because Huckabee did not explain why he commuted a murderer’s life sentence.

~~~

Jegley cites numerous examples of Huckabee’s freeing felons who go on committing more crimes and wind up back in prison.

Maurice Clemmons received a 35-year sentence in the early 1990s for armed robbery and theft. His sentence was commuted in May 2000, and he was let out three months later.

The following March, Clemmons committed two armed robberies and other crimes and was sentenced to 10 years. You’d think they’d keep him locked up after that, but no: He was paroled last March and is now wanted for aggravated robbery.

If Huckabee decides to set these criminals free, Jegley says, at least “he ought to give an accounting. I can’t imagine why in the world they’d want them released from jail. There’s a good reason we’re afraid of them. The sad truth is that a significant number of people re-offend.”

Check Michelle’s post out for much more information on this guy and his history. It’s completely incredible he was released….why in the world would he allow this piece of s&%t out? And still he whines that it was not his fault:

Huckabee, who is considering a making second presidential run in 2012, also spoke to Fox News radio about his decision.

“If I could have known nine years ago, looked into the future, would I have acted favorably upon the parole board’s recommendation? Of course not,” he said. “One of the things that is horrible and just, again, one of the realities you have to confront is the criminal justice system is far from perfect, and in this case it failed miserably on all sides.”

As Allah notes….the justice system DID NOT fail. He was locked away, you let him out.

You failed these officers.

The scumbag is at fault for these deaths of course, but it was not the justice system that failed.

UPDATE

As I’m sure you heard….the scumbag was shot dead:

The officer was driving in a working-class neighborhood of south Seattle at about 2:45 a.m. when he came across a stolen car, its engine running, Assistant Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel said.

As he sat in his cruiser, beginning paperwork on the car, he sensed movement, turned and saw someone approaching, Pugel said. The officer stepped out and immediately recognized the man, whose face had been all over TV and mugshot fliers memorized by every officer in the region.

The patrolman ordered Clemmons to freeze and show his hands, but he kept moving, and the officer fired several rounds, hitting the man at least twice, Pugel said.

Police said Clemmons would have died eventually of the gunshot wound he suffered in the coffee-shop rampage.

And Huckabee says:

…if the same file was presented to me today, I would have likely made the same decision.”

One more reason why the man should never be President of the United States

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