The Washington Department of Corrections will pay $12.5 million to the families of three of the four Lakewood police officers killed by parolee Maurice Clemmons. The settlement announced Friday comes nearly three years after the Thanksgiving weekend shooting at a coffee shop.
The money will go the families of Sgt Mark Renninger and Officers Gregory Richards and Tina Griswold. They each left behind a spouse and children. The family of Officer Ronald Owens was not a party to the settlement.
The Washington Department of Corrections admits no wrongdoing in its supervision of Clemmons. He was an Arkansas parolee who had moved to Washington years earlier. At the time of the killings Clemmons had just bailed out of jail. He was supposed to be under Washington supervision.
Attorney Jack Connelly, who represents some of the families, calls the settlement “terrifically important.”
Connelly: “The Department of Corrections came out afterwards and there was sort of this idea that they had done nothing wrong, but that it had been all Arkansas’ fault. But you don’t pay $12.5 million without acknowledging that there’s a basis for liability.”
In a statement, the Department of Corrections says it hopes the settlement helps the victims’ families, particularly the children, overcome their loss.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network