Three of the four families of the Lakewood police officers gunned down last November have rightly dropped their claims against Pierce County. Those claims accused the county of not monitoring telephone calls made from jail by gunman Maurice Clemmons. Clemmons, in his calls to family members, had threatened to kill police officers.
The fourth family member is still considering whether to drop the claim.
The suit asked for $182 million in damages. If that outsized amount was a meant to get the county's attention - it backfired. The community backlash was considerable, and it came from the same community that contributed more than $2 million to the welfare of the fallen officers' children in the wake of the tragedy.
We can't know what was going through the minds of the slain officers' loved ones when they filed the suit. They should be given the benefit of the doubt. Each of us should be thankful we are not in their shoes.
Bob Christie, lawyer for three of the four families, admitted over the weekend that asking for monetary damages was a mistake. It's hard not to speculate on Christie's role in the debacle.
Still, the point remains: The system failed those four officers. A felon with murderous intent fell through the cracks. November's tragedy should have been enough of a wake-up without the $182 million lawsuit.[[In-content Ad]]