From a blog thread in my local paper’s, The Spokesman-Review, discussion thread on the death of the four police officers:

Seattle police kill suspect in officer slayings

In my opinion this was an assassination.  A commenter in the thread said:

The two judges that permitted Clemmons to bond out of jail should be in some manner be held to account for the deaths of 4 lawmen, the same as Clemmons associates.

The system failed but the judges were not the prime factor.  I replied with my concerns from my experience:

Ron_the_Cop on December 02 at 2:53 p.m.


You are quite right that the system failed here. There was no reason Clemmons should have been out of custody. First there were arrest warrants out of Arkansas that should have been served on him which would have prevented his release on bail:…

Secondly someone was asleep at the switch and should have caught his previous priors which should have jacked the “standard bail.” What I did in CA numerous times was to prepare declarations in support of bail increase to alert the arraigning judges on subjects we arrested before they were arraigned. Judges actually have little time to review these cases at arraignment hearings and must rely on court and screening personnel to catch these cases where the standard bail schedule that most courts have is inappropriate for public safety and/or to ensure the presence of the subject again in court.

We had a female officer almost killed during a botched robbery and was in a fight for her life. If it wasn’t for some bystanders who intervened she may have been killed. The problem was this guy should have never been on the street. We had arrested him twice before for non “strike” related felonies. He served minimal prison time each time and was released.

My gut feeling was this guy was hiding something. When I researched his criminal background I found he had four prior serious felony convictions in Nevada and Arizona that would have counted as strike offenses in CA. In CA the third felony conviction doesn’t have to be a serious felony as defined in the State’s penal code to invoke the “three strike” sentencing. We missed the opportunity to send him away not only once but twice before he assaulted and almost killed our officer.


A Fitting End for a Cop Killer