When I learned that Maurice Clemmons, the man who murdered four police officers in Tacoma on Sunday, had been shot and killed by a police officer, I was hesitant to call it a successful takedown of a criminal. I wondered if they had gotten the right man.
But that doubt was wiped away when I further read that Clemmons had been carrying a handgun from one of the officers he murdered at the time of his death. His body was also found with a gunshot wound that he had received from one of the dying officers as he fled the coffee shop.
At the risk of sounding callous, it’s the best news I’ve heard in a long while. For one, a cold-blooded killer is now off the streets; he no longer poses a threat to anyone. Second, it sent a very flagrant message to any would-be copycats: Murdering police officers is the quickest way to fulfill a death wish.
It was the best example of justice I have seen in years. The South Seattle precinct officer who took Clemmons down did it in a moral and ethical manner. Clemmons made no offer to surrender and it is evident to all that he intended to go down killing as many police officers as possible. There will be no pathetic investigations pertaining to his civil liberties being “violated.”
Another reason I sigh in relief is that there will not be a trial that will last several months, forcing the victims’ families to sit in the same courtroom with the man who took away their loved ones for inexplicable reasons. Taxpayers won’t be forced to cough up the dough to cover the expenses of the court, including both the prosecution and the defense; I doubt Clemmons could have afforded a lawyer.
Most importantly, Clemmons’s fate was the only one the bastard deserved. I am too pessimistic and cynical of our current justice system to believe that he would have been given the death penalty by a jury if he had been captured alive and tried. He had been tried and convicted before. Not surprisingly, his 108-year sentence was eventually commuted.
It is not ridiculous to mention the possibility of him getting off on a technicality either. As long as that man was alive, he was a potential threat. Leniency in dealing with murderous beasts has made it that way.
Individuals who commit such acts have no place in our society. It sounds bloodthirsty to insist that murderers be executed, but when retrospectively viewed, it is easy to see why. When we don’t, they manage to slip through the loopholes that are like a sieve in the justice system and more innocent people get hurt or killed. Had Clemmons been properly dealt with the first time around there would be four families that would be spending Christmas with a parent instead of attending their funeral.
Let us pray that those who harbor comparable thoughts as Clemmons’s will take his example into account before choosing to walk down the same path. While those who planned the 9/11 attacks are being treated with every courtesy of the citizen’s dollar to fund their defense, it comforts me that the people of Washington state didn’t have to do the same for a cop-killer.
Note: This is my last issue writing for The Easterner, as I am graduating. Farewell. It was fun ranting to you all, but all things must end. C’est la vie, etcétera.