Families of 2 fallen Lakewood officers to receive $5 million each

Komo News

A Pierce County Superior Court judge approved the agreement to settle a lawsuit filed by the families of Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officer Gregory Richards.

Renninger and Richards were gunned down by Clemmons as they sat in a Parkland coffee shop on the morning of Nov. 29, 2009. Also killed were officers Ronald Owens and Tina Griswold. Griswold’s family received about $2.5 million in an earlier settlement.

Maurice Clemmons was killed two days later by a Seattle police officer.

“The brutal act of violence by Maurice Clemmons took the lives of four dedicated police officers and caused unimaginable grief to their families,” the Department of Corrections said in a prepared statement issued Friday. “We hope these settlements help the victims’ families, particularly the children, overcome their loss.”

A lawsuit filed earlier by families of the deceased officers claimed that the Department of Corrections should not have released Clemmons from jail because there was a warrant for his arrest issued by the state of Arkansas.

In its prepared statement, the Department of Corrections said that it, along with other public agencies, had taken steps since the shooting to improve public safety.

“We successfully convinced the national organization that oversees the interstate compact to change its rules to provide states with more authority to send offenders back if they pose a significant risk to public safety,” the statement said.

“We established the first-ever statewide network that automatically notifies community corrections officers when offenders are released from county jails. And voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution which allows judges to deny bail to offenders who pose a significant risk to public safety.”

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