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Compassion for all…

Good morning, Netizens...

I am not going to waste a lot of breath this morning, mourning the passage of Maurice Clemmons. There are enough facts in place to convince me he was the sole gunman who killed the four Lakewood Police Officers in a coffee shop and ultimately was killed by a Seattle Police officer.

There are several things about this tragic loss of human lives, however, which bear close scrutiny and further introspection. I am already sick to death of hearing the comparisons between the deaths of both the four police officers and Maurice Clemmons as having any association whatsoever with the death of Otto Zehm. The Zehm case stands as a travesty of justice, one which time perhaps will bring to closure. Unfortunately that remains to be seen. Zehm's death created a huge rift in our community between our police and the public they serve. It created a credibility chasm which still is being resolved.

The killing of four Lakewood Police Officers was premeditated, calculated murder; nothing more, nothing less. Clemmons had bragged to his associates before-the-fact for them to watch the news, because he was going to kill some cops, and he did. If an alert, aware Seattle Police Officer had not been on guard, Clemmons might have claimed yet another victim.

Tiffany Ryan, who works in the Spokane Police Department records division, as the sister of slain Lakewood Police Officer Tina Griswold, became a bystander to chaos. I think this video, courtesy of the Spokesman-Review, speaks more eloquently about the heartbreak and sadness she is enduring than anything I could say.

If you watch this video closely you will undoubtedly detect a note of emotional support and compassion between Chief Kirkpatrick and Tiffany Ryan, as is rightfully so. This wellspring of humanity between our Chief of Police and one of her own is a breath of fresh air, in my opinion, and needs to be extended to the general public who fall far outside her department in some cases.

We should not stop at the borders of the Police Department with compassion and understanding at all.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.