April 9, 2010 in Region

Families of Lakewood police drop dollar figure from claims

Associated Press
 

TACOMA — The families of four Lakewood police officers slain as they sat in a coffee shop in November say they’ll revise their claims against Pierce County to delete any reference to a specific dollar demand.

The families faced a backlash from citizens and law enforcement when they revealed they were planning to file claims totaling $182 million against the county, saying it could have done more to prevent the shootings.

Maurice Clemmons, the man who killed the four officers, was in and out of jail in the months before the ambush, and he made several phone calls from jail in which he spoke of killing police.

The families said Friday they’re not trying to profit from the deaths, but merely want to force the county to monitor such phone calls more closely. They say that when they file their claims sometime in the next week, they’ll ask for “just and fair” compensation.

Their lawyer says they’re barred from suing to force a policy change alone.

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