Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let This Be Over

This is a photo of my dad’s upper barn. The lights are his small memorial to the recently murdered Seattle and Lakewood police officers.

The first killing happened when my parents were visiting us. October 31st. Halloween. Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton was sitting in a patrol car with trainee officer Britt Sweeney. They were talking about a traffic stop when a man drove up alongside them and opened fire. Brenton died at the scene. I read that his partner sustained only minor injuries but psychologically speaking, we all know that’s not true.

The guy responsible for this tragedy had no criminal record in Washington (or anywhere else as far as I’ve read). Christopher Monfort attended the University of Washington and studied law enforcement. In his apartment police found high-powered rifles, homemade explosives, booby traps and a barricade of tires. Who was this guy? I mean yes, they caught him (and shot and paralyzed him) but who does this? Police believe he was a lone terrorist so I guess it could be worse but it’s BAD. Real BAD.

The kind of tragedy that should stand alone in time, surrounded by years and years of nothing of the kind.

Weren’t we just here for Thanksgiving? Less than a month after Officer Brenton was killed, we learned that November 29th in Parkland, something like 30 miles away, four Lakewood police officers were murdered as they started their day at a local coffee shop.

This creature, this awful, awful man, this Maurice Clemmons did have a criminal record. Quite a long record. In Washington AND in Arkansas.

(Thanks for the clemency Huckabee. May this come back to haunt you.)

And who was this guy? I don’t know either. And as he’s now reaping his eternal reward, we can only speculate.

So we should be able to close the chapter on a very, very sad few months. This should be OVER.

But it’s not. It’s just not. Yesterday we learned that two sheriff’s officers were ambushed by a man lying in wait with a gun. Edward Crable wanted help removing his intoxicated brother from his home. His brother, David Crable had a history of arrests for things such as malicious mischief and assault and he also had a no-contact order by his teenage daughter who lived with Edward. The man had a history of terrorizing his family. To the family’s credit, they did all they could to administer CPR and first aid to the injured officers. This story ends with another assailant shot dead.

So. Can this please be over? Or was the October shooting a sort of Columbine? A defining event that ushers in a new, previously unthinkable, chain of events? I don’t even want to imagine how things change when law enforcement officers don’t feel reasonably safe doing their jobs.

I’ve heard these tragedies referred to as “assassinations”, “domestic terrorism”, and “ambush murders”. I guess they all, sadly, fit. I just hope, hope, HOPE that this isn’t the face of things to come.
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1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on this one. When will it end. However, I saw on the news last night that there was another shooting in Spokane. The officer wasn't hit but give me a break. What has this world come to?


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