The families of four slain Seattle-area police officers are filing $182 million in claims today against Pierce County, Wa., accusing the Sheriff’s Office and jail of failing to prevent their deaths by not monitoring jail telephone calls made by gunman Maurice Clemmons, reports the Seattle Times. While being held on other charges, Clemmons, in numerous phone calls, had described how he planned to kill police officers once he was released from jail.
“This catastrophe, the worst law-enforcement tragedy in the history of Washington state, was completely preventable,” according to the claims by the four families. The officers are survived by nine children. While in Jail, Clemmons made hundreds of phone calls to his wife, family and friends. As with all inmates, the phone calls were recorded. The Seattle Times listened to all of Clemmons’ recorded telephone calls. Clemmons described his bitterness at what he called a lifetime of abuse at the hands of law enforcement. Clemmons, who was facing a third-strike lifetime sentence if convicted, told his half-brother in September: “I’m going to war. There ain’t going to be no trial. I’d rather be carried by six than be judged by 12 [jurors]. “I hate the police. And I hope they listening.”