Slain Washington Police Officers’ Families Decide Not to Sue County

April 15, 2010

The families of at least three of the Lakewood police officers slain as they sat in a coffee shop in November now say they won’t file claims against Pierce County at all.

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

On Friday, the families first said they would delete any dollar figure from their claims so they could focus on trying to force the county to make policy changes. But on Friday afternoon, they told The Seattle Times and television news outlets they’re walking away from the claims process altogether.

Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Gregory Richards were gunned down by Maurice Clemmons on Nov. 29. The families of Renninger, Owens and Richards said they would no longer pursue their claims, and a lawyer for Griswold’s husband said he was considering changing course as well.

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