Background on Maurice Clemmons and his criminal history.

So Clemmons claimed he had changed
inside prison. What a bunch of crap.
How many more times do we have to
hear this bunk from career criminals
that have no business being paroled
early, or being allowed to post bail
if the get arrested AFTER they have
been released.

Law enforcement authorities are having
a tough time finding this killer. it is now
becoming quite clear he has others involved
to throw police off of his trail and make this
as difficult as possible for those chasing after
Clemmons. I hope they catch him soon. He
is a danger at large, a killer who will not
hesitate to kill again. Life to him, is cheap
and disposable.

Maurice Clemmons. Killer on the loose.
I will keep posting his picture until he is caught

Suspect released in Arkansas after claiming he had changed

Documents released this morning by the Arkansas Parole Board show police slaying suspect Maurice Clemmons was supposed to remain in prison there until at least 2015, but won his release by claiming he'd changed while behind bars.

By Jim Brunner

Seattle Times staff reporter

Documents released this morning by the Arkansas Parole Board show police slaying suspect Maurice Clemmons was supposed to remain in prison there until at least 2015, but won his release by claiming he'd changed while behind bars.

Clemmons' appeal for clemency was granted in May 2000 by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee, who commuted Clemmons sentence and made him immediately eligible for parole.

Clemmons wrote in an appeal to Huckabee that he'd been sent to prison after an extended crime spree that started in 1989 when he was a teenager — and that he was a different person now.

At the time of the crimes — which included aggravated robbery, firearms possession and burglary — Clemmons claimed he was 16 years old and had moved from Seattle to a high-crime neighborhood in Arkansas.

"I succumbed to the peer pressure and the need I had to be accepted by other youth in my new environment and fell in with the wrong crowd and thus began a seven (7) month crime spree which led me to prison," Clemmons wrote in his application to Huckabee.

Clemmons wrote that he came from "a very good Christian family" and "was raised much better than my actions speak (I'm still ashamed to this day for the shame my stupid involvement in these crimes brought to my family name.)"

"Where once stood a young (16) year old misguided fool, who's (sic) own life he was unable to rule. Now stands a 27 year old man, who has learned through 'the school of hard knocks' to appreciate and respect the rights of others. And who has in the midst of the harsh reality of prison life developed the necessary skills to stand along (sic) and not follow a multitude to do evil, as I did as a 16 year old child."

Clemmons added that his mother had recently died without seeing him turn his life around and that he prayed Huckabee would show compassion by releasing him.

The documents indicate Clemmons' release from prison was supported by Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Marion Humphrey, who cited Clemmons' age at the time of his crimes and called his sentence excessive. His release was unanimously approved by the parole board, while the Pulaski County prosecutor's office twice objected to parole recommendations for Clemmons.

"For us to prosecute a 17-year-old, and for him to get a 95-year sentence without a homicide — you've got to be a bad little dude to draw that kind of a sentence," said Mark Fraiser, who prosecuted the earlier cases against Clemmons in Pulaski County.

"He had an obvious propensity for future violence," Fraiser said today. "To wake up this morning and turn on the news and hear his name, I can't even imagine the suffering of those families and the suffering of people in those communities."

Humphrey said Monday he remembers Clemmons and believed he was genuinely remorseful and wanted to change. "I figure young people make some mistakes," he said. Also a Presbyterian minister, Humphrey said he believes in giving people a second chance.

Humphrey in 2004 also officiated Clemmons' wedding when he married his fiance Nicole Cheryleen Smith, according to a copy of the marriage certificate.

"It would be the furthest thing from my mind that he would go out and kill four police officers, if in fact he did," Humphrey said. "Certainly if that's true, I would much rather that he'd stayed in prison... my heart goes out to the officers' families."

Huckabee also cited Clemmons' young age at the time of his crimes in an official proclamation commuting Clemmons' sentence. The proclamation said Clemmons faced a 95-year sentence but corrections officials in that state said he likely would have served far less than that.

Clemmons was released from prison in August 2000, but was sent back to prison on a parole violation — a robbery charge — in July 2001, according to Dina Tyler, spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

He received a 10-year sentence, Tyler said, but records show he was paroled in March 2004. He was to remain on parole until 2021. Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley said that by his count, Clemmons would have been in jail until 2021, but was released from prison in August 2000.

"Mr. Huckabee made him parole-eligible 21 years before he would have been," he said, "otherwise, he'd be cooling his heels in the Department of Corrections."

Clemmons moved to Washington state while still on parole. He spent the past several months in jail on a child-rape charge but was released last week after posting a $15,000 bond. His release here came despite seven other pending felony charges, according to court records.

Huckabee, a Republican presidential contender in 2008, issued a statement Sunday night mourning the deaths of the four Lakewood police officers and suggesting that if Clemmons is responsible "it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington state."

Huckabee's statement noted that Clemmons' release was approved by the parole board and that prosecutors in Arkansas failed to file additional charges against Clemmons after his parole violation in 2001, which could have extended his time in prison.

Seattle Times


Demonstration against Mosque In Harrow, England. From Stop Islamisation of Europe.

Harrow mosque demo announcement « SIOE Stop Islamisation Of Europe

"This second demonstration was only made necessary because of Muslims and a small number of UAF intimidating and disrupting the first attempt on 11th September. We refuse to be cowed by threats and intimidation from fulfilling our democratic rights to free speech. Europe is not yet Muslim dominated so non-Muslims do not have to yield to Muslim demands, nor to the demands of a motley band of self-styled Antifascists who behave like Hitler’s Brownshirts."

I totally agree with this demonstration and
if I could be there, I would be. I really like
the above statement from this article. It
is true and Europe is not yet dominated by
Islam and Muslims. Do not think for one
second this cannot happen here in the
States. It can, it will, unless we become
much more vigilant and forceful in how we
deal against such threats inside our country

Harrow mosque demo announcement

Posted by Sitemaster on November 26, 2009

After a meeting, arrangements have now been made with the police who have made plans for policing the event.

Please keep looking at this site for further information.

The event will start at 14.00 in an area in the square opposite the mosque allotted to SIOE by the police. A muster point has been allotted and people should not gather there before 13.30, in other words people should start assembling the gathering between 13.30 and 14.00 . Details will be given later of where this will be.

People are requested not to bring banners attached to either metal or wood. Plastic plumbing-piping or plastic frames are acceptable, or just hand-held banners. It would be helpful if people could send us images of proposed banners for approval. This will save time on the day. In any case banners will be shown to the police before the demo starts, if requested.

This demo will be carried out in a respectful, dignified manner, but will be robust in its message.

Protestors are requested to bring cameras and camcorders and to make images available to SIOE afterwards for publication. Also, if participants could bring dictaphones to record press interviews so that we can compare what is actually said with what is broadcast, it would be helpful. These interviews will be published by SIOE.

When the event ends the protestors will leave together from the scene according to how the police wish it to happen.

This second demonstration was only made necessary because of Muslims and a small number of UAF intimidating and disrupting the first attempt on 11th September. We refuse to be cowed by threats and intimidation from fulfilling our democratic rights to free speech. Europe is not yet Muslim dominated so non-Muslims do not have to yield to Muslim demands, nor to the demands of a motley band of self-styled Antifascists who behave like Hitler’s Brownshirts.

Is this what those who reside in
 and around Harrow want?


1. There will be local Muslims who attend the mosque who will be close by the mosque. It is not anticipated that these will be large in number, but will in any case be under the control of the mosque leaders.

2. Muslims from outside the area have been asked to stay away by Harrow mosque leaders, so if any show up, it is anticipated they will be small in number.

Islam4UK is highly unlikely to appear, nor is Al-Muhajiroun, as they failed to demonstrate earlier in November and have ceased their disgusting protests against the troops at homecoming parades. Fortunately, they seem to have got the message that they have no support, but do have fierce opposition from the majority of the population.

British Muslims for Secular Democracy will be in opposition, but not in large numbers, as most Muslims indisputably do not believe in secular democracy. The fact that BMSD are counter-protesting is also another reason for Islam4UK not attending as the latter will more than likely be fulfilling its role of giving out a whining press release the day after the demonstration, as they did earlier in November when facing opposition.

SIOE suspects that BMSD and Islam4UK have a “good guy, bad guy” arrangement as, what SIOE calls, “Mecca Muslims” (BMSD) and “Medina Muslims” (Islam4UK). The Caliphate has more than one way to achieve domination.

3. A few misguided United Against Fascism (UAF) opposed SIOE on 11th September, but nearly all their banners were given to Muslims who came in from outside.

UAF have appeared in larger numbers against the English Defence League, probably only because it has “English” in its title, not because it is in any way fascist.

However, the UAF has certainly recognised that SIOE is in no way a fascist or nazi organisation and that SIOE also unswervingly opposes racism. Indeed UAF has seen that SIOE is the one organisation that speaks up for persecuted minorities in Islamic countries, such as the Copts in Egypt and Christians in Pakistan and Indonesia. So UAF would look sincerely stupid counter-protesting against SIOE which opposes anti-Semiticism and fascism more robustly than UAF. Indeed SIOE is not selective in the kind of anti-Semiticism it denounces. Unlike UAF, SIOE despises and opposes the flagrant anti-Semiticism exhibited by Muslims, not only in Muslim countries, but also in Europe, and indeed across the world. The kind of anti-Semiticism preached in every mosque in the world.

Yes UAF will look as stupid as the few ill-informed Antifa members who show up against SIOE in other European countries. Having seen that SIOE is the most anti-fascist organisation in Europe, the more serious and knowledgable anti-fascists no longer counter-protest SIOE. We have observed it is generally a few unruly, ignorant youths who arrive shouting their heads off.

Sarah Cox, Harrow’s UAF spokesperson, has said in the Harrow Times that she does not want to take on SIOE, so we anticipate she will be persuading her more boisterous and foolish companions to do the same. So, if UAF unwisely do appear, we are confident that they will heed Sarah’s demands for self-control and will therefore behave just as SIOE supporters do at all of their demonstrations, that is, peacefully.

So, SIOE considers that this will be an altogether different demonstration to that held on 11th September, now that our opponents have come to their senses and decided to behave in a civilised manner.

Therefore, we urge SIOE supporters to come to Harrow on 13th December and bring as many friends as possible for what will certainly be a peaceful, useful and successful demonstration. The plug has been pulled on Islamisation and sharia is pouring down the plughole where it belongs.

Stop Islamisation Of Europe

Fort Hood, Hasan and lies from president Obama. From Stop Islamization Of America

SIOA » Blog Archive » Denial and Its Discontents
By D.L. Adams

As Fort Hood starts to be
overtaken by more recent events
that have happened, D.L. Adams
from Stop Islamization Of America
presents a very compelling article
of why we MUST be become more
aggressive and proactive to combat
radical Islam inside, and outside the
United States. Please note the passages
he has used directly from the Koran.

"We will not defend ourselves, we will not speak the truth – we are in complete denial and are now in a societal decline reminiscent of Gibbon and the fall of Rome. Every event of jihad against us from prior to 9/11 to today is denied; no linkage is made between jihad warfare against us and the ideology of those who fight us. Islam remains, somehow, a “religion of peace” while it wages warfare against us via jihad attacks and the undermining of our society through falsehoods and infiltration."

Read the rest below.

Denial and Its Discontents

by DL Adams

[This article currently appears in New English Review]

Our Commander in Chief’s immediate response to the jihadist massacre at Fort Hood was “we don’t know all the answers yet and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.” What facts remain to be gathered? The traitor, betrayer, Muslim, jihadist killer Major Nidal Malik Hasan shouted “Allah Akbar” (additional sources here, and here) as he gunned down his fellow American soldiers. There is nothing else that we need to know.

Mr. Hasan (“Major” is an official title that Hasan no longer merits) is a murderer, a traitor, a coward; he is also a devout Muslim. He is an adherent of the “religion of peace” whose deity and prophet both command him to fight the non-believers, strike terror into them, and kill them if they do not submit to Islam.

Traitor and terrorist Hasan

O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be hard against them; and their abode is hell; and evil is the resort. Koran, 66:9

And if any believe not in Allah and His Messenger, We have prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing Fire! Koran, 48:13

O ye who believe! if ye obey those who disbelieve, they will make you turn back on your heels, and ye turn back as losers. Koran, 3:149

O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust. Koran, 5:51

“Fighting in Allah’s cause” (jihad) is mentioned over 100 times in the Koran. This is the central core of the doctrine of Islam – jihad against the unbeliever.

Ye should believe in Allah and His messenger, and should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if ye did but know. Koran, 61:11

Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan. Koran, 4:76

Mr. Hasan undoubtedly thought that had he been killed, he would have gone directly to Islamic heaven for killing kafirs and terrorizing the survivors, witnesses, and the entire kafir country to which he had pledged an oath of service. In Islamic doctrine, jihad against the unbeliever is both an obligation and the highest form of devotion to Allah and Mohammed; there is no more devout adherent of the ideology of Islam than the jihadist.

Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward. Koran, 4:95

You will find others who desire that they should be safe from you and secure from their own people; as often as they are sent back to the mischief they get thrown into it headlong; therefore if they do not withdraw from you, and (do not) offer you peace and restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them; and against these We have given you a clear authority. Koran, 4:91

Our mass media, our political and military leaders all pretend that this is not so; that Hasan is another “misunderstander,” another “hijacker” of the “religion of peace.” This is a lie.

There is even the suggestion commonly made now that Mr. Hasan himself was a victim, someone with “problems” as if this could in some way be an explanation or excuse for his Allah-Akbar-jihad-killings at Fort Hood. Such intellectually dishonest “explanations” remove all Islamic linkages to Hasan’s crimes, substituting for his own “Allah Akbar” motive, the more culturally sensitive, politically correct “he-had-some-personal-issues” nonsense.

FORT HOOD, Texas — In the wake of the mass shooting here last week, the U.S. Army announced today that it will look into better ways to identify soldiers showing signs of instability or personal problems.

The announcement came amid increasing reports that friends, relatives and associates of Maj. Nadal Malik Hasan said he showed signs of problems lately, perhaps stemming from political, religious and emotional pressures. (Dallas Morning News, 11/09/2009)

We are deeply confused about Islam as a culture and society; we will not speak the truth about it even when the truth slaps us repeatedly. We are in denial and will not engage a cruel enemy – even to defend ourselves from them on our own soil.

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. Koran, 9:29

We will not defend ourselves, we will not speak the truth – we are in complete denial and are now in a societal decline reminiscent of Gibbon and the fall of Rome. Every event of jihad against us from prior to 9/11 to today is denied; no linkage is made between jihad warfare against us and the ideology of those who fight us. Islam remains, somehow, a “religion of peace” while it wages warfare against us via jihad attacks and the undermining of our society through falsehoods and infiltration.

This is what many call a religion
of peace? I call it a cult of
perversion from the pits of hell.

“Individual Islamists may appear law-abiding and reasonable, but they are part of a totalitarian movement, and as such, all must be considered potential killers.” Daniel Pipes, American Islam scholar, author.

Please read the rest at New English Review
Stop Islamization Of America

Local News | Police still searching for suspected cop killer | Seattle Times Newspaper

Local News Police still searching for suspected cop killer Seattle Times Newspaper

Here is some of the latest on the Cop
killer in Washington State.

Police still searching for suspected cop killer

Seattle police are spending the morning chasing reports of suspected cop killer Maurice Clemmons after the house they had surrounded overnight turned up empty.

By Seattle Times staff


A trailer believed to be the hiding place for Maurice Clemmons is searched by police after a standoff that lasted several hours early Monday morning, Nov. 30, 2009, in Seattle. The search continues for the suspect in Sunday's killing of four Lakewood Police officers in the house seen in the background.

Seattle police are spending the morning chasing reports of suspected cop killer Maurice Clemmons after the house they had surrounded overnight turned up empty.

About 7 a.m. today, a Seattle SWAT team searched a Leschi house it had surrounded since late Sunday, but found no sign of Clemmons.

A murder warrant has been issued for Clemmons, the man suspected of killing four Lakewood police officers Sunday in a Parkland coffee shop, Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Troyer said the search of the Leschi house finished shortly after 7 a.m. Officers searched with a robot before SWAT officers moved in. Seattle police said they found evidence that Clemmons had been at the house.

Less than an hour later, police swarmed to the University of Washington after someone reported seeing Clemmons getting off a Metro bus at the campus. That search led officers near the UW Medical Center and apparently into a classroom, but Clemmons wasn't there.

About 10 a.m., officers raced to Jose Rizal Park in Beacon Hill after someone reported seeing Clemmons there. By 10:30, officers had walked the park with police dogs and were confident Clemmons wasn't there, either.

"We're responding to citizen calls." Sgt. Don Smith said.

There is a $125,000 reward for information leading to Clemmons' capture.

Clemmons was shot and perhaps seriously wounded by one of the slain officers Sunday morning, Troyer said.

"He has suffered a gunshot wound," Troyer said at a media briefing held just before 3 a.m.

Police know that Clemmons was wounded because they have detained other people — Troyer wouldn't say how many — who helped Clemmons after the shootings.

At the briefing, Troyer said police now consider Clemmons a suspect, rather than merely a "person of interest." Troyer told the Tacoma News-Tribune that Clemmons "made comments the night before to people that he was going to shoot police and watch the news."

Police don't know the severity of Clemmons' wound, and Troyer said he may already be dead.

Investigators have no indication that Clemmons had a motive aimed specifically at any of the particular officers who were gunned down, Troyer said.

"He was upset about being incarcerated," Troyer said. "He was just targeting cops."

A trailer on the property where police first thought Clemmons was hiding was empty when officers entered it early this morning.

A short time earlier, they had issued an ultimatum for anyone inside the trailer to come out, but got no response.

That was followed by a series of flash-bangs, distraction devices which can temporarily blind a suspect. Discharges of what appeared to be tear gas followed.

SWAT teams and police negotiators had surrounded the house at East Yesler Way and 32nd Avenue South earlier in the day based on tips given to police.

Police responded to the home around 8:44 p.m. Sunday. A woman who was leaving the home was stopped by officers and told them Clemmons was on the property and bleeding.

The woman told police that someone had dropped Clemmons off at his aunt's home, on East Superior Street.

Clemmons' sister, Latanya Clemmons, said Sunday night she was near her aunt's house waiting to see what happens. She also said she and her cousin, Cicely, were trying to call their aunt and Maurice in the house but they were getting no answer.

Police told residents to stay inside and keep their doors locked.

One Leschi resident couldn't get back to his home Sunday night. Bo Peck, 52, and his wife just moved from Montlake to a home on East Superior Street this weekend, and he had gone back to get his last load from his old house. When he tried to get back to his new house, he found police had closed off all routes along Lake Washington Boulevard and Alder Street.

"Everything is blocked down there," Peck said. His daughter is supposed to return to Western Washington University tomorrow.

"My wife and daughter are alone down there, they're a little freaked out," Peck said.

Charles and Heidi Markham live on East Superior Street. They arrived back in Seattle at about 1 a.m. today, returning from a trip to British Columbia. But police stopped them several blocks from their home.

"They told us it's blocked off and nobody can get in there," Charles Markham said. "They told us just to wait awhile."

Heidi Markham said: "It's a nice neighborhood. That's why this is kind of strange."

The couple has lived in the neighborhood for 42 years. They said they weren't worried, and that it seemed like police had the situation under control.

The series of events leading up to the house in Leschi began more than 16 hours earlier at an upscale coffee shop in Parkland, Pierce County, a hangout for officers that became the scene of the deadliest attack on law enforcement in state history.

Four officers were shot and killed at 8:15 a.m. as they worked on their laptops at Forza Coffee Company in Parkland. The first two officers were "flat-out executed," while the third tried to stop the gunman and the fourth fired at him, Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Those killed were identified as Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and officers Ronald Owens, 37, Tina Griswold, 40, and Gregory Richards, 42.

Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar has scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference today to discuss the officers and the shooting. A community prayer service is planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Lakewood YMCA.

Clemmons has a long criminal record in Arkansas and Washington. He was released from custody in Pierce County just a week ago, and was facing a charge of raping a child. Family members described him as being in a state of mental deterioration. Last spring, he was also accused of punching a sheriff's deputy in the face.

Sunday's shootings came as officers from across the state were still coming to terms with last month's ambush-slaying of Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton. The two incidents do not appear related, police said.

The coffee shop, in a strip mall across the street from McChord Air Force Base, is favored by officers from several nearby jurisdictions.

Troyer said the scruffy-looking gunman entered the shop, walked past the officers and three or four other customers, and approached the counter.

A young barista asked the man if she could help him, according to Humberto Navarrete, 51, who lives nearby and later spoke to the barista. The man stared at the barista without saying a word and then opened his coat, revealing a handgun, Navarrete said.

The barista and another female barista on duty ran out the back, according to Navarrete. The gunman turned and started shooting at the officers, he said, quoting the women.

"This was a targeted, selective ambush," Troyer said.

The officers, who made up one patrol unit, were regulars at the coffee shop. They were wearing bulletproof vests and were preparing to start their day shift, Troyer said.

The first two officers apparently had no time to react. The third officer stood up and tried to go for the gunman before being shot, Troyer said. The fourth officer struggled with the gunman, wrestled him out the door and managed to fire off some shots before he, too, was killed, Troyer said.

It's not clear if the gunman was injured by gunshots.
"It's carnage out front everywhere," Troyer said, describing the front of the coffee shop. "It's like a bad horror movie, it's horrible."

Navarrete, a financial manager who lives a block from the coffee shop, said he was in a nearby AM-PM minimart Sunday morning when the two baristas from the coffee shop ran into the store crying and upset.

Brad Carpenter, CEO of Forza Coffee, met with the two young baristas after they were interviewed by police and said they were shaken up.

The slain officers were "well-known to our staff," said Carpenter, a retired police officer from Oakland, Calif., and Gig Harbor.

"It's supposed to be a safe haven for everybody," he said of the coffee shop.
When the 911 calls started coming in, officers from Lakewood, Tacoma and other jurisdictions raced to the area.

"I have never seen this many scramble to a particular spot, ever," said David Gabrielson, 27, who works as clerk at a gas station near the coffee shop.

An apparent hoax came when a man called 911, claiming to be the shooter. Police took the man into custody at a Parkland house, but he was not linked to the crime, Troyer said.

A second likely hoax came after a Tacoma man called his girlfriend and some other people and falsely claimed responsibility for the shooting, Troyer said. The man has since been arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police investigation.

That hoax sparked the search of vehicles parked outside Evergreen Self Storage, a facility near the shooting scene. The Pierce County bomb squad was dispatched to the storage facility.

Authorities remained on edge all day. At one point, Troyer, who was carrying an assault rifle, told members of the media, "this is kind of a hot area, so you're kind of on your own."

Heavily armed police on Sunday surrounded the Tacoma home of Clemmons' wife, not far from the shooting scene. It didn't appear anyone was home. Later Sunday night they served a search warrant at the home.

Troyer said police found a GPS ankle bracelet during a search of a house where Clemmons was believed to have been staying. Clemmons was required to wear an ankle bracelet under terms of his recent release.

Troyer said if the gunman was shot, he could be traveling some distance to get care. Troyer suggested the man may try to visit a medical facility and claim he had suffered an accidental gunshot wound.

The shootings rank as the worst attack on law enforcement in state history. Three Seattle police were shot and killed by a gunman in January 1921.

Carpenter, the Forza CEO, said donation boxes to help the families of the slain officers will be in place today at all 22 Forza stores in Washington and Colorado, and that information would be placed on the company Web site about making contributions.

Several hundred mourners gathered at Champions Centre, a church in Tacoma, for a memorial service for the officers Sunday night. And a procession of vehicles accompanied two vehicles that transported the bodies from Parkland to the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office in Tacoma.

Seattle Times staff reporters Sara Jean Green, Mike Carter, Steve Miletich, Jonathan Martin, Nick Perry, Jennifer Sullivan and Christine Clarridge and news researchers Miyoko Wolf and Gene Balk contributed to this report.

Seattle Times

Good for these countries. Screw the Copenhagen conference

Copenhagen conference: India, China plan joint exit - India - The Times of India

Good for these four countries.
What a waste of time and MONEY
will this conference in Copenhagen
be. All part of the plan to control
us, make us all more broke and
easier to control. GW is a LIE.
Climate change? OK, that I can
buy to a point as it has always been

Copenhagen conference: India, China plan joint exit

Saibal Dasgupta, TNN 28 November 2009, 06:58pm ISTText Size:

BEIJING: In an unprecedented move, India on Saturday joined China and two other developing countries to prepare for a major offensive on rich

The four countries, which include Brazil and South Africa, agreed to a strategy that involves jointly walking out of the conference if the developed nations try to force their own terms on the developing world, Jairam Ramesh, the Indian minister for environment and forests (independent charge), said.

“We will not exit in isolation. We will co-ordinate our exit if any of our non-negotiable terms is violated. Our entry and exit will be collective,” Ramesh told reporters in Beijing.

The move comes after reports suggested that rich nations led by Denmark are trying to set the agenda of the conference by presenting a draft containing a set of specific proposals.

The BASIC countries-Brazil, South Africa, India and China- decided to throw the gauntlet at rich nations by coming up with a counter-draft that will be presented at the conference. They agreed to let China, which initiated the exercise, to present the draft of the developing nations at Copenhagen.

“This BASIC draft fully meets India’s goals and aspirations. We hope it is made the basis of discussions at the conference,” Ramesh said.

The draft, which was originally prepared by China, was finalized after some changes during a 7-hour long meeting of BASIC countries-Brazil, South Africa, India and China besides Sudan as the chair of G-77.

This joint front forged on Saturday is a major political initiative -- the first major India-China accord on international affairs--that is likely to impact not just the dimension of the talks on climate change but international diplomacy as a whole. The move comes after recent discussions on climate change held with Indian and Chinese leaders by US president Barack Obama, who appears to have made little impact on them.

Denmark is expected to unveil its draft to a group of select countries that includes the United States, several European nations, India and China on December 1. It will be later presented at the conference. Around the same time, the BASIC nations plan to circulate their own counter-draft in order to influence the course of negotiations.

The four nations issued a joint press release, which made it clear the developed nations should be ready to contribute funds and share green technology if they expected the developing and poor nations to take major actions on environmental protection.

The four countries and the chair of G-77 said they were keen to make a “contribution towards a consensus in Copenhagen”.

The release said: “We are in agreement on major issues including those relating to the establishment of a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, as well as shared vision for long term cooperative action on climate change, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impact of climate change, and the provision of finance and technology to support and enable these actions, taking into account the special needs of the least developed countries, the small island developing states and African countries.”

The United States, which refused to endorse the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, might find it difficult to handle the new onslaught mounted by four developing nations including India and China. They are demanding an extension of the Kyoto Protocol.

In fact, there are serious questions on whether US president Barack Obama will keep his promise of attending the Copenhagen conference on climate change next month to avoid pressures to accept a “second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol”. Obama recently met both Chinese leaders and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in order to soften the stance of developing nations and avoid exactly the kind of situation that is now emerging.

Besides the elements of the Kyoto Protocol, there are “significant new features” in the draft proposal worked out by BASIC countries-Brazil, South Africa, India and China-at a meeting here on Saturday, Jairam Ramesh, minister of state for environment and forest said.

These countries have decided not to allow rich nations to make climate change an excuse to set up trade barriers or resort to trade protectionism. Rich countries should be ready to contribute funds for stopping the process of forest degradation including the one in Amazon valley in Brazil and also invest in the process of creating new forests.

The developing nations will also not accept any pressure from developed countries to establish legally binding emission targets at Copenhagen. Developing countries want to be allowed to reduce emissions voluntarily and take what they consider to be “nationally appropriate actions” he said.

Ramesh said India will under no circumstances accept the concept of a peaking year under which each country will have to indicate on what date they will reach the highest level of pollution before beginning to come down.

India will also not accept any unsupported mitigation actions without any effort by developed countries to provide funds and technology support to improve environment in developing nations.

New Delhi has also set its face against any international measurement, reporting and verification of the work done in India for environment protection.

The Indian minister said that China, Brazil and South Africa were also in agreement on these issues.

Times of India


Respect for family and life. Now they are gone. Four of our finest, gone......

Slain officers respected for careers, family life Seattle Times

Here are the 4 officers killed yesterday
in Washington state. Below you will find
an article that brings this all home for
most of us. I am just one state away from
where this tragic crime took place. May
the Lord be with the families, fellow
officers and friends. I urge you to pray for
all of them. These 4 fine servants were
taken far too soon. The Lord only takes the
best, they say. Can anyone tell me why?

Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Gregory Richards,
Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens.
Dedicated to their careers and family.

Slain officers respected for careers, family life

The four victims of Sunday morning's shooting were veteran officers who brought a range of talents to the fledgling Lakewood Police Department when it was created in 2004, according to Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar

By Jack Broom, Lynda V. Mapes, Bob Young and Susan Kelleher

Seattle Times staff reporters

The four victims of Sunday morning's shooting were veteran officers who brought a range of talents to the fledgling Lakewood Police Department when it was created in 2004, according to Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar.

"This is a very difficult time for our families and our officers," he said. "Please keep our families and Lakewood Police in your prayers."

The slain officers "all have been outstanding professionals," he added.

Officer Tina Griswold

Tina Griswold, 40, joined the Lakewood Police Department in 2004 and earlier this year won its Lifesaving Award.

"She was likable and enjoyed life," said her former father-in-law, Carroll Kelley of Shelton, Mason County.

She and Kelley's son met when both were students at Shelton High School, Kelley said. Griswold became a police officer after they divorced, he said.

She is survived by her husband, a daughter, 21, and a son, 8, police and relatives said.

She previously worked as a police officer in Shelton for three years, public records show. She was an officer and SWAT team member for the Lacey Police Department from 1998 to 2004, according to Sgt. Scott Eastman, her former supervisor. The group was responsible for serving high-risk warrants and conducting high-risk entries, he said.

"Tina was an outstanding officer," Eastman said. "She was very assertive, and had no fear in dealing with high-risk situations and suspects that were larger than her. She had this presence about her that was in charge and you were going to do what she said. She had the verbal skills and the confidence to pull it off."

Griwold was avid about physical fitness, and lifted weights and ran regularly, Eastman said. She stood about 5 feet and weighed less than 100 pounds.

"She could do 30 to 40 pull-ups," Eastman said. "A lot of the guys were talking about that this morning. We'd always joke that she didn't have much to lift."

Griswold was one of the first members of Lacey's tactical team, and the first woman to hold the job, Eastman said.

"She was a very hard worker and just a fun person to work with," he said. "She spent most of her free time with family. ... That was her priority."

Although she left Shelton to join the Lacey department, she still lived in town and would run into her former colleagues.

"The young officers looked up to her," Eastman said. "And she was a great partner for the experienced officers. She knew what she was doing."

Lacey officers are still in shock over the news, he said, adding, "We're looking for an opportunity to honor her and her family."

Officer Gregory Richards

He was known as one of the sweet guys, the one everyone liked to work with.

Gregory Richards, 42, of Graham had eight years of law-enforcement experience, starting with work as a patrol officer in Kent.

He worked there from September 2001 until October 2004, before hiring on with the Lakewood Police Department.

The Kent department was going through layoffs because of budget cuts, and Richards sought a more secure situation for his family, said Lt. Lisa Price, public-information officer for the Kent department.

"He was a very well-respected and well-liked co-worker, and when he left we were sad to see him go," Price said. "People loved working alongside him. I firmly believe Greg would still be with Kent if we hadn't been going through layoffs.

"He was just a nice, cute, angelic guy."

He had a lighter side too. Richards was the drummer in an all-police officer rock band called Locked Down. The band played at social gatherings, including a recent police officers' motorcycle rally in Ocean Shores.

The killing was devastating news. "It was a complete shock to my system, it's a horrific crime and it hits close to home," Price said.

Richards is survived by his wife, Kelly, a daughter and two sons.

"Everyone is just here," said Melanie Burwell, a sister-in-law answering the door at Richards' home. "We are staying together."

Burwell said she last saw Richards at Thanksgiving. "It was wonderful," she said, fighting tears. "All he ever wanted was his family. He didn't want to do anything but be with them.

"If there were more people in this world like Greg, nothing like this would ever happen."

Sgt. Mark Renninger

A decorated veteran officer and popular law-enforcement instructor, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, is survived by his wife and three children.

"Mark was a professional, dedicated police officer who made the ultimate sacrifice. More importantly, he was a loving and devoted father, husband and family member who will be missed by many," said Renninger's brother, Matt, on a statement published on the Web site of WFMZ-TV in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, where Renninger grew up.

He joined the Tukwila Police Department shortly after leaving military service in 1996. He was a patrol officer, a SWAT team member and was, for a time, president of the Tukwila police officers' guild.

"Mark was an outstanding police officer and a well-liked member of the department during his time with us," said a statement issued by the Tukwila Police Department.

He moved to the Lakewood department in 2004. According to the program for a state 2008 law-enforcement conference, Renninger was an instructor in SWAT courses and served as an instructor for courses in firearms, chemical munitions and patrol responsibilities.

On a Facebook tribute page set up by his relatives Sunday, more than 1,000 message of tribute were posted by early evening.

Among the postings was one from Rick Fisher, who said he coached Renninger's daughter in fastpitch softball two seasons ago. "Mark was a fun and compassionate man," Fisher wrote. "He was always willing to help me and the girls out when he could. He was a tremendous help."

Officer Ronald Owens

Friends describe Ronald Owens, 37, as a dedicated officer and devoted father. He was also an "ideal tenant," said Toni Strehlow, who managed a property Owens rented, a house with a white-picket fence near downtown Puyallup.

"When he rented from us, the first thing he did was replace walls and a patio door and he never charged us, never wanted a rent deduction. He just wanted to do for people," said Strehlow.

He was a good neighbor, too, said Charley Stokes who lived next door to him in Puyallup. "We'd talk over the back fence, have a beer once in a while."

Owens, who was divorced, was very proud of his daughter, he said.

Strehlow and Stokes said Owens was excited about going from his job as a State Patrol trooper to the Lakewood Police Department in 2004, saying Owens looked forward to more regular hours and better advancement opportunities.

Strehlow said she was speechless when she heard the news. "It's just wrong. He was truly an unforgettable man and a kind, kind person."

Owens went into police work because his father, who died in 2006, was a detective, according to a neighbor, Edie Wintermute.

Owens checked in on her husband after surgery, she said. "He was a good father and very caring guy."

Four of the best, gone forever. May justice
be swiftly served. Life in prison is not an
option here. I have friends in law enforcement.
As I said, this really hits close to home.

Seattle Times

Local News | Maurice Clemmons, man wanted for questioning, has troubling criminal history | Seattle Times Newspaper

Maurice Clemmons, man wanted for questioning, has troubling criminal history Seattle Times Newspaper

Here is an update on the 4 officers
slain yesterday in Washington state.
I wil post more as the news breaks
and I can get to it.

Why was this man allowed to post bail
with what was ALREADY known about him?
His violent past, and his most recent charges
on child rape? A break down in our criminal
justice system that has now taken the lives
of 4 brave and faithful law enforcement
officers. Please be praying for their families,
friends and fellow officers.

Maurice Clemmons

Originally published Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Maurice Clemmons, man wanted for questioning, has troubling criminal history

The man sought for questioning in the execution of four Lakewood police officers was granted clemency in 2000 by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and released on bail just six days ago on a child rape charge in Washington state.

By Seattle Times staff

Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing this morning of four Lakewood police officers, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health.

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors.

"This is the day I've been dreading for a long time," Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas' Pulaski County said tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with the killings.

Clemmons' criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. The record also stands out for the number of times he has been released from custody despite questions about the danger he posed.

Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination last year, issued a statement tonight calling the slaying of the police officers "a horrible and tragic event."

If Clemmons is found responsible, "it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State," Huckabee said.

He added that Clemmons' release from prison had been reviewed and approved by the Arkansas parole board.

Clemmons had been in jail in Pierce County for the past several months on a pending charge of second-degree rape of a child. He was released from custody just six days ago, even though was staring at seven additional felony charges in Washington state.

Clemmons posted $15,000 with a Chehalis company called Jail Sucks Bail Bonds. The bondsman, in turn, put up $150,000, securing Clemmons' release on the pending child-rape charge.

Clemmons lives in Tacoma, where he has run a landscaping and power-washing business out of his house, according to a police interview with his wife earlier this year.

He was married, but the relationship was tumultuous, with accounts of his unpredictable behavior leading to at least two confrontations with police earlier this year.

During the confrontation in May, Clemmons punched a sheriff's deputy in the face, according to court records. As part of that incident, he was charged with seven counts of assault and malicious mischief.

In another instance, Clemmons was accused of gathering his wife and young relatives around at 3 or 4 in the morning and having them all undress. He told them that families need to "be naked for at least 5 minutes on Sunday," a Pierce County sheriff's report says.

"The whole time Clemmons kept saying things like trust him, the world is going to end soon, and that he was Jesus," the report says.

As part of the child-rape investigation, the sheriff's office interviewed Clemmons' sister in May. She told them that "Maurice is not in his right mind and did not know how he could react when contacted by Law Enforcement," a sheriff's report says.

"She stated that he was saying that the secret service was coming to get him because he had written a letter to the President. She stated his behavior has become unpredictable and erratic. She suspects he is having a mental breakdown," the report says.

Deputies also interviewed other family members. They reported that Clemmons had been saying he could fly and that he expected President Obama to visit to "confirm that he is Messiah in the flesh."

Prosecutors in Pierce County were sufficiently concerned about Clemmons' mental health that they asked to have him evaluated at Western State Hospital. Earlier this month, on Nov. 6, a psychologist concluded that Clemmons was competent to stand trial on the child-rape and other felony charges, according to court records.

Clemmons moved Washington in 2004, after being released from prison in Arkansas, state Department of Corrections records indicate. That would mean he had gone five years or so before landing in serious trouble with authorities here, according to a review of his criminal record.

Clemmons started Sea-Wash Pressure Washing Landscaping with his wife, Nicole Smith, in October 2005. The license for the business expired last month.

Long history of trouble in Arkansas

News accounts out of Arkansas offer a confusing — and, at times, conflicting — description of Clemmons' criminal history and prison time.

In 1990, Clemmons, then 18, was sentenced in Arkansas to 60 years in prison for burglary and theft of property, according to a news account in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Newspaper stories describe a series of disturbing incidents involving Clemmons while he was being tried in Arkansas on various charges.

During one trial, Clemmons was shackled in leg irons and seated next to a uniformed officer. The presiding judge ordered the extra security because he felt Clemmons had threatened him, court records show.

Another time, Clemmons hid a hinge in his sock, and was accused of intending to use it as a weapon. Yet another time, Clemmons took a lock from a holding cell, and threw it toward the bailiff. He missed and instead hit Clemmons' mother, who had come to bring him street clothes, according to records and published reports.

On another occasion, Clemmons had reached for a guard's pistol during transport to the courtroom.

When Clemmons received the 60-year sentence, he was already serving 48 years on five felony convictions and facing up to 95 more years on charges of robbery, theft of property and possessing a handgun on school property. Records from Clemmons' sentencing described him as 5-foot-7 and 108 pounds. The crimes were committed when he was 17.

Clemmons served 11 years before being released.

News accounts say Huckabee commuted Clemmons' sentence, citing Clemmons' young age at the time the crimes were committed.

But Clemmons remained on parole — and soon after landed in trouble again. In March 2001, he was accused of violating his parole by committing aggravated robbery and theft, according to a story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

He was returned to prison on a parole violation. But in what appears to have been a mistake, Clemmons was not actually served with the arrest warrants until leaving prison three years later. As a result, Clemmons' attorney argued that the charges should be dismissed because too much time had passed. Prosecutors dropped the charges.

Seattle Times

Obama and Chavez dumped in Honduras elections. Free speech won the day.

Mary O'Grady: In Elections, Honduras Defeats Chávez - WSJ.com

A major victory for freedom and
and the people of Honduras. A
stunning setback for Hugo Chavez
and the Obama administration.
At least the administration will
recognize the new leader and the
election results. They have to.
To do otherwise would be to lose
what little credibility the Obama
adminstration has in central America.

Celebrating Lobo's victory in Honduras

Unless something monumental happens in the Western Hemisphere in the next 31 days, the big regional story for 2009 will be how tiny Honduras managed to beat back the colonial aspirations of its most powerful neighbors and preserve its constitution.

Yesterday's elections for president and Congress, held as scheduled and without incident, were the crowning achievement of that struggle.

National Party candidate Porfirio Lobo was the favorite to win in pre-election polls. Yet the name of the victor is almost beside the point. The completion of these elections is a national triumph in itself and a win for all people who yearn for liberty.

Porfirio Lobo and suppoorters.
The protection was absolutely essential
 for Lobo's safety

The fact that the U.S. has said it will recognize their legitimacy shows that this reality eventually made its way to the White House. If not Hugo Chávez's Waterloo, Honduras's stand at least marks a major setback for the Venezuelan strongman's expansionist agenda.

The losers in this drama also include Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Spain, which all did their level best to block the election. Egged on by their zeal, militants inside Honduras took to exploding small bombs around the country in the weeks leading to the vote. They hoped that terror might damp turnout and delegitimize the process. They failed. Yesterday's civic participation appeared to be at least as good as it was in the last presidential election. Some polling stations reportedly even ran short, for a time, of the indelible ink used to mark voter pinkies.

Latin socialists tried to discredit Honduran democracy as part of their effort to force the reinstatement of deposed President Manuel Zelaya. Both sides knew that if that happened the electoral process would be in jeopardy.

Mr. Zelaya had already showed his hand when he organized a mob to try to carry out a June 28 popular referendum so that he could cancel the elections and remain in office. That was unlawful, and he was arrested by order of the Supreme Court and later removed from power by Congress for violating the constitution.

It is less well-known that as president, according to an electoral-council official I interviewed in Tegucigalpa two weeks ago, Mr. Zelaya had refused to transfer the budgeted funds—as required by law—to the council for its preparatory work. In other words, he didn't want a free election.

Mr. Chávez didn't want one either. During the Zelaya government the country had become a member of Mr. Chávez's Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), which includes Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. If power changed hands, Honduran membership would be at risk.

Last week a government official told me that Honduran intelligence has learned that Mr. Zelaya had made preparations to welcome all the ALBA presidents to the country the night of his planned June referendum. Food for a 10,000-strong blowout celebration, the official added, was on order.

ALBA has quite a bit of clout at the Organization of American States (OAS) these days, and it hasn't been hard for Mr. Chávez to control Secretary General José Miguel Insulza. The Chilean socialist desperately wants to be re-elected to his OAS post in 2010. Only a month before Mr. Zelaya was deposed, Mr. Insulza led the effort to lift the OAS membership ban on Cuba. When Mr. Zelaya was deposed, Mr. Insulza dutifully took up his instructions sent from Caracas to quash Honduran sovereignty.

Unfortunately for him, the leftist claims that Honduras could not hold fair elections flew in the face of the facts. First, the candidates were chosen in November 2008 primaries with observers from the OAS, which judged the process to be "transparent and participative." Second, all the presidential candidates—save one from a small party on the extreme left—wanted the elections to go forward. Third, though Mr. Insulza insisted on calling the removal of Mr. Zelaya a "military coup," the military had never taken charge of the government. And finally, the independent electoral tribunal, chosen by congress before Mr. Zelaya was removed, was continuing with the steps required to fulfill its constitutional mandate to conduct the vote. In the aftermath of the elections Mr. Insulza, who insisted that the group would not recognize the results, presides over a discredited OAS.

At least the Obama administration figured out, after four months, that it had blundered. It deserves credit for realizing that elections were the best way forward, and for promising to recognize the outcome despite enormous pressure from Brazil and Venezuela. President Obama came to office intent on a foreign policy of multilateralism. Perhaps this experience will teach him that freedom does indeed have enemies.

Almost 400 foreign observers from Japan, Europe, Latin America and the U.S. traveled to Honduras for yesterday's elections. Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, the German parliament and Japan will also recognize the vote. The outpouring of international support demonstrates that Hondurans were never as alone these past five months as they thought. A good part of the world backs their desire to save their democracy from chavismo and to live in liberty.

Wall Street Journal


Breaking news: 4 Police officers gunned down near Tacoma, Wash coffe shop.

4 police officers killed in Wash. coffee shop - msnbc.com

This is just a tragedy. 4 officers gunned
down in cold blood, execution style.
I will be posting more on this later 
tonight as accuracy is of critical 
importance when something like this
happens. Sorry to be a bit late in posting

Scene at Parkland, Washington coffee shop.
Really brave for some coward to ambush 4 police
officers on a break.

4 police officers killed in Wash. coffee shop

Sheriff's official: Gunman opened fire in 'execution'-style attack

Robert Sorbo / Reuters

Law-enforcement officers stand outside a coffee shop in Parkland, Wash., where four police officers were shot and killed by a gunman Sunday morning.

Nov. 29: Four police officers have been shot and killed near McChord Air Force Base in Washington state. KING 5 reports.

msnbc.com news services

updated 2 hours, 12 minutes ago

PARKLAND, Wash. - A gunman walked into a coffee shop and shot and killed four police officers Sunday morning in what sheriff's officials described as a targeted "execution."

The officers were sitting in the cafe at a strip mall near the Tacoma suburb of Parkland with their laptop computers, preparing for their day shifts, when a man came in and opened fire, Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.

The officers were obviously targeted because they were in full uniform, their marked patrol cars were parked outside and no one else was shot at, Troyer said.

"This was more of an execution. He walked in with the mind of shooting police officers," Troyer said.

It wasn't immediately known if any of the officers were able to return fire. They were declared dead at the scene.

Troyer said two employees and a few customers were in the Forza Coffee Company shop at the time but no one else was hurt. "As you can imagine they are all traumatized," he said. Authorities scoured the area for the gunman, who fled from the coffee shop on foot and may have gotten into a nearby vehicle. The shooting suspect was described as a "scruffy"-faced black man in his 20s or 30s, 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10 and wearing a black jacket over a gray hooded sweatshirt, and blue jeans.

"We are in the process of searching multiple locations," Troyer said.

Nearby McChord Air Force Base was put on alert.

No advance threats

The victims were three males and one female, all officers with the Lakewood Police Department southwest of Tacoma, Troyer said.

There were no specific advance threats against the officers, Troyer said.

A $10,000 reward was being offered for information leading to those responsible.

"This is an example of the danger that police officers and deputy sheriffs and state troopers face every day," Sheriff Paul Pastor said. "The person or people who did this not only harmed us, they harmed the good that we can do in the community."

There was no indication of any connection with the Halloween night shooting of a Seattle police officer, Troyer said. The suspect in that shooting remains hospitalized.

'Hits close to home'

The Forza coffee shop, part of a popular local chain, is on a side street near McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, about 35 miles south of Seattle. The shop is in a small retail center alongside two restaurants, a cigar store and a nail salon.

Brad Carpenter, founder and owner of Forza Coffee, said his staff was OK and being interviewed by police, and that his main concern was with the families of the police officers.

"I'm a retired police officer, so this really hits close to home for me," he said.

Streets around the coffee shop were blocked off late Sunday morning, and a police helicopter hovered over a large crowd of investigators.

Dave Gabrielson, a clerk at Foot Mart about a block away from the coffee shop, told The News Tribune of Tacoma all was quiet when he opened the store at 8 a.m. About 30 minutes later, "All of a sudden a million cops were zooming up and down the road," Gabrielson said.

He said he saw officers bring a police dog into a nearby apartment complex.

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire said she was "shocked and horrified" by the killings.

"Our police put their lives on the line every day, and tragedies like this remind us of the risks they continually take to keep our communities safe," she said in a statement. "My heart goes out to the family, friends and co-workers of these officers, as well as the entire law enforcement community."

Seattle police shooting

On Oct. 31, Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton was shot and killed Halloween night as he was sitting in a cruiser with trainee Britt Sweeney. Sweeney was grazed in the neck.

Authorities say the man charged with that shooting also firebombed four police vehicles in October as part of a "one-man war" against law enforcement. Christopher Monfort, 41, was arrested days after the Seattle slaying after being shot by officers surrounding an apartment complex south of Seattle where he was staying. He remains hospitalized in stable condition and is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.

Seattle Post Intellegencer

Swiss vote to ban minarets! Muslim backlash? BRING IT ON!

Switzerland: majority voters back nationwide ban on minarets

Good for Switzerland and all of
Europe. Backlash? Then respond
in like form if Muslims resort to
the usual and customary forms
of discourse and protests. I hope
the vote holds up to all the attacks
that will come from Islam and
Islamosympathizers worldwide.

Switzerland risks Muslim backlash after minarets vote

Switzerland risked a Muslim backlash on Sunday after its citizens voted overwhelmingly to ban minarets on mosques.

By Alexandra Williams in Geneva

Published: 5:50PM GMT 29 Nov 2009

A pedestrian walks past a display advertising the initiative against the construction of new minarets in Switzerland, in Geneva Photo: REUTERS The legally-binding referendum result had not been widely expected and was a huge embarrassment for the neutral government in Switzerland.

In the run-up to the vote it had warned that a ban would "serve the interests of extremist circles" and damage economic ties with Muslim states.

Exit polls show Swiss have backed minaret ban

Home-grown terrorism: our values are not optional Anti-immigrant right-wing populists had championed the vote and led an emotive campaign. The Swiss People's Party (SVP), the country's largest in terms of popular support and membership in parliament, used posters depicting a woman in a burka in front of minarets shaped like missiles rising from a Swiss flag.

"We're enormously happy. It is a victory for this people, this Switzerland, this freedom and those who want a democratic society," Walter Wobmann, president of the initiative committee, said in a victory speech. "We just want to stop further Islamisation in Switzerland."

As recently as two weeks ago, opinion polls showed 53 per cent would reject the ban and just 37 per cent would support it. But yesterday's results showed a swing to 57.5 per cent in favour (1.534 million people), 42.5 per cent against (1.135 million people) and 22 of the 26 cantons also in support of the initiative.

Switzerland uses direct democracy for single-issue politics, meaning citizens have the last word on many important political decisions.

The backing from both cantons and voters means the words "the construction of minarets is forbidden" will be added to article 72 of the country's constitution.

In many places support reached more than 60 per cent and in Appenzell Innerrhoden province it was 71
 per cent.

Taner Hatipoglu, president of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Zurich, said: "The initiators have achieved something everyone wanted to prevent, and that is to influence and change the relations to Muslims and their social integration in a negative way."

Andreas Gross, president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, called the ban a "slap in the face to everyone who has an idea of the human rights."

He said: "This is clearly the result of a lack of information and political education in Switzerland. As a result the voters have been misdirected by their emotions. The foundations of Switzerland's direct democracy have failed."

Yesterday's referendum was sparked by a planning application by Muslims in the town of Langenthal, in the canton of Bern, asking for planning permission to add a 30ft minaret to their mosque. What began as a debate about an architectural structure snowballed into an issue about the position of Muslims in Switzerland.

The vote was triggered when almost 115,000 signed a people's initiative handed to parliament last year in favour of a ban – 100,000 is enough to force a referendum in Switzerland.

Ulrich Schlüer, of the SVP, said: "The minaret has got nothing to do with religion. It's a symbol of political power, a prelude to the introduction of sharia law.

"They are symbols of an Islam which wants to establish a legal and social order fundamentally contrary to the liberties guaranteed in our constitution.

"We compare our situation to Germany, France or England the problems they have in their suburbs. That is what we do not want."

The minaret campaign was denounced by the government but it said it would respect the people's decision.

Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said: "The initiative is a kind of proxy war. Its supporters say they are against minarets. But they want to fight what they consider creeping Islamisation and sharia law."

About 400,000 – 5 per cent – of Swiss residents are Muslims and of about 150 mosques or Islamic prayer houses in Switzerland, only four have minarets.

Swiss citizens are called to cast their votes several times every year. They have the final say on specific issues, amending the constitution and challenging parliamentary decisions.

The only case in which parliament can override this right is if it decides that the motion being proposed is unconstitutional or if it violates international law.

In the run-up to yesterday's vote, tensions ran high. In Geneva last week a mosque was vandalised by individuals who threw pink paint at the entrance.

Many Swiss businesses, particularly those with large interests in Muslim countries, came out against the referendum, for fear of a boycott like one that hit Denmark in 2005 following a controversy over published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

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