Open Letter to the Family of Maurice Clemmons and Rickey Hinton
Editor’s Note: This post is not an open invitation to threaten or demean the Clemmons/Hinton family in the comments section. All comments on the SV are moderated. If you abuse the moderation policy your comments will not be posted.
To the family of Maurice Clemmons/Rickey Hinton,
Last week; your family member, Maurice Clemmons, ruthlessly gunned down 4 Lakewood police officers Sunday morning, leading to one of the biggest manhunts in our State’s history. Emotions and opinions are strong on this issue, thus, low blows fly easily, heck sometimes they just make us feel better at your expense. At the same time, as someone who has lived here her entire life, I’m personally effected by what has happened, and as the days go by, so do the shades of emotion. What began as disbelief has since turned a shade of annoyance with spots of resentment at what I’ve seen in your family these past few days- as well as the mess you’ve left in your wake.
Of course I can’t really imagine what it must feel like to find out that someone you love, someone you’ve known for many years or for your entire life, has been accused of such a terrible crime.
No, I don’t know what it’s like to have police and federal law enforcement searching everywhere to find him.
Obviously I can’t fathom the sheer stress of opening your front door to find reporters from across the country camped on the front lawn waiting to to get your “reaction.” Your addresses have been published and republishes on websites and television news and print over and over. Whatever privacy or comfort level you had living here is gone and will never be the same again.
It must be a nightmare.
I get that.
It also seems clear to me that, aside from having an extensive criminal background, Maurice Clemmons was a man undone. Our criminal justice systems and mental health services failed to contain him and failed to protect the public from harm. Clemmons spoke openly to some of you about killing police officers- thus, the failure is yours as well, for no one stepped up and informed the proper authorities that the threat was imminent.
Pile all those failures together and what do we get? Four dead police officers and a killer on the run.
The number one priority from that moment, was finding who had done this.
By Monday night/Tuesday morning it was evident to law enforcement that Clemmons was getting help from you, his family and friends, in order to escape being captured. This revelation turned the entire situation on its ear. We were faced with a level of brazen crime and disregard none of us in the Pacific Northwest have seen before.
You didn’t just agree to help because he showed up on your doorstep unexpectedly.
It’s not as if he was holding a gun to your head and forcing you to choose between life and death.
No, the help you gave in the hours and days following the shooting was purposeful; to help him get away. You bandaged his wounds, gave him food, drove him around… and not just that- but actively worked to throw police off the trail, sending them on wild goose chases, knowing damn well what you were doing all along.
It seems only one family member has the sense, conscience and morals to step up and do the right thing. Chrisceda Clemmons. You didn’t hesitate to do the right thing when contacted by Maurice. The media has taken its lazy time sharing your story, so it probably won’t mean much to too many people because the focus is on the other family members and friends who didn’t make the right choice when confronted with the same decision as you and your husband. This letter is not directed at you for that reason and I think it’s important to point out that distinction since no one else ever really cares to.
And to those other family members and friends- most of which now sit in jail facing charges related to this incident- there really are no words to convey the level of anger, disgust and outrage people feel right now.
Simply put, how dare you?
Rickey Hinton, 46, Clemmons’ half brother was charged in Pierce County Superior Court today with three counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance. Hinton pleaded not guilty. The charge is a class A felony and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years per count.
Darcus D. Allen, 38, who is wanted in Arkansas on a robbery warrant, was booked under investigation for helping Clemmons after the officers were gunned down. If police determine Allen knew of Clemmons’ plans, he could be charged with four murder counts.
Felony Charges have also been brought against Quiana Williams, Darcus Allen, his brother, and Letricia Nelson, Clemmons’ aunt. From the Seattle Times:
Nelson, Clemmons’ aunt, directed another relative to turn car keys and money over to Clemmons shortly after the Lakewood officers were killed, the documents allege.
When the relative said it “ain’t right” not to call police, Nelson responded, “It ain’t right, but family’s more important,” according to the documents.
If all those charged in this case are convicted of all counts and sentenced to the maximum, you’re looking at over 100 years between the 7 of those who decided that family was more important than anything else, who decided to willfully do the wrong thing for a man who is now dead.
It’s one thing to have no respect for the law. It’s another entirely to have no respect for another human life. You all knowingly did the wrong thing. You knowingly lied.
With that knowledge came a level of anger in law enforcement and common citizens, which I can’t recall ever seeing before.
Your actions are despicable.
No one is saying it’s easy to hand over someone you love to the police knowing full well he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison, or worse, be executed for his crimes. But that’s what responsible members of society do- they suck it up and do the right thing, even if it’s hard, even if it hurts.
Destiny Hinton, Rickey Hinton’s daughter claims to have no knowledge of the situation (we’ll never know if that’s true or not- apples fallin’ close to trees the way they do). Hours after her home was raided KIRO TV circulated Destiny’s myspace page across the internet, showing anyone who chose to click on it, a trashy harlot who glorifies negative stereotypes of Black women and encourages her children to do the same. At 28 years old, somehow she has become the family spokesperson- such a travesty.
Wednesday evening Destiny came out and said her family wants to have a public vigil for her late uncle at the site where he was gunned down by police.
You want a special place to gather and honor his life and share fond memories, is that it? “Remember when uncle Maurice broke into that woman’s house, punched her out and stole all her shit, then got clemency?”
Yes, to all of you he was family. To all of us, he was a cold blooded killer. It may be a free country, but the last thing you should be doing is trying to have a memorial in public for someone everyone thinks so little of. If you want to memorialize him do so in private. I can only imagine the kind of uproar that would be caused by a candle light vigil to honor a cop killer- that’s not giving dignity to the dead.
Thursday Rickey Hinton was in court to face charges of rendering criminal assistance. And what bright idea did you, his family members have? You went out and had personalized t-shirts made to support him.
“Free Rickey Hinton” t-shirts. In the same court room as family members of the deceased. Why? A family member said “Cause I feel that he shouldn’t have to be in jail. Free Rickey Hinton that’s all you got to say.”
He…shouldn’t have to be in jail? Really? And why the hell not?
Hinton knew Clemmons was planning to kill police officers when he loaned him the truck used to drive to and from to the murder scene. He was constantly in contact with Eddie and Douglas Davis, as they drove Clemmons to his aunt’s house in Pacific after the murders.
It’s against the law to help someone who has committed murder. That’s pretty much a rule across the board in every state and city in this country. Rickey Hinton broke that law- pure and simple. Yes he belongs in jail and so do the rest of them.
I can think of more important things to use my money for, than personalized t-shirts in support of a heartless criminal. Has the Clemmons/Hinton family made any contributions to the fund for the officers’ families, including the nine children who had to be told their parent wasn’t coming home again?
Better yet, has the Clemmons/Hinton family released a statement of condolence condemning the murder and the actions of those family members who cheered him on and lent a helping hand… No? I didn’t think so.
From KIRO TV:
Outside the courtroom, Hinton’s daughter Destiny and other family members were angry that they were late for court and that police in the courthouse hallway prevented them from confronting Richards’ family. “What about my dad’s family? What about Maurice’s family? They wanted to rush us out; ‘don’t go up, the family’s upset’- we’re upset too,” Destiny said.
First things first Destiny- this isn’t about your f#cking family. This isn’t about your pain. You could at least give the appearance of being a self respecting member of society. Lie to us, damn. Tell us all how appalled you are, how you’re praying for the victims families, and then zip it. What you do behind closed doors is your business. I don’t care if you talk to your dad every day on the phone from jail. But at this point, strategically, you want to keep all of that to your self.
Second of all, what the hell do you want to confront one of the dead police officer’s families for? Are you insane? I’m asking the question genuinely- have you lost your gawtdayum mind? You think a confrontation with the family is somehow going to help you…how? You think you can save your dad? It’ll never happen. You think you can openly advocate for him and no one is going to eventually tell you to sit down and shut the hell up- well then dear heart you’ve got a thing or two to learn about how life really works.
But that’s not how you’re going to play it. Instead you’re going to come out and act like a fool; shallow, moronic and self important- like you have a grievance and have been dealt a bad hand.
If I could do one thing right now, it’d be to take your highfalutin ego aside and slap the arrogance right on out of it. Where’s your common sense? Is it too much to ask that you exercise a bit of self restraint here?
It may seem harsh, but I’m going to say it anyway: If your actions these past few days are a prelude of things to come – save us all the trouble and just go. Pack up your “I don’t give a damn”, gutter mentality and take it all back to wherever the hell you came from. We don’t want to hear it. If you keep runnin’ your mouth the way you do you’re going to piss off the wrong person.
By no means am I suggesting harm come to you or yours- what I am saying is I’m shocked no one has keyed your car or flattened your tires. if I were in your shoes, the first thing I would do is send out my deepest condolences and condemn the act- and then I would stay silent- leave the area if I had to. Sometimes you just have to set yourself aside for the bigger picture.
In case you’re too dense to understand what the bigger picture actually is- it has nothing to do with you. You have zero sympathy in the media or the public eye- and more importantly, the families of the victims. They look at you, listen to you, watch your conduct on the news and in front of their faces in court and think you are nothing more than animals who live a life of crime and love it.
You’re behavior is so depraved that people are getting very, very angry- that’s on top of being livid about the murders and heartbroken at the loss of these police officers. I don’t know what is going on in that idiot mind of yours, but you don’t go around killing police officers up here. That’s not something to shrug at. It’s not cool, it doesn’t prove manhood or earn some special crown of recognition- once you take that step you are on. your. own.
You can’t take back what you’ve done in response to this situation.
You’e so wrapped up in yourself that you can’t see or feel what is going on around you. Your family isn’t suffering more than those of the dead officers. Where is your humility?
A public vigil? Free Rickey Hinton t-shirts? Confronting the victims families? No statement of condolence?
Given the circumstances, you’ve got some nerve.
I have to say it. On a personal level, as a Black woman, I just want to shake you. I am certain you can’t even begin to grasp the ramifications of all of this when it comes to perceptions about race, crime and violence. You have no idea the things people are saying and thinking about Black people because of everything that has happened. Every day that you all go on television and push your indignation only cements it. I swear, every time I see one of your myspace pictures or hear you talk on the news, I feel like I’m being Punk’d, it’s that stereotypically cliche; ignorant, arrogant, angry, loud Black woman. Obviously the people around you aren’t smart enough to tell you what you need to be doing, so allow me: shut the hell up and sit down- and don’t move from that spot any time soon.