Oh, Sure, Now You’re “Looking Into It”

From the NYTimes:

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department will reopen its investigation into the 2007 episode that led to the firing of Christopher J. Dorner, the former police officer who is wanted in three killings, department officials said Saturday night.

Mr. Dorner pledged revenge against Los Angeles police officers in a manifesto he posted online, in which he also claimed that racism in the department had led to his dismissal. He is wanted in connection with the killing of a former police captain’s daughter and her fiancé last Sunday and the shooting death of a Riverside, Calif., police officer on Thursday morning.

“I am aware of the ghosts of the L.A.P.D.’s past, and one of my biggest concerns is that they will be resurrected by Dorner’s allegations of racism within the department,” Chief Charlie Beck said in a written statement.

“Therefore, I feel we need to also publicly address Dorner’s allegations regarding his termination,” he said. “I do this not to appease a murderer. I do it to reassure the public that their Police Department is transparent and fair in all the things we do.”

The killings and Mr. Dorner’s online manifesto have reopened old wounds for some black residents here, even as they condemned the violence. For decades, the Los Angeles Police Department was known nationwide for racism and corruption. And memories are still fresh of the riots in 1992 that followed the beating of a black man, Rodney King, by white police officers….






47 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Closing the barn door….

  3. 3

    Two random subjects in this comment:

    First. I’m getting really tired of my Irish relatives shoveling already-debunked right-wing garbage in emails and Facebook. There’s this stupid, obviously bullshit rant attributed to Bill Cosby. I first received this garbage in an email; I sent a reply to the relatives telling them it was nonsense. Then, another relative posted it on Facebook, after I had already posted that Snopes link debunking it. It’s depressing how quick my Irish relatives are to grab onto racist crap. They also forward every single ridiculous anti-Moslem trope you’ve ever seen.

    Second. I can’t be the only person reading this site who thinks that Ricky Gervais is an unfunny, smug asshole. I can’t stand the guy.

  4. 4
    Neil says:

    It’s a trap!

    But seriously: they are asking him to turn himself in with the promise to reopen the inquiry after multiple appeals failed. They don’t know where he is, so this is a gambit to either get him in custody, or get him to contact someone. They never let you get on the plane.

  5. 5
    srv says:

    Blue Thunder taught me all I needed to know about LA

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: I really don’t like humiliation/embarrassment humor. There are many episodes of Seinfeld that I also thought were horrible. I don’t find mean to be funny. Of course, I am a rank sentimentalist.

  7. 7
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Neil:

    But seriously: they are asking him to turn himself in with the promise to reopen the inquiry after multiple appeals failed. They don’t know where he is, so this is a gambit to either get him in custody, or get him to contact someone. They never let you get on the plane.

    Naw, this is aimed at everyone in the LA area who isn’t Dorner. The ‘madman with a manifesto versus our brave boys in blue’ narrative failed miserably, so now it’s ‘if only he’d asked us nicely! no need to get ugly about it!’ PR.

  8. 8
    p says:

    Bizarrely pro-Dorner headline and post #7. WTH

  9. 9
    p says:

    @Neil: They are not asking him to turn himself in with the promise of new fairness with his old case. Where did you come up with that? He’s already… allegedly… murdered several people, made terrorist threats and shot at others.

    The Chief explaining why this is happening: “I do this not to appease a murderer. I do it to reassure the public that their Police Department is transparent and fair in all the things we do.”

  10. 10
    Anne Laurie says:

    @p: Not pro-Dorner, just anti-institutional CYA.

    Dorner’s almost certainly a murderer, if what we’re being told is true. The LA police department came uncomfortably close to killing another three innocent people in pursuit of him, and is now peddling a narrative (whocoodanode!) that does not conform to historical reality.

    Odds are that the LA police department will go on being wrong, with occasionally deadly results, long after Dorner is dead.

  11. 11
    Starfish says:

    @p: In his manifesto, Dorner wrote that he liked the First Lady’s bangs and hated Fareed Zakaria so I can sees the appeal.

  12. 12
    gvg says:

    Dormer murdered relatives of people he is mad about. That makes him scum in my book.

    LAPD has a rotten reputation that even I’ve heard about thousands of miles away and this did remind me. I don’t like the appearance of giving in to his demands because it might encourage other nuts. If they actually wanted a real investigation, it would need to be by an outside independant agency and if I lived in LA I’d want regular reviews again from outside independant sources. Frankly they probably need it all the time on matters not limeted to whatever Dormer said.
    Here in Florida, nearby Jacksonville seems to have a lot of police shootings which always get investigated and judged as OK. I find it unconvincing myself. It might be OK but we outsiders don’t have confidence in police reviewing police in the same department.

  13. 13
    currants says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: The Bill Cosby thing’s been going around–I was snopesing back at the same emails to MY relatives–not Irish–during the 2008 election season. Point being it’s wingnuttery. Logic isn’t going to help.

    Well, except that one time my brother asked me a question about the Affordable Care Act, and forwarded me an email rant about a version of it that had been proposed at some point BEFORE the act had passed. He said thanks, but I’m not sure he wasn’t trolling me.

    I replied often enough with long, sourced emails basically saying “THIS IS DUMB” that I don’t get any emails from them at all, anymore.I’m not sure that’s better.

  14. 14
    bemused says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Last week a relative sent me the Paul Harvey “If I were the devil” thing that has evidently been circulating and evolving for years. This are purportedly Harvey’s words from 1965 but actually from the 90’s. I didn’t bother to reply with the snopes link.

  15. 15
    dan says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: My IRISH relatives just posted the same Bill Cosby thing On their Facebook pages yesterday.

  16. 16
    Frankly says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Rickey can be funny, just not as often or as funny he thinks he is. The smug asshole part? Yeah, in spades. 10 minutes of watching him on “Idiot Abroad” and you know he is abusive to his friends in that way that smug assholes are while they think they are very clever and cute.

    Sadly, this is what passes for humor here at the dawn of a new millennium.

  17. 17
    GregB says:

    They should bring in Darrel Gates to head a special commission to investigate this matter.

  18. 18
    GxB says:

    I do it to reassure the public that their Police Department is transparent and fair in all the things we do.

    Sounds pretty confident that he’ll find everything was done by the numbers – before any such investigation has begun. Given the LAPD (and peace officers in general) send my cynicism neurons into overdrive, I’ll try to act shocked when this particular dog and pony trots out a few months down the line.

    Lip service, it’s what’s for dinner in America.

  19. 19
    superdestroyer says:

    @p:

    I suspect that anyone who claims that the LAPD is racist and hates blacks has already forgotten the Rampart Scandal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampart_scandal

  20. 20

    Even if he was wronged by the LAPD, I’m not feeling any sympathy for a murderer.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Dorner is blowback, an the LAPD hierarchy knows it.

    I mean, all those blue pickups that were riddled with bullets by LAPD personnel intent on administering “street justice” on Dorner, without being terribly concerned with who was actually in the vehicle, tells you a great deal about the LAPD’s culture.

    This ain’t Joe Friday and Frank Gannon.

  22. 22
    John says:

    I suggest that you spend a few years living in Los Angeles before you start spouting off about how wrong Dorner’s complaints are. There is no defense for how he is behaving now, but I have no reason at all, given my wife’s experience with West Valley LAPD and a dozen other incidents of which I have heard from friends, to believe that Dorner’s version of his dismissal is not fact-based. LAPD and LASD are a bare step above gangs.

  23. 23
    Ohmmade says:

    I lived in Los Angeles for seventeen years. While there may be institutional problems within the LAPD, that is no justification for killing people’s kids and family members.

    Even on latimes.com there are people actively cheering Dorner on. I have no clue what could bring someone to cheer on the senseless murder of innocent people, but holy hell humans can be disgusting.

  24. 24
    Mike G says:

    I do it to reassure the public that their Police Department is transparent and fair in all the things we do.”

    The LAPD have made themselves look terrible by almost killing two people driving a pickup not matching the description of the suspect in license plate, make and model, or color; and occupants size, race, gender and number. They were saved only by marksmanship worthy of WW2 Japanese soldiers in a John Wayne movie.

    Instead of responding “We fucked up big, we’re sorry,” Beck resorted to mealy-mouthed “The investigation is underway” bureacratese. So I’m not feeling positive about a commitment to transparency.

    It’s a good thing Dorner wasn’t driving a silver Honda, or we’d have hundreds of people murdered by cops all over southern California by now.

  25. 25
    pat says:

    I’ve been thinking for several days now, since his burning car was found, that Dorner has already killed himself. They could comb those mountains until spring and not find his body, but expect him to start shooting from behind every rock and tree, keeping the entire state on edge for months.

    If he does begin shooting again, they will know where to begin to look for him. Just thinking….

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    @GregB:

    They should bring in Darrel Gates to head a special commission to investigate this matter.

    That would have to be Zombie Darryl Gates, since he died in 2010. Then again, this would be something the dumbass LAPD might consider.

    @superdestroyer:

    Dorner may have murdered the daughter of the first Chinese American captain in the history of the LAPD and her African American fiancé. And he did it to deliberately inflict the maximum amount of emotional pain on the man who he thought failed him. This undermines any attempt to focus on the problems of the LAPD.

    @Ohmmade:

    Even on latimes.com there are people actively cheering Dorner on. I have no clue what could bring someone to cheer on the senseless murder of innocent people, but holy hell humans can be disgusting.

    Maybe they think he is some kind of Rambo.

  27. 27
    Redshirt says:

    I wonder if there would be more vocal support for Dorner if he stuck to killing cops rather than family members of cops?

    It’s an intriguing story, since there’s a lot of conflicting emotions and viewpoints.

    Does anyone remember the “Killdozer” guy in Colorado many years ago? He’s become legend, for fighting the man. Difference is he only killed one person – himself.

  28. 28
    Kyle says:

    @Brachiator:

    Even on latimes.com there are people actively cheering Dorner on

    It’s not really pro-Dorner, it’s anti-LAPD. Militarized policing does not make allies of the public. A great number of Southern Californians resent being mistreated by the LAPD, and enjoy seeing them make hapless fools of themselves over this.

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    @Ohmmade:

    Even on latimes.com there are people actively cheering Dorner on. I have no clue what could bring someone to cheer on the senseless murder of innocent people, but holy hell humans can be disgusting.

    Gladiators and lions in ancient Rome didn’t play to empty stadiums. Washingtonians brought picnic baskets to Bull Run to watch the battle. Humans have a history of treating killing as a spectator event.

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    @Kyle:

    It’s not really pro-Dorner, it’s anti-LAPD. Militarized policing does not make allies of the public. A great number of Southern Californians resent being mistreated by the LAPD, and enjoy seeing them make hapless fools of themselves over this.

    No, a lot of it is pro-Dorner. Some people love outlaws.

    And it is certainly not that people are getting a thrill over seeing the LAPD make hapless fools of themselves. There is a much more complex set of feelings in reading about a man who has been trained by the LAPD actually targeting police officers, using their own skills and techniques against them.

    Monica Quan’s fiancé wasn’t LAPD. I am not sure that the other murdered officer was either. This craziness has gone beyond any idea of an LAPD grievance from the very start.

  31. 31
    Mike G says:

    And this morning I’m reading that they shot up another pickup truck minutes after the first screwup; this time a black Honda pickup driven by a skinny white guy. The released police statement speaks of “officers took reasonable actions under the circumstances”, etc, etc. Clueless beyond belief.

    If cops get this stupid and reckless under stress, then they need to be fired.

  32. 32
    Ohmmade says:

    @Brachiator: yes. And all the kids and family members he has targeted in his manifesto. What again do they have to do with institutional problems within the LAPD?

    I see the same crap again and again. “My friends have been harassed by the cops before” as some sort of excuse for kids being hunted and killed.

    This country has an extremely skewed perspective if the result is rooting for murdering children because someone lost his job.

  33. 33
    Jay C says:

    @gvg:

    You’re quite right, of course: but I would make one edit for clarification:

    Here in Florida, nearby Jacksonvillein the US, nearly every single city and town seems to have a lot of police shootings which always get investigated and judged as OK. I find it unconvincing myself. It might be OK but we outsiders don’t have confidence in police reviewing police in the same department.

  34. 34
    Rita R. says:

    There’s obviously no justification for what Dorner’s done. He snapped and killed three innocent people in cold blood and deserves to be brought to justice.

    But I read that manifesto and was stunned by it. Putting aside the goodbye shout-outs to celebs, journalists, etc., the meat of the whole thing, when Dorner lays out what he says happened, is coherent, compelling and rings absolutely true. It wasn’t the ravings of a madman that I’d expected, and I felt some surprising sympathy for him. Dorner went over the edge and is now a triple murderer, but he was pushed.

    As for this investigation the police chief has decided to open to do some CYA, I have absolutely no doubt that the LAPD will find that it acted appropriately in concluding that Dorner lied and in firing him. Could there possibly be any other outcome?

  35. 35
    Rita R. says:

    @Jay C:

    Yep, I live in New York, and no matter how unjustified or reckless an NYPD officer’s actions that lead to citizens’ deaths, charges are either never brought, or the cop requests a non-jury trial and somehow the judge always finds him to be innocent. Funny that.

  36. 36
    Paul in KY says:

    I think we can all agree that in hindsight, Mr. Dorner should never have been a policeman. Or given a weapon in just about any circumstances short of ‘the enemy is coming over the gates right now!’.

    I think he likes to talk & could be persuaded to give up.

  37. 37
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Unfortunately, a good point.

  38. 38
    RepubAnon says:

    Wall Street reported a sharp price spike in whitewash futures after the LAPD announced plans to re-open its “investigation” into Mr. Dorner’s firing…

    As many above have noted, it seems highly unlikely that the LAPD’s internal investigation of why they fired someone who later went “postal” will be any more “fair and balanced” than a Fox and Friends segment. As with so many such incidents over the years, the LAPD’s marketing department promises Joe Friday, and gives us power-mad racists interested only in delivering “street justice.”

    The shootings of innocent civilians by police officers eager to deliver “street justice” tells us much of how the folks entrusted to provide law enforcement actually choose to enforce the law:

    Two women in a blue pickup, who were delivering copies of the Los Angeles Times, came under fire by Los Angeles Police Department officers on Thursday morning in what Police Chief Charlie Beck has described as a case of “mistaken identity.”

    Moments later, Torrance Police Department officers responding to the gunfire slammed their cruiser into a black truck being driven by David Perdue and opened fire. Perdue’s attorney described the shooting as “unbridled police lawlessness” in an interview with The Times on Saturday.
    Source: LA Times Dorner manhunt: Torrance neighborhood edgy after mistaken shootings

  39. 39
    El Cid says:

    I think he has some “fans” in part because the situation is so weird that it might be difficult for some people to realize that it’s real and that real people have died, and in part because not only is it weird and difficult to grasp as real it is indeed very movielike — which is in turn partly because the individual involved has mimicked movie tropes himself.

  40. 40
    makertaker says:

    I just saw this book recommended in an other online discussion about this topic, and ordered it and plan to read it: http://www.amazon.com/Emotiona.....nforcement

    For one thing, most of the customers of my business are law enforcement officers. For another, so is my cousin. For a third, no matter what your experience and opinion of cops is, the fact is that we as a society ask this people to undergo not only physical danger, but enormous and under-recognized psychic risk. Yes, these cops shooting up the trucks in LA should be tried, but we also need to take responsibility for what we ask of them and give them real support (which is NOT the same as excuses for violent and abusive behavior to the public).

  41. 41
    Heliopause says:

    Not sure of the point of reopening the case. If you read the manifesto Dorner is not just saying that bad cops got away with stuff, he’s alleging deep, impenetrable corruption at virtually every level. If a significant percentage of the public believes that’s true I don’t know what another little navel-gaze will do to assuage those fears.

  42. 42
    Gian says:

    Of course the guy who gunned down an unarmed girls basketball coach has a rational complaint.
    Of course.
    Ignore the ex girlfriend who spoke about how he was a whackjob.
    There must be only the one reason he rants about as to why he got fired five years ago

  43. 43
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Ohmmade:

    This country has an extremely skewed perspective if the result is rooting for murdering children because someone lost his job.

    Uh, how often do you read the news? Do you get out much?

    Story after story after story of cops killing innocent people all across America; do you get as outraged by those? Each and every one?

    I guarantee you that the people “cheering Dorner on,” his “fans” as you call them, have been a lot more outraged then you over the years, maybe having been injured or lost loved ones themselves to killer cops.

    So it’s all fine for you, insulated as you are, to condemn them for feeling some if-not-admirable, at least understandable vengeance at the cost of yet more innocents. What dreadful people they must be.

    I think you’re just being a moralizer. Feels pretty good I bet.

  44. 44
    Citizen Alan says:

    I haven’t been following this story closely, but I am astonished that I see parallels between this and 9/11. Angry, deranged people deliberately targeting innocents in a manner designed to provoke a disproportionate response from the authorities, and when the disproportionate response actually happens, it creates an unnatural degree of sympathy for the killers among other people who have suffered under those same authorities. This story has the potential to play out in a lot of different ways going forward. Some of them very badly if, for example, other people victimized by the LAPD and LASD are motivated to become copycats.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gian:

    This is the problem with LAPD, though — it’s not so much that he has a rational complaint as that he’s not all that different from every other LAPD cop out there on the street right now.

    From its inception, LAPD was organized to be a militarized, us-against-them force where “us” is cops and “them” is everyone else in the city.

    So it’s not all that surprising that an ex-LAPD officer would decide that his fellow LAPD officers were now part of “them” and were acceptable targets for his rage. This is the kind of stuff the officers involved in the Rampart Scandal were up to, only they were acting out on civilians, so for a long time they got away with it.

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    From its inception, LAPD was organized to be a militarized, us-against-them force where “us” is cops and “them” is everyone else in the city.

    I think it is more fair to say that the LAPD was organized to be the law enforcement arm of the WASP establishment, and of the white middle class community in LA. And of course, it wasn’t just Los Angeles. You still hear stories about how the cops kept black folk out of Glendale, and about how Torrance cops would rough up black and Latino teens and adults to keep the beach cities safe zones for white shoppers and partygoers and residents.

    That this is the way that things are supposed to be is reflected in the comments of radio talk show guys like Tim Conway, who loves to go on about his cop buddies and neighbors, and his nasty little comments that it is OK that the cops bust a few heads now and then to keep people in line, so that the right sorts of people can get on with their lives.

  47. 47
    gian says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    It’s. Probably a dead thread now but there some things I think are somewhat enlightening.
    hell yeah LA has a serious history of racism. Segregated neighborhoods and riots a plenty from the ww2 era soot suit riot to watts to the Rodney king beating acquittal riots.

    Looking at cases where cops even get filed on and go to jury trials. The get walked by the juries look up the case of ivory Webb for example.

    The LAPD is compared to say the NYPD way understaffed. But the imperative to still try and actually police meant coming up with some way to multiply force and that I suspect makes for all the paramilitary training and attutudes.

    I suspect the notion of looking into it wart the firing of this murderer is aimed really at trying to get away with releasing stuff from his confidential file.

    The news reports where his ex girlfriend posted about him on some website to warn other women to stay away from him called him paranoid and included his badge number … and he sued her and lost that lawsuit to pull down the post. That makes me suspect that he was fired for something other than what’s in his manifesto. But those records would be confidential. So I. Just suspect.

    My own thing I can’t get over is seeing the pictures of the engaged couple he assassinated who didn’t know him and didn’t know why some guy came up and shot them full of holes on Superbowl sunday. As a simple ethical issue I’m simply not down with the killing of innocents to try and advance any cause. For the heck of it that’s the same reason people get upset over drone strikes hitting wedding parties
    Cleaning up the LAPD is a good and important goal.
    Murdering the child of retired cops is how things are done in failed States. I don’t want to live in a failed state

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