As rogue former Los Angeles Police Department police officer Christopher Dorner remains at large after allegedly shooting five people and killing three, including a police officer, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced Saturday that the force would re-open an investigation into Dorner’s firing from the LAPD. The media havebeen spinning Dorner as a whistleblowing victim of LAPD injustice. Dorner was employed by LAPD from 2006 to 2009, when he was fired for apparently lying about his training officer kicking a schizophrenic man.
Dorner placed heavy emphasis on his LAPD firing as the rationale for his shooting spree in a bizarre 20-page manifesto posted to Facebook. “Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name,” he wrote. “The question is, what would you do to clear your name? …. I am a man who has lost complete faith in the system, when the system betrayed, slandered and libeled me.” In the manifesto, Dorner also accused the LAPD of systemic anti-Semitic and racist behavior.
According to Commander Andrew Smith, the purpose of reopening the investigation would be “to insure the public that the LAPD is fair and transparent.” Beck wrote, ““I feel we need to also publicly address Dorner’s allegations regarding his termination. 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.”
This decision incentivizes every person with a grievance to go on a shooting spree. Dorner was known for years as a borderline case with LAPD; as the Los Angeles Times reported, the day of his disciplinary hearing in 2009, LAPD brass “took the unusual step of summoning armed guards to stand watch at his disciplinary hearing downtown. Those present were nervous that Dorner might do something rash when he learned that he was being stripped of his badge.” People in Dorner’s police training class described him as “one of our problem children.” Dorner apparently shot himself in the hand, and was dismissed from the academy. He joined the force after joining another academy class.
Growing sympathy for Dorner has no doubt driven the LAPD to this precipitous action. A Facebook page has sprung up pushing Dorner for the presidency: “We propose electing a man who could no longer sit idly by and watch as malicious tyrants abuse the innocent.” One page labeled “I Support Christopher Jordan Dorner” has 3,000 likes. And sympathy has poured from sources including Rev. Jesse Jackson, even as the mainstream media rushes to cover its own hide after Dorner expressed sympathy for liberal causes.
Worst of all, the media are giving Dorner’s accusations credibility. CNN.com headlines, “LA cops stalked by suspect – and a brutal past.” The article states, “Dorner is angry about being fired by the LAPD. He is articulate and lucid enough to trigger flashbacks to a time not so long ago when patrol officers broke their world into two categories: ‘blue and everybody else.’” Meanwhile, hosts Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper appear in Dorner’s manifesto as some of his favorite personalities. The New York Times states, “The killings and Mr. Dorner’s his online manifesto have reopened old wounds for some black residents here, even as they condemned the violence.”
It is only a matter of time before Hollywood and the media begin portraying Dorner as a victim of racism driven to insane actions by a cruel right-wing police force. And now the LAPD is caving.