Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Has the final chapter been written on rogue former police officer Christopher Dorner ?

The DA of Riverside, CA and the Court have closed the book on Dorner, should everybody else ?

Press and other usual critics accept LAPD’s self-exoneration against charges contained in Dorner’s manifesto

About two weeks ago it was reported that “Riverside prosecutors have dismissed the criminal case against the former rogue LAPD police officer, Christopher Dorner, whose rampage across Southern California in February led to the deaths of four people, including two police officers and an Irvine couple, before a fiery shootout ended in Dorner’s fiery death ( See “Riverside DA dismisses criminal case against Christopher Dorner” by Doug Saunders, 11/4/13, The Sun [http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20131104/riverside-da-dismisses-criminal-case-against-christopher-dorner]).

According to the Saunders’ report in the San Bernadino Sun, “Dorner died near the San Bernardino Mountains community of Barton Flats after a fiery shootout with law enforcement [sometime after] Dorner was discovered holed up in an empty cabin, [and] San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies along with other law enforcement agencies surrounded it. The first two deputies on scene were ambushed when Dorner fired his high-caliber rifle, striking them both and killing one before they had an opportunity to even draw their weapons....  The firefight continued, and Dorner found himself surrounded by SWAT teams from all over Southern California. ***  Officers fired hot tear-gas into the cabin trying to flush Dorner out when a single shot had rung out from inside the cabin. ***  The firefight was over and the cabin was engulfed in flames. ***  It took authorities two days after the firefight in the forest to confirm that the charred corpse in the burned-out cabin was Dorner. ***  The coroner determined Dorner’s death was caused by a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.”

No matter that Dorner went out with a bang, the telling of the story seems to end with a whimper. No doubt, that’s because there is no adequate explanation of so many things that led up to Dorner’s death. The story of Christopher Dorner is so problematic, that many people have gone out of their way to be sure that the former police and naval officer remained dead and buried. One of the most notable such attempts to bury Dorner and his story was the Op Ed piece by Connie Rice in the LA Times that appeared several months after Dorner’s death (See “Christopher Dorner's web of lies about the LAPD” by Connie Rice, 6/26/13, LA Times/ Op Ed [http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/26/opinion/la-oe-rice-christopher-dorner-killing-spree-racism-20130626]). Clearly, somebody wanted to separate Dorner completely from any narrative about or history of LAPD racism. Ms. Rice pretty much dismisses Dorner’s complaints of racism against his former employer, the LAPD, because Dorner’s charges didn’t comport to her experience and vision of how such things normally transpired.

In his personal manifesto, Christoher Dorner had accused the LA police of discriminating against some of its officers based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation; and that there was retaliation against any of those officers who reported problems. Needless to say, the LAPD exonerated itself of Dorner’s charges. According to an article in the LA Daily News, posted on the Huff Post LA webpage, “In a report to the Police Commission, Police Chief Charlie Beck and Inspector General Alexander Bustamante said the department followed all the correct procedures in removing Dorner from the department in 2009 after he filed a false complaint against a training officer, accusing her of kicking a suspect who had been restrained. ***  Beck had ordered the review after Dorner's manifesto, a 17-page document called ‘Last Resort,’ raised questions over the procedures used in his firing....” (See “Chris Dorner Firing Review Officially Complete, LAPD Defends Termination”
by Rick Orlov, 6/22/13, LA Daily News/ Huff Post LA [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/22/christopher-dorners-firi_n_3483056.html]).A similarly detailed article about the LAPD review appeared in the LA Times ( See “LAPD's firing of Christopher Dorner was justified, report says” by Joel Rubin, 6/21/13, LA Times [http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/21/local/la-me-dorner-20130622]).
In his LA Daily News article, Rick Orlov also reported that Gerald Chaleff, special assistant for constitutional policing to Chief Beck, made a report that detailed the problems Dorner experienced at the Police Academy and while on the force up to his dismissal, as follows: "After a review of all the evidence ... and the allegations of Christopher Dorner, it has been determined that terminating him from the department was not only appropriate, it was the only course the department could take based on the facts and the evidence.... The record is clear that Dorner fabricated allegations against his training officer, and later, against his peers and superiors..... The decision to terminate Dorner was sound and just. Dorner's documented proclivity to concoct allegations and evidence to advance his personal agenda support the conclusion that Dorner was rightfully terminated from the LAPD." Chaleff also noted that the LA Police Department has acknowledged past problems, including a code of silence, but that steps have been taken over the past decade to address these problems. Most recently, a federal judge lifted the consent decree over the LAPD, noting the gains that had been made in dealing with problem officers.

Unfortunately, all of the above reports and findings leave more questions unanswered than answered; and even those that have been answered are not answered with any high degree of credibility.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh c'mon Gale. I think you need a vacation...