Author: Koby Deitz
We have seen it before countless times in movies: one character seeks revenge by any means necessary. Time and time again, we have seen this “revenge-at-all-costs” plot unfold, but we have always understood that it was reserved exclusively for the big screens.The recent story of ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, however, has changed that. Following what has happened, should we as citizens be more afraid of Christopher Dorner or the LAPD officers who have consistently proven throughout the years that they will do anything to “maintain” the law? In many ways, it would appear that the LAPD, in fact, is our biggest threat.
Before his killing spree of LAPD officers and their family members, Dorner published a “manifesto” of sorts online. In it, Dorner detailed numerous accounts of police brutality, racism and corruption. What’s fascinating is how little scrutiny the LAPD has received following Dorner’s claims. Lost in the hoopla surrounding the story have been the accounts that Dorner originally gave of the LAPD and their actions. If his stated impetus is to be believed, Dorner was driven to kill innocent people as retribution for what the LAPD did to him. It is hard to imagine that Dorner could do what he did without there being at least some truth to his claims. Maybe Dorner simply was a psychotic murderer who dreamed up the offenses he claimed the LAPD perpetrated. Regardless, there are pieces to this puzzle that have yet to be identified and connected.
So let’s ask the questions that nobody seems overly concerned with: Can the LAPD truly be absolved of blame? What could the LAPD have done differently to mitigate this tragic crime?
In his manifesto, Dorner outlined multiple accounts of racist behavior and police brutality. Specifically, Dorner spoke of a female officer who, after arresting a man who suffered from schizophrenia and dementia, kicked him repeatedly in the face and chest. Following the incident, Dorner filed a report detailing his fellow officer’s unnecessary brutality. Dorner was fired from the LAPD on the grounds that he had filed a “false report” about another officer. In his three years as a member of the LAPD, Dorner had never had one single incident with any of his report writing. Given the severity of Dorner’s subsequent crimes, there must be a public investigation into the validity of his dismissal. On the surface, it seems unlikely that Dorner fabricated this report and mischaracterized the brutality of the observed incident. If in fact he was unfairly fired from the police force, the LAPD must accept some responsibility for this tragedy and be held accountable for any malpractice. Doing so by no means would serve as justification for this heinous crime; it would simply lend detail and clarity to a murky series of events.
In their pursuit of Dorner, LAPD officers also opened fire on two separate cars without first checking to see if those in the car looked anything like Dorner for the simple reason that the cars bore some similarity to the car Dorner was suspected to be driving. In one incident, the car was being driven by a middle-aged woman and her daughter. Both women were shot and injured. In the other incident, the car was being driven by a white male. In neither case did the LAPD so much as verify their target before they opened fire on the vehicles. Through these acts, the LAPD again showed the recklessness that Dorner spoke of in his manifesto.
These concerns almost beg civilians to question the nature of our law enforcement tactics. If a man is so confident in his beliefs that he would go as far as to kill innocent people in order to prove a point, we should consider the underpinnings of such a grandiose statement. We do not need another Christopher Dorner story to tell us that we must examine the LAPD’S practices and bureaucracy. Even after Dorner’s recent death, we may never be truly safe until we look into the LAPD and its questionable practices.
Koby Deitz is an undeclared first-year. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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