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Ike Awgu

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How Dorner's Death Brought LAPD Problems to Light

Posted: 02/14/2013 8:22 am

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, miners would bring canaries with them into coal mines to warn them about the presence of dangerous gasses. The small birds and their tiny respiratory systems were more sensitive to methane and carbon monoxide fumes than those of humans and so when the canaries would die, the miners knew that something was seriously wrong -- hence the expression "like a canary in a coal mine." Christopher Dorner is one such canary.

One well-armed and purportedly well-trained man was able to wreak havoc on Southern California for seven days. There were thousands of officers involved in the manhunt for Dorner -- imagine the consequences if 10 or 100 well-armed and well-trained men decided to do the same thing? For the officials who appear poorly prepared for the very real threat of domestic terrorism, this is their canary.

During the hunt for Dorner three innocent people who did not resemble the suspect even slightly (two of which were women, one of whom was a white male) were fired upon.

The officers who opened fire on the two innocent women (who were delivering newspapers at the time) unloaded over 25 rounds into their truck. Thankfully the officers were as incompetent at aiming their weapons as they were in discriminating valid targets and both women survived.

The third innocent victim, on his way to the beach to go surfing, was rammed by a police cruiser at high speed. The officers leaped out and began firing at the vehicle. His pickup truck purportedly "resembled" Dorner's. Again, thankfully both officers were just incompetent enough to fail to injure him.

Had these three innocent people been killed, the LAPD would have been responsible for nearly as many deaths as the suspect they were chasing. In both cases the police did not identify themselves and did not ask the vehicles to stop or issue any warnings, they simply opened fire.

The only other police forces with which I'm familiar that behave in this fashion work in the third world and are typically called "death squads" as opposed of officers of the law. This kind of reckless endangerment of ordinary citizens, the folks who are ultimately the police's employers and those they are hired to protect, is unacceptable.

Dorner is not a martyr or hero; he is a murderer of innocent people. The allegations contained in Dorner's manifesto however, merit serious investigation if for no other reason than to repair of the LAPD's reputation.

They are not "ramblings on the internet" as Chief Charlie Beck of the LAPD inaccurately characterized them, but detailed descriptions of events with dates, times and names. A quick and incomplete synopsis of Dorner's allegations are:

• That he (Dorner) was fired from the LAPD for refusing to cover up police abuse of a mentally disabled man (testimony from the disabled man's father supports Dorner's claim that the man was kicked in the chest and face).
• That pictures of recently deceased bodies are taken by officers with cellphones and a game played to see who has the most graphic images of dead people.
• That officers looked forward to 187 calls (murder) so as to accrue the overtime pay and would see dead victims as "ATV's", "Waverunners","RV's" and "new clothes for their kids."
• That Police recruits were singing Nazi songs celebrating the burning of Jews.
• That officers involved in the Rodney King or Rampart scandals have been promoted or are still employed with the LAPD.

All of the court documents are available here.

Regardless of whether or not they are true, these claims have resonated with the public -- Dorner's Facebook group has over 14,000 likes and was founded only seven days ago.

The extent to which his claims have found currency with ordinary people should be extremely troubling to the LAPD. Dorner is dead and gone but he is a warning of far more serious problems that must be dealt with. We ignore this canary at our own peril.

Loading Slideshow...
  • In this image taken from video provided by KABC-TV, the cabin in Big Bear, Calif. where ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner is believed to be barricaded inside is in flames Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/KABC-TV) MANDATORY CREDIT: KABC-TV

  • In this image taken from video provided by KABC-TV, the cabin in Big Bear, Calif. where ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner is believed to be barricaded inside is in flames Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/KABC-TV) MANDATORY CREDIT: KABC-TV

  • Bill Whalen, Andrew Smith, Norma Eisenman

    Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith, second from left, expresses condolences for the death of a San Bernardino County deputy, as he briefs the media about the shootout scene in Big Bear that allegedly involves triple-murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner, during a late news conference in front of the Police Administration Building in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Lt. Bill Whalen, of the Irvine Police Department, far left, and LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman, right, stand with Smith. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • Andrew Smith, Bill Whalen, Norma Eisenman

    Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith, left, expresses condolences for the death of a San Bernardino County deputy, as he briefs the media about the shootout scene in Big Bear that allegedly involves triple-murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner, during a late news conference in front of the Police Administration Building in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Lt. Bill Whalen, of the Irvine Police Department, middle and LAPD officer Norma Eisenman, right, stand with Smith. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • Cindy Bachman, public information officer for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, talks about the hunt for accused killer and fired Los Angeles police Officer Christopher Dorner in Angelus Oaks, Caif., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • A Redlands Police officer walks near a road blockade near the entrance to the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California after Christopher Dorner, a fugitive ex-Los Angeles cop sought in three killings, engaged in a shootout with authorities that wounded two officers in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear Lake, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/The Sun, Gabriel Luis Acosta) VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; RIVERSIDE PRESS-ENTERPRISE OUT; THE VICTOR VALLEY DAILY PRESS OUT

  • Manhunt For Former L.A. Cop Leads Back To Big Bear Lake

    YUCAIPA, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Redlands police officers secure at a blockade during a manhunt for the former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner who is suspected of triple murder on February 12, 2013 in Yucaipa, California. Dorner barricaded himself in a cabin near Big Bear, California and is in a standoff with authorities after shooting two police officers, killing one and wounding the other. Dorner, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer and Navy Reserve veteran, is wanted in connection with the deaths of an Irvine couple and a Riverside police officer. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • US-CRIME-POLICE-INCIDENT

    Shantel Cardiel (L) and Frank Cardiel hold up signs in support of fugitive triple murder suspect Christopher Dorner along the road in San Bernardino, California n February 12, 2013. Fugitive former US cop Christopher Dorner exchanged gunfire with police near a Californian ski resort where his burnt-out truck was found, reports said. The 33-year-old was involved in the shooting after he tried to burglarize a home near Big Bear, two hours east of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a law enforcement source.   AFP PHOTO / David McNew (Photo credit should read DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-CRIME-POLICE-INCIDENT

    Shantel Cardiel holds up a sign in support of fugitive triple murder suspect Christopher Dorner along the road in San Bernardino, California n February 12, 2013. Fugitive former US cop Christopher Dorner exchanged gunfire with police near a Californian ski resort where his burnt-out truck was found, reports said. The 33-year-old was involved in the shooting after he tried to burglarize a home near Big Bear, two hours east of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a law enforcement source.   AFP PHOTO / David McNew (Photo credit should read DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manhunt For Former L.A. Cop Leads Back To Big Bear Lake

    ANGELUS OAKS, CA - FEBRUARY 12: A San Bernardino Sheriff's Department deputy watches as a car is towed away after a standoff and a shootout with former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner who is suspected of triple murder on February 12, 2013 in Angelus Oaks, California. Dorner barricaded himself in a cabin near Big Bear, California which later caught fire. According to the LAPD the cabin remains too hot to enter and a body has not been located. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Law Enforcement personnel gear up along Hwy 38 during the hunt for accused killer and fired Los Angeles police officer, Christopher Dorner in Yacaipa, Caif.,Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Dorner, a man police believe to be the fugitive ex-Los Angeles officer wanted in three killings, was barricaded inside a burning cabin Tuesday after a shootout in a California mountain town that left one deputy dead and another wounded. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Andrew Smith

    Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith, left, briefs the media about the shootout scene in Big Bear that allegedly involves triple-murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner, during a news conference in front of the Police Administration Building in Los Angeles Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • A Redlands Police officer inspects a vehicle near the entrance to the San Bernardino National Forest, Calif. after fugitive ex-Los Angeles cop Christopher Dorner, sought in three killings, is believed to have engaged in a shootout with authorities that wounded two officers in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear Lake, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/The Sun, Gabriel Luis Acosta) LA TIMES; VENTURA COUNTY STAR; RIVERSIDE PRESSENTERPRISE; THE VICTOR VALLEY DAILY PRESS OUT MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Law Enforcement personnel block Hwy 38 during the hunt for accused killer and ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in Yacaipa, Caif., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Dorner is believed to be barricaded in a cabin Tuesday after a furious gunbattle with police in the snow-covered mountains of Southern California, authorities said, the culmination of an intensive manhunt that left a region an edge for nearly a week. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Law Enforcement personnel search a vehicle along Hwy 38 during the hunt for accused killer and ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in Yacaipa, Caif., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Dorner is believed to be barricaded in a cabin Tuesday after a furious gunbattle with police in the snow-covered mountains of Southern California, authorities said, the culmination of an intensive manhunt that left a region an edge for nearly a week. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Bill Whalen, Andrew Smith

    Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith, right, briefs the media about the shootout scene in Big Bear that allegedly involves triple-murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner, during a news conference in front of the Police Administration Building in Los Angeles Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. At left, Lt. Bill Whalen of the Irvine Police Department.

  • A Redlands Police officer walks near a road blockade near the entrance to the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California near Big Bear Lake, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

  • Redlands Police officers man a blockade near the entrance to the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California after Christopher Dorner engaged in a shootout with authorities that wounded two officers in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear Lake, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

  • Members on the California Highway Patrol search a truck for Christopher Dorner on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Big Bear Lake, Calif.

  • A San Bernardino County Sheriff SWAT team returns to the command post at Bear Mountain near Big Bear Lake, Calif. after searching for Christopher Jordan Dorner on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Search conditions have been hampered by a heavy winter storm in the area. Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer, is accused of carrying out a killing spree because he felt he was unfairly fired from his job. (AP Photo/Pool, The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Will Lester)

  • A police vehicle patrols the streets of Big Bear Lake, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Clear skies allowed aircraft with heat-sensing technology to aid scores of officers searching in the snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains for Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of killing three people in a vengeance-fueled rampage aimed at those he blames for ending his career. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Bernabe Ortiz

    San Bernardino County Sheriff's officer Bernabe Ortiz holds a pistol as he searches a home for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in Big Bear Lake, Calif, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. The hunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected in three killings entered a fourth day in snow-covered mountains Sunday, a day after the police chief ordered a review of the disciplinary case that led to the fugitive's firing and new details emerged of the evidence he left behind. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Bernabe Ortiz, Ken Owens

    San Bernardino County Sheriff's officers Ken Owens, center, and Bernabe Ortiz search a home for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in Big Bear Lake, Calif, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. The hunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected in three killings entered a fourth day in snow-covered mountains Sunday, a day after the police chief ordered a review of the disciplinary case that led to the fugitive's firing and new details emerged of the evidence he left behind. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Bernabe Ortiz, Ken Owens

    San Bernardino County Sheriff's officer Ken Owens searches a home for the former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in Big Bear Lake, Calif, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. The hunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected in three killings entered its fourth day in the snow-covered mountains on Sunday, a day after the police chief ordered a review of the disciplinary case that led to the fugitive's firing and new details emerged of the evidence he left behind. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • California Highway Patrol officers search a truck for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner at a checkpoint near Big Bear Lake, Calif, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Law enforcement officers working in falling snow searched the Southern California mountain for Dorner, who is accused of carrying out a killing spree because he felt he was unfairly fired from his job. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • A San Bernardino County Sheriff SWAT team returns to the command post at Bear Mountain near Big Bear Lake, Calif.

  • A San Bernardino County Sheriff SWAT team returns to the command post at Bear Mountain near Big Bear Lake, Calif. after searching for Christopher Jordan Dorner on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Search conditions have been hampered by a heavy winter storm in the area.

  • U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement vehicles are covered in snow near the command post in Big Bear Lake, Calif, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

  • U.S. Marshals deputies look behind the vegetation as they stand on guard outside the home of the mother of fugitive suspect Christopher Dorner on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

  • Christopher Dorner

    This image shows Christopher Dorner from Jan. 28, 2013 surveillance video at an Orange County, Calif., hotel.

  • A digital billboard along Santa Monica Boulevard on the west side of Los Angeles shows a "wanted" alert on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

  • California Highway Patrol officers search a vehicle for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner at a checkpoint near Big Bear Lake, Calif, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

  • A California Highway Patrol officer tells a driver to roll the window at a checkpoint near Big Bear Lake, Calif, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

  • San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies gather at the command post in Big Bear Lake, Calif, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Clear skies allowed aircraft with heat-sensing technology to aid scores of officers searching in the snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains for Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of killing three people in a vengeance-fueled rampage aimed at those he blames for ending his career. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies board a snow cat at the command post in Big Bear Lake, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.

  • A San Bernardino County Sheriff's helicopter flies over Big Bear Lake, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.

  • A U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement officer follows tracks left in the snow while searching a home for former Christopher Dorner in Big Bear Lake, Calif, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Clear skies allowed aircraft with heat-sensing technology to aid scores of officers searching in the snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains.

  • San Bernardino Sheriff's Department officer Steven Spagon mans a check point during the search in Big Bear Lake, Calif. Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Law enforcement officials spent all night searching the snowy mountains of Southern California.

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies stand alert outside the Twin Towers jail, which was put on lockdown after an alleged sighting of suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner Friday Feb. 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. The lockdown was later lifted. Law enforcement officers worked through the night amid an incoming snow storm searching for the former Los Angeles police officer accused of carrying out a killing spree because he felt he was unfairly fired from his job.

  • Cindy Bachman

    Cindy Bachman, public information officer for the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department, updates the media on the search for fired Los Angeles police officer, Christopher Dorner.

  • Christopher Dorner

    This undated series of photos shows suspect Christopher Dorner. Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for making false statements, is linked to a weekend killing in which one of the victims was the daughter of a former police captain who had represented him during the disciplinary hearing.

  • Christopher Dorner

    This undated photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department shows suspect Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles officer. Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for making false statements, is linked to a weekend killing in which one of the victims was the daughter of a former police captain who had represented him during the disciplinary hearing. Authorities believe Dorner opened fire early Thursday on police in cities east of Los Angeles, killing an officer and wounding another. Police issued a statewide "officer safety warning" and police were sent to protect people named in the posting that was believed to be written by Dorner. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Police Department)

  • Christopher Dorner

    This undated photo shows suspect Christopher Dorner. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Police Department)

  • Christopher Dorner

    This undated photo shows suspect Christopher Dorner. Police issued a statewide "officer safety warning" and police were sent to protect people named in the posting that was believed to be written by Dorner.

  • Here, former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner is shown. Dorner is a suspect in the killings of Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence.

  • Charlie Beck, Sandy Jo MacArthur

    Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck, right, comments on fired officer, Christopher Dorner, Dorner's multiple weapons, including an assault rifle, during a news conference at the LAPD headquarters in Los Angeles Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.

  • Sara Faden, Christopher Dorner, Norma Eisenman

    Los Angeles Police Public Information officers: Sara Faden, left, and Officer Norma Eisenman carry photos of suspect Christopher Dorner during a news conference at the LAPD headquarters in Los Angeles Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. At left, Assistant Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur.

  • Corona, Calif., Police officers stand near the site of a police shooting Thursday Feb. 7, 2013 in Corona, Calif.

  • A burned-out pickup truck belonging to ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner is towed after it was discovered in Big Bear, Calif, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.

  • A bullet-damaged Los Angeles Police vehicle is taped off by police on Thursday Feb. 7, 2013 in Corona, Calif.

  • A Los Angeles Police officer checks his weapon at the site of a shooting Thursday Feb. 7, 2013 in Corona, Calif.

 

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