Monday, February 11, 2013
As the manhunt continues for alleged cop killer and former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner a larger debate seems to be in order--a debate beyond the normal write off of a supposed psycho, who simply deserves to be put down.
Dorner, who posted a chilling manifesto online last week, highlighting his grievances with the LAPD has recently been garnering online support, most recently from Rapper Ab-Soul. Ab-Soul posted a picture of Dorner on his instagram page with a caption quoting the fugitive, “This was a necessary evil.” - Christopher Dorner. “God Bless you sir,” Ab-Soul wrote.
Judging by the number of likes and comments on the photo, as well as the displays of solidarity visible all over the internet, there are clearly many who are in agreement with the rapper, that Dorner’s murder spree is not only justified, but necessary.
The underlying theme in this tragic drama is that there is a large population of Americans who have and continue to be affected by the often racist, unprofessional and irresponsible behavior of too many police officers--and Dorner’s bloody tirade is reflective of a sentiment shared by many others who are tired of the lack of retribution.
This unprofessionalism could not be more evident than by the handling of Dorner’s manhunt so far. Two innocent women delivering LA Times newspapers were mistakenly shot by LAPD officers, who had mistaken the pickup truck they were driving for Dorner’s own vehicle, injuring one of the women. According to reports there were no warnings, no orders, just a hail of bullets into the vehicle. Attorney Glen Jonas says that the color of the pickup was different as well as the license plate number, which essentially rules out mistaken identity and shows a desperate police department, intent on implementing street justice to a man they deem as undeserving of proper police procedures. Since then two similar incidents have occurred. Although no additional injuries have resulted in these mistaken identity cases, It leaves questions as to who the public should fear more, Dorner or the police?
In Dorner’s manifesto he makes mention that since the ‘Rodney King days,’ as he described it, not much has changed in the LAPD and if anything things have gotten worse. He describes department wide corruption and a need for serious change--his sentiments so strong, that he made a seemingly conscious and well thought out decision to throw away his own life by taking the lives of those whom he views as the enemy.
What Dorner’s growing number of internet supporters have in common is that they all feel as if his murder spree was necessary in order to draw attention to a problem that has for too long been ignored.
The story brings back memories of the Larry Davis case, who garnered support all over New York City after shooting six NYPD officers, and being acquitted--an unprecedented series of events, particularly in a situation where the shooter was a black man.
The support for Dorner shows that many Americans are fed up with the way in which police officers handle themselves and the power they are given. In the wake of the occupy movement, which showed many whites that they could also be the target of overly aggressive cops, this seemingly unconscionable show of support for a murderer like Dorner is proof that change is not only necessary but vital.
It would be naive to think that Dorner is the first whistleblower within a police department who was later disciplined, fired, or isolated in some way for breaking the ‘code of silence’ within these departments. That code of silence is what ensures that most of the assaults, drug deals and other misconduct go unpunished, essentially giving police power that supersedes the very laws they are sworn to uphold.
Dorner’s actions, without question were reprehensible and deserving of prison time, but the larger crime would be to ignore the sentiment in which this tragedy was spawned, and act as if it does not exist. Countless numbers of innocent people are beaten and sometimes murdered at the hands of corrupt, nervous, under-trained, racist and irresponsible police, who at times are drunk on power and whose bias is often the driving force behind how the job is performed. New York City’s Stop and Frisk laws and their implementation are a good example.
While the manhunt continues for Christopher Dorner, I pray there are no more victims, but I also pray that this tragedy be a wake up call to those in positions to make a difference and help reform these broken departments. If we continue to ignore these problems and allow those bad apples to continue to spread, we are no better than Dorner himself and should not be surprised if more like him spring up at some point.
Posted by Leigh Owens at 12:26 PM