LAPD’s manhunt turns thin blue line red

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Illustration by Ben Andrews / Social Media Editor

In last week’s tragic shooting of police officers and their family members by suspected gunman, Christopher Dorner, there was a legitimate and justifiable outrage for the blood on his hands. Yet, in his manifesto he raised an interesting conundrum. Based on their history, the police have more innocent blood on their hands and yet, culturally, we accept the systemic destruction the police wrought in the name of justice.

The true tragedy in this entire affair is the general sense of discomfort from the public and who they should be more afraid of. Is the alleged murderer who shot innocent people and on duty police officers any scarier than the indiscriminate shooting conducted by the LAPD?

In the general frenzied haze, mistaking a grey truck for a blue truck is unfortunate norm. Predictably, police released the cliched response of claiming it was a case of “mistaken identity.” No shit. You shot two women in a blue Toyota Tacoma delivering newspapers instead of shooting a lone male in a grey Nissan Titan. It’s sad that it has to be said, but maybe you should stop to think before you shoot identities mistakenly. Especially when their description doesn’t remotely match the suspects. The mental gymnastics is appalling.

The LAPD is no stranger to allegations of abuse and misconduct. The Rodney King beating is the immediate, recollected incident. Unfortunately, the lesson was not learned as the LAPD has been caught on tape in recent years assaulting citizens.

Alesia Thomas, an addict and struggling mother, died in the custody of the LAPD this past summer. She had earlier dropped her children off at a local police station in an attempt to abandon them. The police found her at home and proceeded to arrest her. During her arrest, she was physically stomped on in the groin by a female officer. She later died in the backseat of a police cruiser. This incident was videotaped by the LAPD and yet they refuse to release the footage. This is an all too familiar scenario with the LAPD.

Looking at the Dorner incident, the irony of a man who felt he was pushed to the edge due to the perceived corruption flowing from our police force and the result of that same police force proceeding to shoot innocent people cannot be understated or ignored.

My initial reaction to seeing innocent people shot by overzealous and on-edge members of the LAPD was awash in the awful feeling that they would receive little, if any, discipline for their ridiculous actions. It was a sad realization that despite the overwhelmingly positive impact the police can have on our lives and the general quality that most officers display on duty, there is an ever-present sense of dread that some of them will be responsible for hurting the people they are supposed to be protecting.

Even worse is the general apathy felt when knowing that nothing will happen to these awful specimens of policing. A haze of protection and complicity is revealed as more often than not, bad cops continue being bad cops and good cops stand by and let it happen, effectively pulling the trigger themselves.

A 2010 report by the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, a nongovernmental and nonpartisan project, showed excessive force is the most common type of misconduct by police officers. In the same year, LAPD had 171 officers accused of using excessive force. Dorner was fired after he reportedly lied about a fellow officer’s use of excessive force yet we know it happens and is rarely addressed.

Police officers deserve our gratitude and respect when they do their complicated jobs right. But when they fail to carry out the public’s best interests and when they fail to fix what’s wrong, they deserve our scorn and ridicule. The rule of law is what binds our society together. Police officers are tasked to enforce those laws and they should always be held to a higher standard. Yet time and time again, they get away with various degrees of bull-pucky. Murder, corruption, assault, discrimination, all adds up to a police force that is hard to trust with our public safety.

The sad prospect is it’s hard to hope for anything to change after this incident though it would be a nice change of pace from the normal inaction or trite suspension. It doesn’t matter that officers are under high pressure from the threat of a hostile murderer. It doesn’t matter that comrades in arms and friends and family were killed. They should table those base feelings and emotions when they put on their uniforms. If they can’t, and the result is harm to innocent people, then they need to be fired and charged for any crimes they may have committed. Good cops need to step up and speak out.

As well as addressing the awful deeds of a rotten human being who found the wrong outlet for his rage, we also need to look long and deep at our dwindling trust in police departments across the country. We need to take this disgusting event and use it to fix what is wrong with the thin blue line.

There is something viciously corrupt with the conduct of the police in this country. Whether they are acting the part, actively covering up or ignoring the part, they exist to protect and serve us. They should not hold us down or trample on our rights, or harass and harangue us. The cold hard truth is that our societal rights are more important than their safety. That’s why they exist. To protect that which needs protecting at all costs.

That means stop shooting innocent people just in case they may be perpetrators. It means to accept responsibility when you screw up. Fire those involved and prosecute them just as you would any other criminal. Conduct better training and most importantly, stop hiring unbalanced and unfit police officers.

Change the metrics for how you weed out the bad ones. It should be a job for those who aspire to better society, not a ghetto for under-educated rejects from the sperm donation pool that is life. Unfortunately for us, less than stellar examples seem to break through that particular barrier all too often.

Cops who are complicit in covering up for brethren need to stop being cowardly. Stand up and have respect for your organization and the rule of law. Most especially when you are been responsible for maintaining it.

It’s absurd that these things have to be pointed out. It’s absurd that it happens over and over again. It’s absurd that people have to be worried about horrible encounters with criminals as well as the police tasked to protect them.

The LAPD has long been a joke of an organization due to continued corruption. It’s time to clean out the entire corrupt fraternity from the top on down and get a group of people that care enough to fix what’s wrong. Otherwise we will end up repeating this worthless cycle over and over again. I’m sick of it. I’m guessing many citizens are sick of it and the LAPD should be sick of it.


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  • Jon Soto

    Police are charged with the good of the public order. They are the enforcers of the laws of the land. We cannot hold all on account of a few rogue officers. Democrats are too weak to deal with crime problems. Democrats wouldn’t support the death penalty for police corruption. Democrats cause these problems with gun control, unrealistic views of how criminals operate, creating cultures of entitlement and dependency, unwillingness to view crinimals as the scum they are, teaching cultures of victimhood to minorities, and an unwillingness to enforce our laws and I mean all of them. Rogue cops exist because of government’s failure to regulate itself. Police must be subject to the laws they enforce x10. Only when government officials and this includes police face stiffer penalties for misconduct will nonsense like this end.

  • VladLenin

    Liberalism & Prejudice.

    First, Dorner represents the culmination of Liberalism.
     
    Entitlement – I deserve success, my fair share, equality(of outcome).  
    Victimhood – If I don’t achieve these statusus, it MUST be due to suppression by “the man.” Authority, Imperialism, the Rich, Whitey, Police, Professors, Employers, whoever. 

    He may well have been wronged.(taken as gospel by his admirers, without any corraberation).

    Who hasn’t? Everyone can point to some scenerio where they were wronged. Most don’t take this greivance to extreme by justifying the killing of innocent people.

    Are their “bad apples” in the LAPD? Almost certainly so. Are their bad apples at CSUN? Los Angeles? In the Democrat/Republican Parties? The White/Black/Hispanic communities?

    As pundits broad-brush the LAPD, or police as unjust, this is called prejudice. Judging a “group” for the actions of a few. That the LAPD is being derided, serves only to justify ENTITLEMENT above. If the LAW is bad, then “my” taking what I want can be rationalized as just.

    “You didn’t build that” taken to its logical consequence, infers that what someone else has achieved was obtained by the suppression(and oppression) of someone else – you maybe?

    If someone else has my “fair share”, aren’t I justified in taking whatever action is necessary to get mine?

  • camppiece

    I am a veteran myself and it is frustrating when you try to do right by the rules , laws and the man above and are persecuted for it.I am not condoning Dorners actions ,But what I see is a man that made alot of accomplishments in his life and stood for what he believes in,And then had his past and future taken away from him.Have you seen where in 2002 Dorner and a fellow Naval officer found $8,000 and retuned it to its rightfull owner(this was in Oklahoma) That is a stand up honest man .I was deployed to the L.A. riots in 1992 and I clearly remember an officer tell my squad if you shoot anyone once shoot them twice we don’t want the paperwork . I am sure things haven’t changed.If the chain of command would have worked for Dorner this mess most likely would not be happening .I have been praying for the innocent bystandereds that have been caught up in the middle. The L.A. pd apparentley kicked the wrong dog this time .

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/H5HTETCUQ6RQEYZ3LQUORFKDFI Wes

    While I agree with your writings, I must point one thing out. Law enforcement agencies are are under no obligation to protect the public. The supreme court already ruled on this. They’re their to uphold the law or bring those who break it in for their turn at the justice system. Your article was only wrong in that respect, they are not obligated or there to protect “us”, despite what the writing on the side of their cars say. Other than that, great read.

  • axisiiad

    First article I’ve read even in the ballpark of “balanced.” What I find astonishing? That our 4th Estate has become so cowardly they are silent on the sections of Dorner’s statement (“manifesto”) with the MOST DIRE AND BROAD IMPLICATIONS.
    Do our media members even make it as far as such disturbing revelations as, “It is endless the amount of times per week officers arrest an individual, label him a suspect-arrestee-defendant and then before arraignment or trial realize he is innocent…” or “I’ve heard many officers who state they see dead victims as ATV’s, Waverunners,? RV’s and new clothes for their kids…” and nearby portions?
    Consider the significance of THOSE sections. Whether or not anyone in our “mainstream” media has you wouldn’t be able to discern. All we get is awkward, and dangerous, SILENCE.

    • VladLenin

      Asixiiad,

      My poor, moderately unintelligent friend.

      “It is endless the amount of times per week officers arrest an individual, label him a suspect-arrestee-defendant and then before arraignment or trial realize he is innocent.”

      This is exactly how jurisprudence works. There are “very strict” rules in place that prohibit authorities from holding a suspect, without a significant enough evidence to take to trial. You(or I) can be held(I think it is 24 hours), while police secure enough evidence to arrain.

      “I’ve heard many officers who state they see dead victims as ATV’s, Waverunners,? RV’s and new clothes for their kids…”

      That you’ve taken this assertion as gospel, frankly say’s more about you than Dorner.

      Can you substantiate ANY bounty, or otherwise advancement criteria that rewards officers for killing victims”

      GOOD GRIEF!

      Out,

      Vlad

      • axisiiad

        Kind of you to say “moderately.” That you’re able to discern so much about my intellect from that post means you are, in contrast, a genius. We can only hope your regular correspondence with Dr. Hawking is archived for posterity.
        “This is exactly how jurisprudence works.” That’s unfortunate, given that it’s exactly how jurisprudence isn’t SUPPOSED to work. Or at least, it plainly isn’t supposed to work the way Dorner describes it in the context of that quotation. Clearly you haven’t read it, no doubt because you’re so busy digesting academic journal articles of immense complexity.
        I have taken nothing as “gospel.” But yes, I sorely wish Dorner’s characterizations of experiences he claims to have had as a member of law enforcement came across as far less credible. “Substantiate?” You find the logic he proffers, that officers benefit greatly from such incidents due to accrued overtime pay, so abstruse it requires “substantiation?” That perspective is bizarre. Must be yet another element of this that goes over my head, with only intellectual giants among men like yourself able to comprehend it.
        “Good grief,” my humble apologies for not living up to your lofty yet dubious standards.
        Ax

  • Jan Van Dusen

    I don’t believe Dorner lied.  The suspect and his father both corroborated Dorner’s account, and the father even said his son’s face was swollen when he first saw him after the incident, which was why he asked what happened.  Bruises don’t appear instantaneously.  Dorner’s training officer did kick the suspect.  So the LAPD punished Dorner for telling the truth.  That’ not a good reason for him to kill people.  But LAPD fired an officer who reported wrongdoing, and called him a liar, and probably ruined his chance of ever being a police officer anywhere.  That is what caused all of this to happen, and everyone involved in that should be fired or should lose part of their pensions, at the very least.  Bottom line, people should be punished for what they did.  They shouldn’t get a free pass just because Dorner’s reaction to their wrongdoing was also wrong.

    • VladLenin

      The suspect and his father both corroborated Dorner’s account

      Have you seen this substantiated anywhere, other than in Dorners manifesto?

      • Jan Van Dusen

         I didn’t read Dorner’s manifesto.  A news account from a mainstream news source, probably the LA Times, provided that information.  Interestingly, this fact seems to have been ignored by a lot of commenters and by most of the later (hysterical) media coverage.  The PD investigators discounted the victim’s account because he had mental issues (I don’t know how that would negate his ability to feel 3 kicks), and presumably they discounted the father’s information because the father was not a witness to the kicks.  The father only saw the swollen face and asked his son what caused that.

        • VladLenin

          You’re recounting of a mainstream news source’s regurtiation of Dorners Manifesto is not [necessarily] the truth.

          Everything you’ve written are “assertions” being advanced by Dorner, and reported as fact by your “mainstream news source.”

      • Jan Van Dusen

         Right, the cops never lie, except if you have any experience with criminal law you discover that the cops lie all the time, especially if they think they can get away with it, and especially if it’s to protect other cops.  Most of them act like the flip side of a street gang, and this “manhunt” (witchhunt) was a case in point.  They didn’t need to storm the cabin, and it did not take the number of officers they had surrounding that cabin, once they had Dorner trapped there.  They could have left 10 guys there and waited it out, and eventually they would have captured him alive.  They didn’t want him alive, so they did what they did.  Testosterone poisoning.  (And I do not want to hear anything more from “VladLenin,” thank you.)

        • VladLenin

          Dorner orchestrated his own death. Everything played out as he would have scripted. Even his own death. His only greivance (as probably yours) is that he didn’t take out more cops.

          I don’t believe that the LAPD, or local authorities for that matter should have been in charge of tracking Dorner down. They were too emotionally connected to “taking whatever means necessary” to stop him. Reason is lost when you’re emotionally involved. So, to your point on, I agree with you.

          Your assertion that “cops” (plurality) lie is called prejudice. That would be similar to suggesting that all blacks are criminals, because the plurality of crimes in Los Angeles are committed by blacks. Of course, this is absurd.

          I suppose by demonizing “cops”, it justifies (in your mind) any action that runs counter to their obligation to uphold the law. 

          • axisiiad

            “Your assertion that ‘cops’ (plurality) lie is called prejudice.”
             
            Ever accumulating evidence suggests that statement, reduced to the individual and particularly in respect to protecting crooked colleagues, may be correct at least as often as not. Perhaps plurality is indicated, officer.

            But then, you’re well aware of that.

  • Kristina_S2

    My feelings toward the police are also complicated. When I take public transpiration I’m glad they’re there but simultaneously think of how much I dislike people who are police. If police were nameless and faceless drones then everyone would love them. But since they are real people, who majorly tend to have nasty attitudes, you get the feeling that they’re all jerks. But we need police, or the idea that we live in a society that has citizens dedicated to protecting others. But cops don’t feel like citizens, the feel more like individuals that are exempt from the peace they’re meant to preserve.

    • VladLenin

      To quote James Madison. . .

      If men were angels, no government(or laws) would be necessary.

      Police are charged with upholding the law(s). That they are men(and women) makes them imperfect beings.

      While “instances” of improper actions have occured, the vast majority of the police are clean. Consider that, every day, or night that they cover their beat, someone, in the act of commiting a crime will have no qualms about killing them. 

      Criminals, and very dangerous criminals are a threat to civil society. If the police are not there to uphold the laws of the land, who?

      A sense of Entitlement is gripping 2013 society. People, even good people are convinced that they deserve; fame, riches, popularity, comfort, etc. That they don’t have those things MUST mean that someone is suppressing access their “my fair share.” Social Justice asserts that “equal outcomes” are justice. The ends justify the means. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/F6AEFV3MKLDF3MWXJQUACVVMEQ Docta

        Yeah you know what?  I do feel I have the right when I’m innocent not to be shot at by police (like the two women were).  But conservatives call that “being a spoiled brat”.

        It’s so funny seeing the so-called “small government party” defending tyranny just because it comes from a group of people they respect.  That’s the REAL problem with our society is that if Tyranny comes from the party or politicians they love, they will justify & defend it. 

        Our rights will be whittled away not with revolution, but with thanks & applause…

        • VladLenin

          Docta,

          Why is it that Leftists have difficulty with comprehension?

          I do feel I have the right when I’m innocent not to be shot at by police (like the two women were).

          What part of my post, made you conclude that I, as a “Limited” Government proponent justified police shooting innocent people. If Dorner’s illegal activity is unjustifiable, as are ”any” police who act in an unjustiable manner. They should be dealt with to the full extent of the law.

          But conservatives call that “being a spoiled brat”.

          I called Dorners actions, those of a spoiled brat. Why you had to twist that shows your dishonesty.

          It’s so funny seeing the so-called “small government party” defending tyranny

          Again, for an intelligent reader, NOTHING in what I wrote defends tyranny. Dorner deserves justice(I’m not sure that being burned alive is justice). The Officers who shot the innocent people deserve justice. [If] it is found (beyond the heresay in Dorner’s manifesto) that his superiors fired him unjustly, they deserve justice. You see, when you’re “value system” is fixed, and not “relative”, it makes it easier to keep straight wherre one stands on an issue.

          Our rights will be whittled away, with “Thank you massa, may I have some more?”

  • Joe Blake

    Anyone who chooses to be face to face with Dorner instead of face to face with the LAPD is an idiot.

    • Jan Van Dusen

      I don’t believe anyone other than police officers and their associates have anything to fear from Dorner, if he’s even still alive.  He’s not shooting at everything that moves; the cops are doing that.

      • VladLenin

        “Their associates”

        Like, the daughter of an officer, and her fiance.

        You’re a piece of sh*t. Moral relativism is a disease. Victimhood is a terrible place to live.

      • Jon Soto

        So you endorse terrorism and vigilante justice? Jan, everyone in the US deserves a trial by a jury of their peers. No one is entitled to be judge/jury/executioner in one person. How’d you feel if he or someone like him shot someone you knew? We are a land of laws and everyone is subject to the law. The law is absolute. We cannot have people enforcing their own vision of the law and executing personal justice. Otherwise, our land would descend into Chaos. Is that what you want? You want the police to be reigned in? Then vote for people who are tough on crime and corruption. Don’t vote for gun control advocating cowards. Don’t vote for those who look the other way i.e. Democrats, if you want this nonsense to stop. Stop thinking government will regulate itself.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BIIVGY5K75JGFSOSAQGNIJEQXE Jay

    Amen!  Absolutely nailed my feelings as far as the LAPD!  What’s more, is that I’ve been to parties with off duty officers before, and the way some of them behave is completely unethical.  Like frat house party animals who are entitled to whatever they want because they are police,  It’s scares me some of the people who they give a gun, badge, and power to!