It is irresponsible journalism when the media seemingly presents a profile of a suspect to the public but leaves out key details. Public Secrets, http://pubsecrets.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/media-scrubs-left-wing-manifesto-of-fugitive-cop-killer/, is the blog that made me aware that Christopher Dorner is not a stereotypical right wing “nut” as some would assume from his murderous rampage.
A manhunt is underway to find Dorner, who has murdered three people and fired at the police. The police have now shot at least two women in or near a vehicle that resembles his (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/us/former-los-angeles-police-officer-sought-in-shootings.html)– dozens of shots were fired. His actual vehicle was found on fire this afternoon on Bear Mountain in the Los Angeles area.
I found a supposedly complete manifesto at http://laist.com/2013/02/07/christopher_dorners_manifesto_in_fu.php. Please note that this is the ALLEGED manifesto– there are different versions out there. The longer versions seem to be the more credible ones although I could not testify in a court of law as to the validity or origin of them. I am just analyzing the available material said to be authored by Dorner on his Facebook page.
(Update 2/8/13: Public Secrets has posted this link to an 18-page version with redactions published by the LA Times, http://documents.latimes.com/christopher-dorner-manifesto/.)
Dorner’s lengthy diatribe is titled “last resort” and is partially a declaration of war on the LAPD. Dorner is extremely upset about corruption within the police department and believes he has to “clear his name” by resorting to violence including murder. He says that he was let go because he’d reported another officer for misconduct. The LAPD, Dorner says, protected that officer instead of him.
I am acutely aware of corruption in law enforcement and how the tables can turn on you when you try to report wrongdoing. I know a number of people who have dealt with this, cops and civilians, and have left law enforcement because of it. The professional and financial consequences can be severe. But, as is obvious to any rational person, it is a betrayal of the ethics you claim to stand for when you become like the corrupt people and do even worse things than they have.
The fact that Dorner would see murder as the answer means that his mind has crossed a bridge. That thought process speaks of intense desperation. Stress can drive people to serious lengths, but rationalizing murder can also speak to mental illness, a vigilante mindset, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and/or a conscious decision to indulge in terrible evil. I would like to know what the trigger is; it’s been several years since he’s been with the LAPD.
In Dorner’s online rant he says he grabbed another officer around the neck after hearing the word nigger used, which started a fight. He says, “What I should have done, was put a Winchester Ranger SXT 9mm 147 grain bullet in his skull and Officer —–’s skull. The Situation would have been resolved effective, immediately.” How would that resolve the situation? There would be consequences to him no matter what and in this life or the next. He references a childhood incident in which he was punished for assaulting a schoolmate who called him a nigger, and claims that he decided he would never tolerate racism.
Scanning through the manifesto, I see a line that says he wants journalists to “submit request for FOIA with the LAPD.” He wants the alleged incidents of misconduct investigated. I would note that FOIA, the Freedom of Information Act, applies to federal agencies and federal documents, not state or local. He wants journalists to look into his law enforcement history and seems to try to create some credibility for himself.
“I have exhausted all available means at obtaining my name back. I have attempted all legal court efforts within appeals at the Superior Courts and California Appellate courts. This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead to deadly consequences. The LAPD’s actions have cost me my law enforcement career that began on 2/7/05 and ended on 1/2/09. They cost me my Naval career which started on 4/02 and ends on 2/13.”
Noting that last date, I wonder why his naval career ended within the last week. That could be a trigger. Uniformed personnel often identify so closely with their jobs that a loss of their job triggers a loss of identity. Although it is not just and it is dangerous to the public, domestic violence victims are sometimes safer if their uniformed abuser keeps their job because the abuser might equate the loss of the job with the loss of their life. If they feel that they have nothing left to lose, they might be more motivated to kill the victim and others in “revenge.” Dorner seems to be at that place, a sentiment reiterated when he says, “Self Preservation is no longer important to me. I do not fear death as I died long ago on 1/2/09.”
This guy is hell-bent on staying in the spotlight until the media acquiesces to his demands and gives him the attention he wants: “I’ll be waiting for a PUBLIC response at a press conference. When the truth comes out, the killing stops.” It sounds like he has decided to slaughter people until his beef with his former agency is resolved to his satisfaction. That speaks to a jaded narcissism; he didn’t leave potentially relevant documents with a lawyer or make arrangements with the media in advance that I know of. He’ll simply kill until he gets his way.
“I am here to change and make policy. The culture of LAPD versus the community and honest/good officers needs to and will change. I am here to correct and calibrate your morale compasses to true north.” Dorner seems to see himself as morally superior to others and as the litmus test for their morale. This comes across as a guy who’s been thinking about this for years, and in stewing over it, has only added to his conviction that murdering people will bring about this change. This fuse has been burning for a long time. This is not someone who just snapped.
“I am a walking exigent circumstance with no OFF or reset button.” He indicates that he’s thought of everything the police will do in response to his killing spree in advance and is convinced he can outperform them at every turn. He talks about other incidents from his past and seems to see himself as victim at times that perhaps he should not have. Dorner mentions severe depression and possible brain damage from football (regardless, he is CHOOSING to kill people and knows exactly what he’s doing).
The hypocrisy and arrogance of this guy is astounding. Dorner goes into detail about his firearms knowledge and the guns he’s owned and how he’s obtained them. At the same time, he repeatedly calls for gun control and tells people to never forget the victims of all of the school shootings that have happened. He doesn’t see what he is doing right now as being in the same vein as those murders.
Dorner views himself as special, committing a necessary evil, which makes him a martyr or a hero. He has the gall to say, “Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you’re a vile and inhumane piece of s–t.” That shows a clear disconnect from reality because LaPierre is not out slaughtering people out of vengeance; he is. He notes, “”the only thing that changes policy and garners attention is death.” So it’s okay for him to go on the offensive and kill people because he feels wronged, but it’s not okay for anyone else to do so? I’d also point out the huge difference between wanting a firearm to protect yourself (defense) versus the terrorist-like acts he is committing (offense).
He fully (“100%”) supports the U.S. government and Obama. Despite an earlier reference to Bush in defense of Obama, he says later that Bush is his second favorite president. He takes a shot at John McCain that I can confidently refute, “You never questioned the fact that his (Obama’s) former opponent, the honorable Senator John McCain, was not born in the CONUS…”
The debate over whether John McCain is eligible to be president because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone is downright silly. Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter III, Section 1403 of the U.S. Code says:
People born in the Panama Canal Zone to either one or two American parents during most of the 20th century are automatically American citizens like everyone else. The Canal Zone was a U.S. territory and home to many military families like the McCains (he was even born on a military base although that doesn’t change things). Some ask, “but is he a natural born citizen?” Our Founding Fathers made being a natural born citizen a requirement for being president; it’s in the Constitution. At that time they considered someone born to American parents a natural born citizen whether they were born on domestic or foreign soil.
In addition, the Panama Canal Zone issue is specifically addressed in federal law so there should be no doubt that those born in Panama are the same as those born in, say, Seattle. Someone on another blog told me, “U.S. Code doesn’t supersede the U.S. Constitution”– in this case U.S. Code agrees with and clarifies the U.S. Constitution (their point is moot). So no, Dorner did not just introduce an earthshaking revelation about John McCain, he just doesn’t understand the issue.
Going back to Dorner’s so-called manifesto, he lists his thoughts and appreciation for friends, which is a classic move by someone who is preparing to kill themselves or someone else. He knows that death is a possibility, and this makes him extremely dangerous because he will probably kill as many people as he can before he goes out. He also claims he’s never had the chance to have a family, so he doesn’t have that to lose. In his mind, as the song says, he’s going to go out “in a blaze of glory.”
He proceeds to list his favorite celebrities along with politicians and gives them a shout out, as if they’ll care that a former cop with a death wish who will destroy innocent lives thinks they’re beautiful. He displays an obvious distaste for Christianity and the Bible. He gives a nod to Martin Luther King, Jr., who might have been killed by just such bigoted zealots. MLK, by the way, was the man who said:
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy…Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Overall, his guy is fitting the classic behavioral pattern of a spree killer in many ways. As I wrote this I realized that his behavior, based on the little I know so far, is almost textbook David Canter– Dr. Canter is a psychologist who was at the forefront of scientific offender profiling. Almost 20 years ago he described what seems to be going on now.
Dorner thinks he’ll gain or regain power and control by killing people. He sees himself as a victim or a martyr for the cause, but uses his victims, like a vampire, to “recharge.” This self-styled “hero” simply can’t get enough attention by the media and the police and has to be heard. He wants a microphone and he’ll do anything to get it. He’s intelligent as well as deliberate. His case has some unique aspects, though, in that he’s a former cop who’s declared war on cops and their families– in a sense, his own kind.
Of course I’m writing this from a distance and basing this stream of consciousness blog post on limited snippets from various media sources. Ultimately I don’t expect this guy to live. He’ll probably die trying to complete his self-appointed mission or kill himself. As is likely the case in some of the school and mall shootings in recent years, he could take his own life, which a killer of his ilk might see as the crowning achievement of his “quest.”
Additionally, such killers don’t want anyone else taking their life for them as that represents a loss of power and control. Their whole platform is power and control. Taking lives makes them feel god-like. And in their minds, all of these deaths are “JUSTIFIED” because they say so. As I’ve stated in a previous post, they become their own gods. In times of trouble and adversity we are to seek God, but some just burrow deeper and deeper within their Pharisaical selves.
If Chris Dorner really was punished for trying to stand up to police corruption, I understand his feelings. It can be you against the system when you’re trying to expose wrongdoing and it can be a very lonely place. The stress can push you to mind-altering extremes including depression. But I very strongly condemn his murderous actions and how he has largely made this “crusade for justice” about himself.
If Dorner truly wanted justice, and not vengeance, he would be writing, speaking, teaching about topics like police ethics, educating others, allying himself with credible activists to achieve positive change– doing something legal to reach these goals. Instead he’s chosen a path that appears to be leading straight to hell. And there is likely more to this story. Guys like this are usually seen for what they are by their wives, girlfriends, or partners before such an escalation. “Everybody’s buddy” in public can be a twisted dictator at home.
So should he have a microphone? Or should he be destroyed? The best course of action is the one that is going to save the most lives. While I don’t normally believe in indulging the whims of homicidal narcissists, because they’re not people that can be negotiated with, I have to wonder if giving him a microphone might actually allow for enough of a pause in his killing spree to shut him down. The use of deadly force is the usual way of dealing with such a killer, but sometimes you have to let them think they’re smarter than you are just for a second while you pull the rug out from under them.
Prayers go out to the victims’ families, for the safety of all involved, and for true justice.
Life breaks us all … but many are made strong at the broken places.
This is a case in which the police should be taking full advantage of the media and tips from the public until this guy is caught. That’s not always a useful strategy but it could be in this case. Here is some contact information from http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2013/02/christopher_jordan_dorner_lapd.php and the CHP:
CHP: BLUE ALERT- RIVERSIDE CO.: Suspect: Christopher Dorner, 33yo, Black, Male, 6′, 270.
Anyone with information that can help capture Dorner is asked to call the Irvine police tip line at 949.724.7192 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The LAPD is also collecting tips at 877.527.3247, through Crime Stoppers 800.222.8477, via text at 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most cell phone keypads; texts should begin with the letters “LAPD”) and at LAPDOnline.org (click on “webtips” and follow the prompts).
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