Christopher Dorner has captured the attention of police departments, media outlets, and stunned citizens across the country and around the world. Just as I’m sure many of you did, I couldn’t help but scratch my head and ask, “Why? What could drive a man to murder random people as an act of retribution for losing his job?”
The answer came soon enough in the form of a manifesto from Dorner, which the LAPD quickly requested that media outlets censor. In the manifesto, Dorner describes a terrible situation within the LAPD—one of lies, corruption, and racism. Let me be clear that none of this justified Dorner’s murdering of any individuals, but let us not simply take the mainstream media’s half baked news story regarding recent events.
Christopher Dorner reveals himself to be an incredibly principled person who seeks equality and justice for all. Although it has become quite clear that Dorner has taken justice too far, we must recognize the need for drastic change in our country. The event which pushed the former officer over the edge occurred back in 2009.
While arresting a mentally ill man, Dorner claims that a fellow officer kicked and punched the handcuffed suspect. Upon reporting the incident, Dorner’s claims were immediately overturned and he was ultimately fired for being an alleged “bully” to fellow officers. The most astounding part was how the LAPD allowed a panel comprised of some of the accused officer’s close friends make the call to fire Officer Dorner.
Dorner’s manifesto continued to reveal more injustices committed by the LAPD, such as rampant racism, excessive force cover-ups, and a department shrouded in secrecy and lies. Most appalling was the revelation that some of the officers involved in the Rodney King beating have made their way into the upper echelons of the department, including captains on the force. Yes, that is correct: the officers responsible for the world’s most infamous example of excessive force and racism were promoted.
In addition to that, Christopher Dorner found himself accused of bullying his fellow trainees when in fact he was the only one who defended his peer from an onslaught of anti-Semitic harassment. If that wasn’t enough, Dorner found himself in a van full of officers when he got into a scuffle with two of them who were using derogatory terms. The incident led to reports filed by all officers present—the result was that only one officer’s story matched with Dorner’s, while six others claimed that they did not see anything happen.
I highly recommend that anyone read Dorner’s manifesto for some insight into his side of the story. While we must all acknowledge that the actions Dorner ultimately took cannot be justified, we must see the urgent need for drastic social change and police department transparency and accountability.
Let us not let those whom Dorner killed die in vain, but rather prevent anyone from being pushed over the edge in such a manner. Dorner’s story is a tragic one – a story of a principled, honest officer looking to keep things fair, just, and equal in a gang of uniformed thugs, liars, and bullies. It seems all too likely that the oppressive situation within his own department led to Dorner snapping and going out in a blaze of retribution.