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A great article on another side to the Dorner incident.
Wrongful Termination: Chris Dorner’s Terrifyingly Banal Killing Spree
Las Vegas, NV: In the days after his lethal rebellion and violent death, Christopher Dorner has become many things to many different people: a one-man Alamo hero who died fighting the police state; a crazy black man who started murdering cops because that’s what crazy black men do; or a symbol of government oppression and the militarization of America’s police forces. For some conspiracy theorists, Dorner even became a Manchurian candidate in an elaborate Big Brother plot to sow chaos and fear, so that Government Marxists could fill America’s skies with armed drones, assassinating gun-owners and freedom-lovers at will.
But all this focus on Dorner’s spectacular ending has obscured the real story about what sent Chris Dorner over the edge: workplace abuse, racial discrimination, and a legitimate claim of wrongful termination. In a nation where workers have fewer legal protections than workers in many developing nations, low-level employees like Dorner have few rights, little power and almost nowhere to turn. Ever since the Reagan Revolution of the 80s, popular culture has neglected labor problems in favor of violent epic fantasies, even though more and more Americans suffered worsening labor conditions in their own lives, privately and alone. Wrongful termination and workplace discrimination are devastating problems for each and every victim, yet collectively we’re infinitely more worried about police state fascism and getting assassinated by armed drones, thanks to media and pop culture conditioning. Labor and workplace problems are considered boring, even embarrassing.
Ever since “going postal” massacres first appeared in the public sector, in US post offices in the mid-1980s, they have tended to follow a familiar script. The murderer “snaps” for no apparent reason; official culture blames it all on Hollywood or guns, never explaining why these workplace massacres only appeared in the mid-late 80s; and later, as it turns out, there were a lot of reasons for the gunman to snap. If you profile the workplace that created the murderer, rather profiling the murderer’s psychology, you will often find a pattern of shocking workplace abuse and of top-down mistreatment of employees, culminating in the “going postal” rampage. The consequent killing spree will target supervisors, fellow employees, and anyone associated with the institution that the abused employee blames for having crushed him (or her).
The LAPD is a textbook example of one of the most abusive public sector employers in America today — and this context, along with the details of Dorner’s firing and his appeals, are the real missing pieces in the puzzle.
Noted civil rights attorney Dan Stormer, who has sued the LAPD on numerous occasions over wrongful terminations, discrimination and civil rights abuses, tells me, “Dorner’s case looks like a garden variety example of these types of cases.”
Dorner’s problems began with race, and escalated to his firing over his allegations against a fellow police officer of kicking a suspect in the face. “They don’t like it when you report abuse,” Stormer says. “If you complain, they punish you.”
Just over a decade ago, 109 serving and former LAPD officers filed a class action lawsuit accusing the police department of retaliating against whistleblowers and employees who dared to report police abuse.
An article in the LA Times headlined “More Than 60 Officers Join Lawsuit Against LAPD”, dated October 10, 2000, begins:
More than 60 current and former officers are joining a class-action lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department that alleges retaliation against whistle-blowers, bringing the total number of plaintiffs to more than 100, an attorney said Monday.
The original lawsuit, filed Aug. 24 in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of 41 former and current employees, most of them officers, claims that the LAPD has a culture that enforces a "code of silence" that leads to a pattern of discrimination, harassment and retaliation against those who report misconduct by other officers.
One of the plaintiffs, a narcotics detective named Shelby Braverman, worked in the same Harbor Division that Dorner served in. Braverman reported on one of his supervisors stealing heroin from evidence — and found himself the subject of a reopened criminal case. The result was that Braverman was fired and jailed for 30 days, ending his 20-year career.
Another plaintiff, Lita Abella, was driven out of the force and psychologically damaged by her experience:
Lita Abella, a former lieutenant in the Central Division, said she resigned in February. She said she was retaliated against for what she characterized as her "activist" role as a union delegate and a vice president of the Los Angeles Women Police Officers Assn. who over the years had reported or investigated numerous incidents of alleged misconduct.
She said the department eventually launched a "major personnel complaint" against her that had been manufactured to get her fired. She quit, she said, rather than fight the charges because the situation was making her physically ill.
The LAPD’s culture of workplace abuse, retaliation, and wrongful termination is so pervasive and out of control that according to a recent Inspector General’s report,
Los Angeles police brought an average of three times more lawsuits a year per officer than officers in Chicago and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
For so many LAPD officers and employees, their problems only worsen when officers report police misconduct — which is how Dorner’s problems started. In 2011, two years after Dorner was fired for allegedly lying when he filed a police misconduct report against a fellow officer, the LA Times wrote about the LAPD’s Inspector General’s investigation into the very same problem:
The department also has come under fire for failing to thoroughly investigate complaints of workplace problems. In a 2010 audit of LAPD investigations into employee allegations of retaliation, [Inspector General Nicole] Bershon's office found that investigators routinely neglected to interview people accused of misconduct, or even name them in the investigations.
Dorner reported his training supervisor, Teresa Evans, for kicking a suspect three times in 2007. In 2009, the LAPD chose, as it has so many times, to side with the accused supervisor and against the whistleblower: Dorner's whistleblowing was turned against him, he was charged with making false statements against a fellow officer, fired, and as his appeals failed to reverse the charges against him, Dorner's life spun out of control.
Court documents filed by Dorner’s attorneys contested his firing and the ruling by the Board of Rights that Dorner had falsified his report of police misconduct by a fellow officer.
These court documents, including a recently-released appellate brief filed by Dorner’s attorney in early 2011, paint what appears to be a very familiar story of LAPD workplace abuse and retaliation.
Chris Dorner grew up in southern California, and graduated in 2001 from Southern Utah University— Harry Reid’s alma mater — with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Psychology.
In 2002, at the start of Bush’s Global War on Terror, Dorner joined the Navy.
One of the first times Chris Dorner’s name appears in the press is late in 2002, in an article in small-town Oklahoma’s Enid News & Eagle:
An Enid church is a little richer today thanks to the integrity of Lt. Andrew Baugher, a Marine student at Vance, and Ensign Chris Dorner, a Navy student pilot.
The two were driving into Enid Sunday afternoon when they spotted a bank bag in the middle of the road.
After turning around, they picked up the bag and found it contained nearly $8,000. They promptly took the bag to the Enid Police Department.
The money belongs to Enid Korean Church of Grace, 724 W. Randolph, and the bag contained $7,792 in cash and checks.
“The military stresses integrity,” Dorner said. “There was a couple of thousand dollars, and if people are willing to give that to a church, it must be pretty important to them.”
He said it was “a little scary” having that much money in front of him.
Dorner said his mother taught him honesty and integrity. “I didn’t work for it, so it’s not mine. And it was for the church,” he said. “It’s not so much the integrity, but it was someone else’s money. I would hope someone would do that for me.”
Local Oklahoma City tv news recently ran stories on Dorner's good samaritan "heroism" in Enid, but this was largely ignored by the national media — it confused and upset their facile narrative, apparently.
Most of Dorner’s naval career was spent on naval bases in San Diego and near Las Vegas. He also served in Bahrain, and earned scores of medals and commendations.
In 2005, Dorner joined the LAPD and was in training when the Navy called him up for a year of active duty overseas in the Persian Gulf. A former Navy friend of Dorner’s, Long Beach police Sgt. Clint Grimes, described a very different Dorner from the crazed mass-murderer who terrorized Southern California earlier this month:
"I never knew him not to be smiling," [Sgt. Grimes] said.
Grimes said Dorner is very bright. Dorner's unit used high-tech sonar equipment to find small boats that could be a threat to naval vessels in port.
"They're not looking for a stupid guy, here," Grimes said.
In the same article, Dorner’s closest college friend, an Oregon attorney named James Usura, describes Dorner as “well-spoken, educated, rational. I didn't think he was moody or showed anything that would indicate he had mental health issues." Then, echoing a common theme to nearly all “going postal” workplace massacres — that it’s impossible to profile potential rampage murderers — Usura told reporters,
"People are looking for predictors, but I just never recognized anything that would indicate he was unstable in any fashion. He seemed normal, and I know that's not a great descriptor, but that was who he was to me."
Indeed Dorner’s ordinariness is what stands out. He was an ordinary middle-class African-American California jock, facing “ordinary” racism and racial discrimination, in a country that officially claims to be post-racial:
"Mr. Dorner was from Southern California and I was from Alaska, so being at SUU, which is set in a rural, predominantly white Mormon town, one of the things that connected us was our shock to the social demographics of the place," Usera said. "It was different to what we were used to and so we could relate to each other."
Usera recalled Dorner complaining about instances of discrimination, but nothing that alarmed Usera during their college years.
"He is a person who believed that racism is alive and well in the United States, not just in Utah," Usera said, "but while it is something he mentioned on some occasions, I never saw him get irate about it."
During his academy training, Dorner reported an incident in which he was in a van with other recruits, and one of them called another recruit “nigger.” Dorner told him not to use that word. Their argument erupted into a fight, and Dorner reported the racist recruit to his supervisor. The result, he later said, was that he was shunned by his colleagues.
In 2006, Dorner graduated from the LA Police Academy and joined the force. But as the American military machine geared up for Bush's coming Bush “Iraq Surge,” Dorner was called up for Naval duty and deployed to the Persian Gulf.
In early summer 2007, Dorner, now a lieutenant in the Naval Reserves, returned to the civilian world and to his job with the LAPD. Dorner asked his superiors to put him through a reintegration training to make up for the time lost, but his repeated requests were ignored.
Instead, Dorner was put out on the field with a supervising officer, a 42-year-old woman named Teresa Evans. According to Dorner, Evans was “angry” and sadistic. His legal filings repeatedly reference an incident in which Evans was arrested by Long Beach police for “domestic violence” in June 2007, resulting in an apparent demotion for Evans. Dorner also reported that Evans “slapped” his hands on at least two occasions, and that in one incident when they detained a woman in her mid-70s, Evans “tore the skin off” the old woman’s forearm, requiring medical treatment. In court documents, LAPD investigators never deny Evans’ arrest for domestic violence, but instead dismiss it as immaterial in their case against Dorner for false testimony.
For her part, Teresa Evans claimed that Dorner was overly emotional, citing an incident in which Dorner supposedly began “weeping” while out on patrol, begging to be put through LAPD reintegration training.
On July 28, 2007, Dorner and Sgt. Evans responded to a reported disturbance at a Doubletree Hotel. The suspect, a paranoid-schizophrenic named Christopher Gettler, refused to comply. Dorner, despite his great size and strength, was unable to subdue Gettler long enough to cuff him. They fell forward into some bushes as Teresa Evans shot him twice with a Taser, and then — according to Dorner — she kicked Gettler three times: first softly on the clavicle, then again more roughly, and a third swift kick to Gettler’s eye.
Gettler’s eye swelled and bled. Teresa Evans claimed that he’d cut himself in the bushes. Ultimately, there were no reliable witnesses to testify that Evans had or hadn’t kicked Gettler, and his father, who was deferential to the police due to numerous incidents involving his son over the years, didn’t bother pressing charges. Gettler gave video testimony backing up Dorner's version of events — that Evans kicked him three times, once in the face below the eye — but Gettler's testimony was ruled inadmissible.
Dorner initially refrained from reporting the kicking. He knew that turning on fellow cops led to getting ostracized or worse. Afterwards, as they drove away together, Dorner claimed that Sgt. Evans told him, “We’re not going to mention the kicks in the report.”
The following day, Dorner checked the report that Teresa Evans had written up, and saw that she left out the kicks. When he worked on writing the report with her, he began to describe the events leading up to her kicks, whereupon Evans put her finger on the “delete” key and deleted three sentences, then took over writing the rest of the report.
A month later, troubled by the kicking incident, Dorner mentioned it to his old Navy mentor and a superior officer, Sgt. Leonard Perez. Perez immediately stopped Dorner and told him that he must, by law, having told Perez about misconduct, report it to a superior officer and file a police misconduct report.
The case against Dorner, in public and in the police Board of Rights, rests largely on the theory that Dorner sought revenge after supposedly getting a bad review from Teresa Evans, and his revenge was falsely reporting her for police misconduct.
However, court filings paint a different sequence of events: For one thing, although Evans’ evaluation did cite “improvement needed” in a few areas, overall she gave him a “satisfactory” review, not “unsatisfactory.” Moreover, while it’s true that Dorner reported the kicking to Sgt. Perez the day after Teresa Evans submitted her evaluation on Dorner, he didn’t see her evaluation until several weeks later, well after he’d reported her for police misconduct. But the most important point Dorner and his attorneys kept trying to get across was that Evans' evaluation was "satisfactory" — her evaluation would not have hurt Dorner's career.
Nevertheless, Dorner’s timing looked suspicious — why did he wait until she filed her evaluation on him before reporting her? More likely, he waited knowing she might retaliate after he filed a police misconduct report on her — that is certainly more plausible than Dorner reporting her as revenge over an evaluation that turned out to be “satisfactory” anyway. However, Dorner’s delay was used against him in the internal investigation report that charged Dorner with making false statements about Sgt Evans’ conduct, leading to his firing.
As a general rule, American workers have very few legal rights and protections in the workplace when compared to workers in other countries. Although the LAPD union is stronger than many public sector unions, Dorner was still in his probationary period. By contrast, Teresa Evans, an LAPD veteran some 15 years older than Dorner, had many friends and allies on the force.
Chris Dorner’s bad luck, if that’s the right way of putting it, was that he went to bat defending the civil rights of a mentally ill suspect whose testimony was ruled inadmissible as evidence; it essentially came down to Evans’ word (and the word of her police colleagues) against Dorner’s (and the few friends he’d made on the force), along with the incomplete testimony of nearby hotel witnesses. What began as whistleblowing turned into a trial on the character of a new recruit, Christopher Dorner, who now had to prove to the heavily-stacked Board of Rights that he hadn’t lied when he reported Evans for misconduct.
Speaking about this process, attorney Stormer told me, “I am 100% certain that the Board of Rights process is unfair.”
Stormer added, however, another giant caveat about Dorner that his adoring fans have been ignoring: “But this does raise another issue — that Dorner could’ve been the type who would’ve snapped as an officer on duty at any time.”
* * * *
In case after case in which the LAPD was successfully sued for wrongful termination, plaintiffs have reported psychological damage that gives some insight into what sent Dorner over the edge.
Officer Melissa Borck won $2.3 million in a harassment suit against the LAPD in 2009, a case in which Borck was a victim of retaliation after she reported misconduct to internal affairs. Borck lost her child, a stillborn, due to the stress. It took her 10 years to finally win her lawsuit.
In 2011, three LAPD detectives won a $2.5 million gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against their supervisors.
In late 2010, a former LAPD veteran, Richard Romney, won a $4 million wrongful termination and retaliation lawsuit against his former employers. According to the LA Times,
A Los Angeles County jury Tuesday awarded a former Los Angeles police officer nearly $4 million in his case against the LAPD, concluding the officer was fired in retaliation for testifying against the department in a labor dispute.
The verdict, which stems from one of several similar lawsuits that thousands of disgruntled LAPD officers are pursuing against the department, underscores a long-running, internal rift between LAPD cops and the department's command staff that could ultimately cost the city millions of dollars more.
What these cases show is that workplace abuse and retaliation is rampant in the LAPD. Not only that, but confronting the abuse can be enormously costly to the challenger in terms of time, effort, money and health.
That said, none of the other plaintiffs started murdering fellow police.
As I argued in Going Postal murder is about the most basic definition of mental illness, whatever the justification — and society has allowed for very few justifications outside of warfare.
But as I also tried to demonstrate, rebellion against injustice is rarely clean and cinematic. Nat Turner, the slave rebel glorified by a culture that uniformly agrees on the evils of slavery, was no Bruce Willis or Dirty Harry. Most of the victims of Turner’s murder spree were what we would call innocent and defenseless white women and children, slaughtered in their homes and in their beds. The first victim of John Brown’s failed insurrection at Harper’s Ferry was a freed black man, Hayward Shepherd.
But there was something more going on with Dorner. He had to cope with creeping paranoia, problems with women, a cinematic sense of self-importance as the world’s protagonist for justice, and plain old shit luck.
His problems with women went beyond the usual trials and tribulations. In seven years, he would file restraining orders against at least two ex-girlfriends, and have a marriage end in abrupt divorce.
In 2006, a woman Dorner dated in Los Angeles named Ariana Williams posted a vicious anonymous review of Dorner on dontdatehimgirl.com posting Dorner’s name and badge number and writing, “This man really hated himself because he's black” and “stay the hell away from him.”
Dorner went to court to get a restraining order against Williams, but he was soon afterwards called up for duty and sent to the Persian Gulf.
A year later, in 2007, Dorner married. The marriage ended in one month. His ex-wife was reported to have said she was “embarrassed” by the brief marriage.
And yet even this story of a failed brief marriage, and what that implied about Dorner's character, fell apart under scrutiny, after an LA Times reporter visited his ex-wife's neighborhood:
A neighbor of the ex-wife of Christopher Jordan Dorner, the former LAPD officer accused of killing three people, said he often saw the suspect at the woman's Long Beach home.
"I've seen him here. I've said hi, I've bumped [fists] with him a couple times," said 24-year-old Oscar Gonzalez.
"He seemed like a regular guy. He was doing landscaping here in the front for her. He was heavy-built, always in military-style boots," Gonzalez said.
Dorner frequently visited -- until the end of last year.
“He was here for a while, and then he was just gone. It just kind of stopped all of the sudden, two or three months ago,” Gonzalez said.
Other neighbors with a less favorable view of the ex-wife were not so forthcoming and worried for their safety if they spoke up about Dorner, who is the subject of a massive manhunt.
After his divorce, Dorner was involved in a four-year, on-off relationship with an LAPD crime lab employee — which also ended in a restraining order.
Last April, a day after Dorner tried breaking off the relationship, his ex-girlfriend threatened to kill herself, and came to his house, banging on his door and ringing the doorbell. Police reported they told her not to come near Dorner again, and he filed a restraining order against her to keep her away.
Dorner was discharged from the Navy on February 1 — two days before he began his murder rampage — for reasons that have not yet been fully explained (though Dorner blamed his break with the Navy on the LAPD firing). He seems to have been under great pressure, which he even kept from his friends. Getting fired under highly questionable circumstances brought that pressure to bursting point. Dorner’s first two victims, the only two he intentionally targeted — Monica Quan, daughter of his LAPD attorney Randi Quan, and Keith Lawrence, Monica’s fiancé — were chosen to deny his police attorney a happy family life.
"I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I'm terminating yours,” Dorner wrote in his manifesto. He murdered the engaged couple in their car, firing several bullets into their bodies, part of what Dorner called his “asymmetrical warfare.”
So far, I haven’t read anyone who made a serious case that ambushing and murdering the daughter of his supposedly-crooked pro-police attorney makes Dorner a rebel hero against violent police power.
The police — mainly the LAPD, but also the San Bernadino police — did their best to affirm Dorner’s worst accusations about them as a reckless, violent out-of-control agency, accusations echoed by many others over the years. He murdered the young couple in cold blood — but he also went out of his way to ensure that others who came across him were not harmed even as he was hunted down in the last hours of his life.
After Dorner broke into a couple’s cabin in Big Bear, the freed husband told reporters that Dorner told them, “'I don't have a problem with you, so I'm not going to hurt you.’ I didn't believe him, I thought he was going to kill us."
Dorner in fact didn’t hurt them:
The couple believes Dorner had been staying in the cabin at least since Friday. Dorner told them he had been watching them by day from inside the cabin as they did work outside. The couple, who live nearby, only entered the unit Tuesday.
"He said we are very hard workers, we're good people. He talked about how he could see Jim working on the snow every day," Karen Reynolds said.
Dorner repeatedly told the couple he just wanted to clear his name. He was calm and methodical during the fifteen-minute ordeal and didn't talk about the people he's accused of shooting, she said.
At one point, Jim Reynolds said, "he huddled down beside me and said 'You're going to be quiet, right? Not make a fuss and let me get away?'"
Dorner then fled in their purple Nissan Rogue.
Nor did he hurt others who weren’t targeted for revenge. His murder rampage was savage, but targeted.
Compare that to the LAPD, which fired on two separate cars during their bungled manhunt, injuring several along the way, including a 71-year-old Latina woman and her 47-year-old daughter delivering newspapers:
As the vehicle approached the house, officers opened fire, unloading a barrage of bullets into the back of the truck. When the shooting stopped, they quickly realized their mistake. The truck was not a Nissan Titan, but a Toyota Tacoma. The color wasn't gray, but aqua blue. And it wasn't Dorner inside the truck, but a woman and her mother delivering copies of the Los Angeles Times.
In an interview with The Times on Friday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck outlined the most detailed account yet of how the shooting unfolded. Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, were the victims of "a tragic misinterpretation" by officers working under "incredible tension," he said.
Finally, as Max Blumenthal reported, Dorner was killed or pushed to suicide after police deliberately set fire to his cabin — then covered up and lied about it — leaving nothing but ashes and unanswered questions behind.
Despite that spectacular ending, the real Chris Dorner story, of labor abuse unchecked in an agency which abuses citizens as well as its own, is a far more familiar story to many of us today, sad and unheroic and perhaps even embarrassing. It’s hard not to feel outraged over the abuse that each individual, atomized worker puts up with in this country, which is all the worse if they’re minorities. If anything, Dorner’s violent Hollywood ending suffers from its own pop banalities — he and his supporters framed his “rebellion” through the narrow limits of a culture steeped in bad B-movie justice-through-violence fantasies and sci-fi dystopias. It's a rebellion without politics, emotional entertainment with no resonance, each individual his own atomized protagonist.
Meanwhile, LAPD chief Charlie Beck reversed himself and announced his intention to reopen the case of Christopher Dorner’s alleged wrongful termination. Dorner kept saying his goal was to clear his name, but it’s hard to see what purpose all the violence served if the only result, the best result, is that Dorner’s individual wrongful termination is posthumously recognized and his name “cleared.” That in itself would change nothing fundamentally in the LAPD workplace culture, or the workplace culture at large. It would strip a rebellion of any politics or political significance — a perfect major studio Hollywood ending.
- Thanks, OP.
- Too bad this article won't get much exposure. It's n the internet and it's extremely well written with a lot of factual back up. Very clear too. I hope we can help it get circulated so that someone will see it. This is something Rachel Maddow might want to see.
- Excellent, OP.
Thanks for posting.
I got the heebie-jeebies reading of his ordeal through the LAPD bureaucracy and heavy handed personnel administration.
So glad I have left the workforce stage, i.e., retired.
I wish I could have discovered something to allow me to work to pay my bills rather than becoming a minor cog in the American corporate machine.
It truly was hell.
I was a "team player" but it wore on my soul week in and week out, year after year.
Eventually my dignity and self-respect were thrown overboard for the simple reason I was too old to quit and had a pension coming to me.
- Many if not most of us have legitimate grievances against employers but Dorner was out of his mind. Spare me the fine print.
- My point being, I understand completely how people can feel wronged and just snap.
- There is no "other side." This is absolutely ridiculous.
- I think people"snap" when they lose hope. Dorner in Utah had to be under a lot of pressure. Anyone who's experienced being "the only one in the room" knows how isolating that can be.
You might put on a good face and sometimes go out of your way, over compensate to show people you are "OK." Consciously or subconsciously you are building up a lot of anger, wanting acceptance from people you can't stand.
Dorner was also a joiner. Maybe he wanted to be part of something he could be proud of.It seems like he wanted some sense of belonging to an organization. He was drawn to organizations he probably idealized, like the U.S. military and the LAPD, also organizations he believed would empower him, so he could help "fix things."
I'm guessing he had some expectation, wrongly, that in these organizations even though his race would still matter, it would matter less. He'd be accepted into the "brotherhood," part of something. These are different from other workplace environments. There's a discernable culture, a brotherhood.
But it didn't work out. He was out of the Navy, and fired from LAPD. At some point every single thing that every happened to him, every real or imagined injustice just piled up and he "snapped."
He did a horrible thing shooting that young couple. No doubt about it. I just hated the way the police ended it.
- So, was Dorner mobbed so vile and hard by his former colleagues that it made him crazy? What did he know about those he murdered that the general public doesn't know?
- The article is correct in that it became -- to the press and to the police -- a question of a crazy armed black man instead of a victim of their own workplace cultures...
Obama's silence on this case, after his odd intrusions on the Zimmerman murder of Trayvon Martin and the Cambridge cop harassing Gates, remains puzzling.
- It was on this day in 2005 that the "gonzo" journalist Hunter S. Thompson died. He shot and killed himself at his home in Woody Creek, Colorado. He was 67 years old. He honed his offbeat, edgy writing style in such works as Hell's Angels (1966) and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1972) and many other books.
He wrote, "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone ... but they've always worked for me."
- This article doesn't excuse anything. It examines how Dorner's insane crimes are rooted in a larger, utterly pervasive sickness.
Dorner will deservedly go down in history as a monster; now, how about the immeasurably more monstrous LAPD?
- There is no other side. Nothing justifies his actions. He was a psychopathic killer.
- Excellent article. And of course it is worse in the private sector.
- I'm not sure it's worse. The dynamics and circumstances of a police force create a unique culture.
- Police have unions and procedures for the employee to be heard. Private companies make no pretense of having due process of any kind, and you don't need to do something wrong to get fired. They can fire you because they don't like the shirt you wore today or they think your new haircut is ugly, so they always have something else to blame discrimination on.
- News is emerging that someone from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has been shopping around “extremely gruesome” death scene photographs of Christopher Dorner to various media outlets. The pics were offered to tabloid website TMZ. It declined to purchase the pics, but here is how TMZ described the goods:
Christopher Dorner’s badly scorched, partially dismembered body was photographed after his death …
The top of Dorner’s head is gone … presumably the result of the self-inflicted gunshot wound that ended his life after the gun battle at a remote cabin in Big Bear, CA last week.
The body is missing several limbs … including an arm and parts of a leg … and his midsection is charred from the fire that consumed the cabin during the Feb. 12 shoot-out.
- Remember the article(s) about those NY heroes, the firemen who stole stuff from the Twin Towers that brought to light the corruption and theft of those so called heroes and the honor code that you shall not tell on another fireman or become an outcast who gets mobbed until he quits?
Churches (Christian Church and that scandal with the Rabbi where the kid is branded the bad person by the local community for daring to drag the honorable pedophile's name through the mud) and other institutions declare themselves above all common law by keeping the shenanigans of their members away from public eye.
- Blah, blah, blah...tell it to all the successful black officers all over the country. He had a weak mind that saw racism behind every shrub and all his problems were caused by other people. This kook was entrusted with people's lives as a cop. They got rid of a sub-standard officer because he couldn't hack it.
- That aspect of the story is worse anywhere without a union, R15. But the atmosphere of widespread corruption and abuse combined with the ethos of solidarity makes a police force an especially difficult place to be a whistleblower.
- Good article. Thanks for posting OP.
- Here comes the race card.
- "The article is correct in that it became -- to the press and to the police -- a question of a crazy armed black man instead of a victim of their own workplace cultures..."
And that's all you phony pseudo-liberals see...his skin color. If he were white would he be getting championed like this? Of course not. He'd be a crazed killer and the sympathy would be for his victims. But you guys excusing his actions are every bit as racist as the people who stereotype all black men as violent. Except in your book, all black men are victims. You strip them of dignity and individuality, and you ignore the fact that thousands of black police officers serve honorably and nobly and would never engage in such despicable acts. You're not real liberals, you're fakes. Hypocrites. Racists. The underlying theme with you apologist creeps is that "forces" pushed him to act so monstrously and despicably...he 'couldn't help himself'. Meanwhile, millions of black Americans lead good, decent lives despite the pressures of racism.
You'll never face it, but you are racist.
- Some blacks, and I stress the word some, refuse to take responsibility for anything.
It's engrained in them.
It wasn't my fault, it was whitey's.
It wasn't my fault, it was whitey's.
He's a racist.
She's a racist.
That kid with red hair is a racist.
It wasn't my fault, it was whitey's.
- OP, this is not another side to it since many people believe he was some kind of hero and not just a shitty cop who got fired and couldn't take it. It would be "another side" if the article stated that he was a prick who flipped the fuck out for no reason.
- Some people are afraid to acknowledge the other side in this case because they fear what might be found.
Still, it was just reported in KCAL in LA that many of the cops listed on the manifesto are still receiving threats and are afraid to return home even though Dorner is dead.
The woman supervisor, who Dorner said kicked the homeless guy in the face, had her address and phone number published on the web, and said that she has received threats...
- We had another mass shooting in Orange County this week -- some 20 year old went off and killed a woman at his house before driving off and wrecking his parents' car. He then kept executing those he car jacked and then would wreck the car and kill someone else before the cops zeroed in on him and he committed suicide.
Then, today in Las Vegas, there was that casino fight that turned into a car chase / mass shooting...
- Christopher Dorner's former training officer still receiving threats
February 22, 2013 | 6:12 am
Terie Evans, an LAPD sergeant who had trained Christopher Dorner, continues to receive threats. In addition, someone tried to break into her home, police said
Terie Evans has not yet returned to her home.
Evans, an LAPD sergeant who had trained Christopher Dorner, continues to receive threats. In addition, someone tried to break into her home, police said.
"I honestly don't think my life will ever be normal the way it was before. This was such an extraordinary circumstance, I don't know if I'm ever going to feel safe in my home again," Evans said. "Years from now, my family could potentially still be at risk."
Police say Dorner killed two law enforcement officers as well as an Irvine couple, and injured three others in gun battles, before apparently killing himself last week in the basement of a cabin near Big Bear as authorities closed in on him. As Dorner's training officer, Evans was at the center of the incident that led to his dismissal from the force.
For the eight days that Dorner eluded capture, Evans remained silent and low.
A few days after a young Irvine woman and her fiance were found shot to death, Evans called police in Irvine with a hunch: An ex-Los Angeles police officer named Christopher Dorner might have killed them.
Dorner's name had suddenly surfaced the day before in a strange phone call, and she knew he had a connection to the woman who had been killed. She conceded that her theory was a long shot.
Before dawn, authorities were looking into Dorner. An investigator uncovered a rambling manifesto Dorner allegedly posted online, in which he expressed fury over his firing years earlier and laid out his plan to exact revenge by killing officers he blamed for his downfall and their family members.
The discovery sent Evans and about 50 other LAPD officers and their families either into hiding or under the protection of heavily armed guards as a massive manhunt for Dorner unfolded across Southern California.
On Thursday, Evans spoke to The Times about what happened, and police confirmed her account. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he believes that Evans' actions saved lives, helping detectives identify Dorner before he carried out more surprise attacks.
It began for Evans on Monday, Feb. 4 -- the day after the bodies of Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence had been found riddled with bullets in their car. Evans, 47, received a message that an officer from a small police department south of San Diego was trying to reach her.
When she returned the call, the officer told her that he had found pieces of a large-sized police uniform, some ammunition and other items discarded in a dumpster. The items appeared to belong to an LAPD officer with the last name Dorner, the officer said. Evans' name and other items were written in a small notebook found with the other things. The officer asked: Did Evans know this guy Dorner?
She did know him. Several years earlier, Evans and Dorner, a rookie cop, had been partners. The pairing had ended badly when Dorner accused Evans of kicking a handcuffed man.
Evans denied the allegations, and an investigation cleared the 18-year veteran of wrongdoing. LAPD officials went on to fire Dorner after concluding he had fabricated the story.
"Just hearing his name was enough to make me feel sick," Evans said.
Evans hadn't been able to shake the uneasy feeling when she went to work the following evening. Before beginning her night shift, she stopped in the police station's parking lot to talk with some other officers. The conversation turned to the Irvine killings. Evans had heard about the case but knew no details. The dead woman, one of the officers said, was the daughter of Randy Quan, a former LAPD captain-turned-lawyer who represented LAPD officers in disciplinary hearings when they ran afoul of the department.
- The hair on the back of Evans' neck stood up. Another wave of the shakiness she had felt on the phone washed over her. She struggled to make sense of her thoughts. Quan. Dorner. The belongings in the dumpster.
Through her night shift, a "nagging, sinking feeling" dogged her, she said.
Evans called the Irvine Police Department and told a supervisor her theory: Quan had represented Dorner at his termination proceedings. What if Dorner had killed Quan's daughter and her fiance as part of a vendetta and then tossed his belongings in the dumpster before escaping across the border to Mexico?
About 1 a.m., an Irvine detective called back and Evans repeated her suspicions. A few hours later, her shift ended and Evans went home to sleep. When she awoke, a message from another Irvine detective, left early that morning, was waiting for her. Investigators were pursuing her lead and were on their way to San Diego to examine Dorner's belongings.
"At that point, I was absolutely sick," Evans said. "I thought, 'Oh my god, it really is him.' I knew no one knew where he was. ... I thought, 'What am I going to do?' At the time Mr. Dorner was terminated, I had a very uneasy feeling. I knew he was very upset and I had concerns that at some point he may try to contact me. So, this was just validating the bad feeling I carried with me for years. I was scared to death."
About 1:30 p.m., Evans said, she was on her way to watch her teenage son play soccer when her phone rang again. They had discovered the manifesto. "I was told my family and I were not safe."
After making sure her son was with his father -- a retired cop -- Evans drove around aimlessly, fearing that Dorner could be waiting for her at her home or police station. Within 20 minutes, she recalled, someone from the LAPD called to make plans for protecting her and her family.
- Well, the pointless thing about it all is that Dorner had to know his end was coming as a result of his carnage. Killing people that had nothing to do with his gripe made no sense. Clearly, he was off his rocker. Care to guess the profile of his supporters?
- r29 His supporters are all of every race but one thing they have in common is their stupidity. You should check out their fb fanpage. They all say stupid things and misspell everything. They also have little race wars all the time because the white people say Dorner was not a victim of racism and that's not why he snapped, the the black people say that he was and the whites just don't get it. Then they all get warned to keep it nice and not bring up race, then they do it again the next day.
- Dorner could just as easily been white or Hispanic. That kid who killed all those folks at Va Tech (my alma mater) was Korean. No race has a monopoly on mental illness. But to cloud the issue(s) with ubiquitous crys of racism just perpetuates the perception that blacks can't seem to see any other reason for psycho behaviour. Do blacks really place that much stock in what white people think of them?
- Evans sounds like she knew it was Dorner because she knew she was guilty of police abuse.
- Former LAPD Captain Quan buried his daughter in secrecy -- now we know why.
To be honest, though, I don't think anyone will go beyond petty harrassment of the cops on the list. It takes a lot of focused rage to kill someone outright.
They might be pestered to death, though.
- [quote]His supporters are all of every race but one thing they have in common is their stupidity.
r30 has a good career because he Dornered all his competition
- The LAPD is corrupt and disgusting.
So the way to handle it is by murdering an innocent woman whose father defended you in court.
- I've never posted "tl;dr" but here, it applies.
- Did Dorner kill Elisa Lam and then go on his victimization rant to deflect and distract the LAPD from finding her?
It's awfully strange timing here.
- The fact that Dorner absolutely did appalling things in his reaction doesn't mean the reason for his reaction isn't something that needs to be looked at.
This type of reaction may be similar to Stockholm syndrome which baffles people as to how it could happen and yet happens every day. Look at fucking Rhianna.
- Christopher Dorner case: Memorial Sunday for slaying victims
February 24, 2013 | 9:30 am
A memorial service for Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, believed to be the first victims of what authorities said was ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner's deadly rampage, is scheduled Sunday morning at Concordia University in Irvine
A memorial service for Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, believed to be the first victims of what authorities said was ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner's deadly rampage, is scheduled Sunday morning at Concordia University in Irvine, where the two victims were former students.
The couple met at Concordia, where they both played basketball. Quan, a 28-year-old assistant basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton, and Lawrence, a 27-year-old USC safety officer, were recently engaged before they were shot to death on Feb. 3.
The memorial service at the university is scheduled for 11 a.m.
The service is "going to be extremely tough,'' Tim Preuss, Concordia's dean of arts and science, told City News Service. "Monica and Keith were both great students, great leaders and both were really talented athletes as well.''
"They were widely known, dearly loved," Preuss said. "We're still trying to wrap our heads around this senseless tragedy that took them so quickly and
Authorities found their bodies in Lawrence's car in the parking structure of their condominium complex in Irvine.
Dorner is suspected of targeting them because Quan was the daughter of retired Los Angeles police Capt. Randy Quan, who represented Dorner at a personnel hearing over his firing from the LAPD.
Their deaths sparked a massive manhunt for Dorner, who also is accused of killing Riverside police Officer Michael Crain and San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Jeremiah MacKay before being cornered in a cabin near Big Bear. Dorner took his own life after a shootout with police.
Concordia representatives said there will be no cameras or video recording devices allowed on campus during the memorial.
- So HR is to blame.
- You basically can't talk about employee rights, workplace discrimination and harassment, and the horrible situations in which people find themselves in the workplace AND use Dorner as the case study.
Like many people, I believe nearly everything written about the workplace in this article, I've seen examples of everything the author is talking about.
But, I don't support Dorner and what he did, even if the root was some form of workplace injustice.
Any time workplace harassment/injustice is talked about in the context of Dorner, there's really no way to prevent it from coming off as justifying Dorner's actions, no matter how many caveats the author throws in. And, that's important because you have a shit ton of people out there who will bury their heads in the sand about the larger workplace issue because of the feeling that the issue is being offered as an excuse, a justification for Dorners actions.
But, as the author points out, the issue would probably get even less attention otherwise. This article wouldn't be run if the same thing happened to a cop but he just ends up being disappointed and bitter at home.
- A lot has been made of the ways the LAPD has changed since Rodney King and Rampart. The institution is more accountable, with video cameras in patrol cars and officers equipped with microphones. And the ethnic makeup now reflects the city's demographics: 43% of officers are Latino, 35% white, 12% black, and 9% Asian American. Twenty percent are women. -- Los Angeles Times
This explains continuing problems -- Latinos hate blacks.
- They are trying to make Tessa Evans a hero and I don't believe she is.
- Beck acknowledged that in South L.A. this week. "You will never have a perfect department," he said. "We hire from the human race and we hire the best people we can, and sometimes they make mistakes."
Some officers can be redeemed through discipline and training, but those with a "malignant heart" have to be let go, Beck said.
But how do you see into an officer's heart and who determines its darkness? And how does an officer wind up fired for reporting misconduct?
That's what residents wanted to know. And those questions are prompting soul-searching not just in the community, but inside the police department.
Dorner's manifesto contends the deck was stacked against him. He was kicked off the force because a police panel ruled that he was lying when he reported that his training officer had kicked a mentally ill man they were in the process of arresting.
Official accounts lay out the evidence on both sides: The suspect's father said the man's face was puffy and that he described being kicked by a police officer. The training officer's denial was backed by two witnesses who said they saw no kick during the arrest.
When Dorner challenged his firing, a trial court judge said the evidence left him "uncertain of whether the training officer kicked the suspect or not." The case came down to the "relative credibility" of Dorner and the training officer. So Dorner lost his job.
Clearly, given his actions later, his was a "malignant heart." Dorner was unfit to be a police officer.
But the account of his termination is troubling enough that it makes me wonder if the process was used to seek truth or simply to root out a troublemaker.
It looks like a Catch-22: Officers are subject to discipline for not reporting misconduct. But if you make the claim and it doesn't stick, you can be fired because your bosses doubt you.
That's a message with the potential to punish a whistle-blower. It seems to validate the "no snitching" mentality that once shaped the department's culture.
Beck has promised to review the firing, and he's assigned the department's "special assistant for constitutional policing" to investigate Dorner's claims of uneven discipline and racial bias.
But some in Wednesday's crowd sense a whitewashing in store. "Why is the LAPD investigating the LAPD?" one woman demanded to know. And the room exploded in applause.
- ANGELUS OAKS - Just a few miles from where Christopher Dorner, the fired Los Angeles police officer, made his last stand only a few weeks ago, sheriff's investigators on Saturday found the body of the man they believe shot at a Yucaipa-based deputy on Friday morning.
Early Saturday afternoon, a passerby noticed a white vehicle on a fire road off Highway 38 about three miles north of Angelus Oaks, said Cpl. Randy Naquin, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department.
The caller reported the vehicle matched the white Buick that Brian David Forrett, 52, was last seen driving when he became involved in a shoot-out with the deputy the day before, authorities said.
Investigators said they were able to confirm the license plate on the white vehicle on the dirt road matched that of the white Buick that Forrett was last seen driving.
Authorities shut down Highway 38 from Jenks Lake Road to Bryant Road near the Mill Creek Ranger Station when they noticed someone in the vehicle, sheriff's deputies said.
Authorities soon determined the adult male in the white vehicle was deceased. The exact manner of his death was not immediately released due to the ongoing investigation, according to Naquin.
Highway 38 was reopened when it was determined there would be no threat to passing motorists.
Forrett is suspected of firing at a female deputy when she attempted to talk to Forrett in the 11900 block of Second Street in Yucaipa late Friday morning, authorities said.
Forrett allegedly pulled out a firearm and began shooting at the deputy and she returned fire.
Forrett jumped into a white Buick, backed into the deputy's patrol vehicle and sped off, deputies said.
The deputy was not struck in the gun battle.
Friday night and into Saturday morning, the California Highway Patrol issued a "Blue Alert" for Forrett.
A description of his vehicle and license plate number flashed on freeway signs. The alert was called off Saturday after the white vehicle and dead man were found off Highway 38, officials said.
- •\tYou do not become a “dissident” just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society. – Vaclav Havel
YUCAIPA: Police believe gun battle suspect is dead
BY JOHN ASBURY
March 02, 2013; 02:05 PM
San Bernardino County sheriff's detectives believe a man wanted for shooting at a rookie was found dead Saturday afternoon, March 2, off Highway 38 in Angelus Oaks.
Sheriff's deputies received a tip that matched the same white Buick last seen driven by Brian Forrett, 52, who shot at police Friday morning, March 1, in Yucaipa.
Sheriff's deputies later found the same white Buick parked off the highway, just south of Glass Road, with a matching license plate of the vehicle belonging to Forrett, and briefly closed the Highway 38 from Bryant Road and to Jenks Lake Road.
Sheriff's deputies approached the vehicle, warning the team “not to be exposed.” When they reached the car, they found a man dead inside.
Sheriff's believe the body to be Forrett, but were still waiting for homicide detectives and coroner's deputies to make the positive identification.
In a general broadcast to law enforcement agencies, authorities announced a stand down in searching for Forrett.
The California Highway Patrol canceled a Blue Alert Saturday afternoon, previously warning Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties that Forrett had made threats to all law enforcement officers and may be in the area. He was considered armed and dangerous.
A search and rescue team had been searching the area since Forrett opened fire on sheriff’s deputies Friday morning in Yucaipa. Forrett opened fire on a deputy, who recovered and exchange gunshots. Neither Forrett or the deputy was injured.
Sheriff’s officials said Forrett took cover in his Buick sedan Friday and shot at a deputy’s patrol car before speeding away. Sheriff’s officials searched the area, but he could not be found.
Authorities were searching for Forrett’s white Buick, with a shattered windshield and major damage to the rear of the vehicle.
Riverside Police believe Forrett is also a person of interest in a Riverside Homicide. Police didn't specify which case.