"Which is worse? The wolf who cries before eating the lamb or the wolf who does not."— Leo Tolstoy

Thursday, February 7, 2013

LAPD Mows Down Civilians, in Crazed Manhunt For Alleged Cop-Killer Christopher Dorner - Manifesto Alleges LAPD Harassment, Racism & Corruption

Former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner
UPDATED on February 8: At first glance it seemed excessive, even for the LAPD. Heavily armed protective details - on the look-out for a fugitive cop killer bent on revenge - unleashed a barrage of bullets on not just one, not two, but three innocent civilians in two separate incidents. The fact the civilians were female, and could not possibly have been mistaken for the big, black, burly male suspect, has to raise concern among Los Angelenos, particularly if they drive a blue pickup truck. Apparently, the civilians in both incidents were driving a truck similar to the one that authorities believe is being driven by former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. Driving a blue pickup in LA is now an assumption of the risk; the functional equivalent of attending a Pashtun wedding in the Swat Valley of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, and then complaining about being hit by a hellfire missile fired from a predator drone. [Update] Dorner's burning pickup truck was found on a remote forrest road near Big Bear, California. 
When you read the Facebook manifesto - which is rambling but surprisingly lucid as far as mass shooter manifestos go - you will see why the LAPD is freaked-out and shooting at anything that moves. In addition to being a former police officer, the author of the manifesto is a highly trained former Navy reserve lieutenant and Iraq war veteran who the LA Times reports was a member of a mobile inshore undersea warfare unitDorner's manifesto claims he has access to heavy duty military weapons including a shoulder-launched surface to air missiles capable of taking out police helicopters and a Barrett .50 sniper rifle that can be fired accurately out to a half a mile (3,000 feet - 910 m), and beyond. The Barrett is capable of piercing brick and concrete block walls and the exterior of armored personnel carriers.  It is used by civilian law enforcement agencies to stop moving vehicles by penetrating and disabling the engine block.

Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa didn't waste any time exploiting the tragedy for political purposes, arguing at a  press conference that "the case illustrates the need for tougher rules on firearms."  Villaraigosa failed to cite evidence that LA streets are awash in Barrett .50 sniper rifles and SA7 Manpads, or otherwise explain explain how tougher laws would have prevented Dorner from shooting his victims

LAPD has alleged that the first person Dorner killed was the daughter of the retired LA Police Captain who represented him at his disciplinary hearing.  LAPD's press conference was held in a windowless underground room at LAPD headquarters. Dorner's grievances are very detailed, are directed at specific members of the LAPD, and he is very, very angry:
I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, [so] I am terminating yours. . . .  I will conduct DA operations to destroy, exploit and seize designated targets. If unsuccessful or unable to meet objectives in these initial small scale offensive actions, I will reassess my BDA and re-attack until objectives are met. I have nothing to lose. My personal casualty means nothing. Just alike AAF’s, ACM’s, and AIF’s, you can not prevail against an enemy combatant who has no fear of death. An enemy who embraces death is a lose, lose situation for their enemy combatants. 
Hopefully you analyst have done your homework. You are aware that I have always been the top shot, highest score, an expert in rifle qualifications in every unit I’ve been in. I will utilize every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordnance, and survival training I’ve been given.
Do you know why we are unsuccessful in asymmetrical and guerrilla warfare in CENTCOM theatre of operations? I’ll tell you. It’s not the inefficiency of our combatant commanders, planning, readiness or training of troops. Much like the Vietnam war, ACM, AAF, foreign fighters, Jihadist, and JAM have nothing to lose. They embrace death as it is a way of life. I simply don’t fear it. I am the walking exigent circumstance you created.
The Violence of action will be HIGH. I am the reason TAC alert was established. I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty. ISR is my strength and your weakness. You will now live the life of the prey. Your RD’s and homes away from work will be my AO and battle space. I will utilize every tool within INT collections that I learned from NMITC in Dam Neck. You have misjudged a sleeping giant. There is no conventional threat assessment for me. JAM, New Ba’ath party, 1920 rev BGE, ACM, AAF, AQAP, AQIM and AQIZ have nothing on me. Do not deploy airships or gunships. SA-7 Manpads will be waiting. As you know I also own Barrett .50′s so your APC are defunct and futile. 
Composite photos from what LA Times identifies as Dorner's Facebook page.
While anonymous members of the LAPD have described Dorner as "wound way too tight" and "one of our problem children" who was "not a team player," his friends who spoke to the Los Angeles Times described a young man who was intelligent, thoughtful and engaging before he joined the LAPD:
Usera, who grew up in Alaska, said he and Dorner bonded over the feelings of culture shock that came with being outsiders on the predominantly white, Mormon campus. 
Usera said he introduced Dorner to hunting and other outdoor sports. "He was a typical guy," he said. "I liked him an awful lot. Nothing about him struck me as violent or irrational in any way. He was opinionated, but always seemed level-headed."
Dorner often brought up race issues and the two had heated, but respectful arguments about the extent of racism in the country, Usera said. "Of all the people I hung out with in college, he is the last guy I would have expected to be in this kind of situation." Neil Gardner, an assistant athletic director, knew Dorner through football and echoed Usera, saying Dorner was "never a disgruntled guy." 
The interesting thing about the manifesto - aside from his affinity for Piers Morgan, Anderson Cooper and support of President Obama's gun control agenda - is that his detailed grievances have the ring of truth. Many of the comments on Reddit, Boy With A Grenade (which republished an uncensored copy of Dorner's manifesto) and other blogs are oddly supportive of his allegations of LAPD racism, harassment and corruption. I have represented police officers in employment disputes and the conduct being described in the manifesto is par for the course. What is described is exactly how an officer is drummed out of a major metropolitan police department after offending his superiors' expectations of loyalty and, above all else, conformity. While nothing justifies Dorner's actions, either morally or legally, his manifesto raises the question of whether this is a case of the LAPD's corrupt chickens coming home to roost.

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