I have hesitated to write anything about the despicable actions of Christopher Dorner. Therefore, before I begin what can only be called a sad commentary; I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not think the former police officers actions, taking innocent lives, were justifiable reasons to address his grievances. Frankly, Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer, was a sick individual!
This is the whole point of this commentary with the horrible history of police misconduct, particularly the past history of the LAPD, it begs the question how many other sick cop’s are among their ranks. Despite the departments claim that the department has evolved well beyond their troubled racial legacy of Rodney King and the O.J. Simpson trial; it begs the question – have they?
Domer’s well publicized “manifesto” alleged that his career was undone by racist colleagues conspiring against him which prompted a string of vengeance killings depicting himself as a black man wronged, whose badge was unjustly taken in 2008 after he lodged a complaint against a white female supervisor. He says, as well as others in the LAPD that the LAPD have not improved much since the King beating but have “gotten worse.” I am not suggesting who to believe but these allegations are at least worth considering if any truths exist.
Do you remember N.W.A.? This was a rap group back in the 1980s whose gangster rap spoke about the conditions in the urban areas of this country, particularly in the communities of LA and their relations with the LAPD. Not many believed or took notice of the abuses until we saw the video of Rodney King which this department claimed was a necessary evil.
As a result of Domer’s allegations a community of online sympathizers formed, echoing complaints against police that linger in some communities. For example, a Facebook page supporting Dorner quickly attracted over 2,300 fans that said “this is not a page about supporting the killing of innocent people. It’s supporting fighting back against corrupt cops and bringing to light what they do.”
Let’s take a look at the LAPD that was once synonymous with violent and bigoted officers, whose culture and brand of street justice was depicted by Hollywood in films such as “L.A. Confidential” and “Training Day.” Or let’s remember what was done to the Black Panthers. Or in 1965, 34 people died when the Watts riots, triggered by a traffic stop of a black man by a white California Highway Patrol officer, exposed deep fractures between blacks and an overwhelmingly white law enforcement community.
In the 1980s, gang sweeps took thousands of youths into custody. The O.J. Simpson trial deepened skepticism of a department already tarnished by the videotaped beating of King, the black motorist who was hit with batons, kicked repeatedly and jolted with stun guns by officers who chased him for speeding. Rioting after a jury with no black members acquitted three of the LAPD officers on state charges and a mistrial was declared for a fourth lasted three days, killing 55 people.
Then there was the Rampart scandal of the late 1990s, scores of criminal convictions were thrown out after members of an anti-gang unit were accused of beating and framing residents in a poor, largely minority neighborhood. A handful of officers were convicted of various crimes and the scandal led to federal oversight that lasted eight years. Even the Fed’s were involved with COINTELPRO!
I repeat this is neither a commentary in support of nor sympathy for the killer who took innocent lives. However, it is to beg the question – has the LAPD really changed. I will close with a quote from Malcolm X and I agree; “I am for truth, no matter who tells it. I am for justice, no matter who it is for or against”. I am for humanity! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…