For over a week, former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner has been on a twisted mission to clear his “good name”. In the process, he’s opened fire on several people in Southern California, killing three of them, and leaving the rest of the population terrorized. He also posted what has become known as his “manifesto”, detailing the lifetime of persecution he’s suffered from just about anyone who ever came into contact with him. At times, there appears to be some reasonable explanation of the straw that broke the camel’s back – his dismissal from the LAPD for giving a false statement, something he claims was the truth. A good part of it, however, rambles on, in some stream of consciousness type of opinion piece.
If you’ve read it already, you’ve probably figured out that this is a man who fancies himself some sort of whistle-blower, righting the wrongs done to him at the hands of a corrupt police agency. Dorner offers up a story about how the department’s Board of Review railroaded him out of a job by ignoring evidence that may have exonerated him. Instead, he alleges, the members of the board chose to believe other witnesses whose versions of an act of brutality didn’t mesh with his at all. Their findings led to his firing.
There are elements to Dorner’s side of things that make sense. It’s not uncommon for police officers to view the thin blue line as a special code, a wall of silence. The brotherhood can become something darker, and those who dare to break the wall are shunned and treated as rats. The word of those officers who play by the code of silence or are favorites within a department is taken as fact, because to do otherwise may uncover something or more troubling or sinister. If there’s an ounce of truth to Dorner’s side of what happened, then the LAPD has some serious problems and the fired officer got a raw deal. One almost feels sorry for him.
His course of action to regain his reputation, however, reveals much more about him than it does about the department he has come to hate. There are paragraphs that detail instances of the poor treatment that he’s been the victim of dating back to his childhood, at least as he perceives them. In each and every one of them, Dorner claims no responsibility. In his mind, he’s been bullied and tormented his whole life, for no good reason, when all he ever wanted was to do the right thing. No one has given him a break – not his mother or wife or girlfriend or co-workers. Through it all, Dorner has been misunderstood and put upon , and now he’s a martyr – just ask him.
These feelings of persecution had to have been building up for a long time. He’s let these wounds fester until he believed that he had nowhere else to go, nothing else to do but start this week’s events into motion. He wants to punish the people who were responsible for his firing – not by taking his claims to court or providing evidence to the media, but by making them afraid. His murder of Monica Quan and her fiancé was designed to bring pain to his former attorney, and fellow officer, Randal Quan, who had represented him at the Board of Reveiew. By threatening and killing family members, Dorner has found a way to inflict the most pain he can on his target list. He will take from them the very things that matter the most to them – their security, their peace of mind and their loved ones. This where you no longer feel sorry for him. This is where his “good name” went from being just an alleged liar to becoming a murderer, a coward and an egomaniacal thug.
His last known whereabouts were in the resort area of the Big Bear mountains. His truck was found because he’d set fire to it. There was no reason to set it on fire unless he wanted to draw law enforcement officers to the site. He claims, in his manifesto, that he’s one step ahead of those who are hunting him and that he’s an expert at everything, from weapons to combat techniques. Dorner really believes that he’s the best, the most righteous and that no one can stop him, not if he has anything to say about it.
He has lots more to say, now that he’s standing on the world’s stage. What the hell, he’s got everybody listening and following his every word and move, so why not spout off on just how intelligent and insightful he is? It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, Dorner has an opinion – and advice for some – and it’s all spelled out in that tome of a statement. He likes the First Lady’s bangs, and doesn’t like Lance Armstrong. He’s for gun control and supports the rights of the LGBT community. Ellen de Generes and Charlie Sheen are the bomb but making a series of three of “The Hangover” movies was one too many. He’d like to see Chris Christie or Hillary Clinton become President of the United States in 2016.
I don’t know what his end game is. I don’t even know if he has one. If he’s still alive, and hasn’t taken the easy way out and ended his own life, he’s probably loving all of this attention. Chief Beck of the LAPD released a statement that the department is going to reopen the investigation into what happened to Dorner years ago. I’m sure that Dorner sees this as a victory of sorts. Even if their findings, this time around, do exonerate him, it doesn’t really matter anymore. Dorner has done much more damage to that “good name” of his. The only thing any of us will remember him for is his murderous rampage and now, that’s all he really deserves.
Full transcript of Dorner’s manifesto: http://laist.com/2013/02/07/christopher_dorners_manifesto_in_fu.php
UPDATE: Dorner is engaged in a firefight with police at this time. He is barricaded inside a cabin, after having stolen a vehicle, in the Big Bear resort. Hundreds of rounds have been fired with officers wounded. Live coverage is available on CNN and other networks. IMHO, I hope he’s captured and tried in court.