What does it take to drive a previously law-abiding cop and naval officer to go on a shocking killing spree?
In the case of Christopher Dorner, apparently it was his wrongful termination by a Los Angeles Police Department that he describes as racist and corrupt in a long, detailed, 6,000-word manifesto that he published on Facebook.
Dorner, 33, is now exacting revenge by threatening to kill the LAPD employees involved in his termination — and their families. He has already been accused of killing three people — a Riverside, Calif., cop, the daughter of his former department lawyer and her fiance. In his manifesto, Dorner says the killing won’t stop until the LAPD holds a press conference and tells the public the truth about his wrongful termination so that he can clear his name — though it’s a bit too late for him to emerge with a good name.
“The question is, what would you do to clear your name?” Dorner wrote in his manifesto, which was published in its entirety on a site called LAist.com after it had been taken down from Facebook. “A name is more than just a noun, verb, or adjective. It’s your life, your legacy, your journey, sacrifices, and everything you’ve worked hard for every day of your life as adolescent, young adult and adult. Don’t let anybody tarnish it when you know you’ve live up to your own set of ethics and personal ethos.”
The whole case feels like a real-life enactment of the Jamie Foxx-Gerard Butler movie “Law Abiding Citizen,” with law enforcement across California engaged in a massive manhunt to apprehend Dorner before he strikes again.
“I’m not an aspiring rapper, I’m not a gang member, I’m not a dope dealer, I don’t have multiple babies momma’s. I am an American by choice, I am a son, I am a brother, I am a military service member, I am a man who has lost complete faith in the system, when the system betrayed, slandered, and libeled me,” he wrote. “I lived a good life and though not a religious man I always stuck to my own personal code of ethics, ethos and always stuck to my shoreline and true North. I didn’t need the US Navy to instill Honor, Courage, and Commitment in me but I thank them for re-enforcing it. It’s in my DNA.”
Dorner recounts in excruciating detail his encounters with racists on the LAPD. In one story that occurred when he was still in the training academy, he recalls traveling with other recruits in a van and wrapping his hands around another recruit’s neck after the man and another recruit called a black man outside the van a “nigger.” Dorner said he was pulled away by other occupants in the van — who later told internal affairs that they hadn’t heard the men say “nigger.”
“What I should have done, was put a Winchester Ranger SXT 9mm 147 grain bullet in his skull,” Dorner wrote. “The Situation would have been resolved effective, immediately.”
But most of Dorner’s preoccupation was with the case that led to his termination on Jan. 2, 2009. Dorner said he also lost his position as commanding officer of a Naval Security Forces reserve unit because of the LAPD. Dorner reported in August 2007 that he saw another officer use excessive force when he was a patrol officer in the LAPD’s Harbor Division. He said the officer kicked a suspect with schizophrenia and dementia twice in the chest and once in the face, leaving bruising on the cheek that was corroborated by the man’s father. But instead of the officer, a woman, being punished, Dorner said he was later terminated in retaliation. He recounts other acts of brutality committed by this female cop, including ripping the flesh on the arm of an elderly woman.
“The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days,” Dorner said, citing the LAPD’s most high-profile case of corruption (Rampart) and police brutality (the Rodney King beating). “It has gotten worse. The consent decree should never have been lifted. The only thing that has evolved from the consent decree is those officers involved in the Rampart scandal and Rodney King incidents have since promoted to supervisor, commanders, and command staff, and executive positions.”
Dorner goes on to lash white, black, Latino, Asian and lesbian officers for each contributing to the culture of abuse and corruption in the department. He cited white officers who join the department with the sole intent of victimizing minorities, black officers in supervisory positions who abuse and belittle their white subordinates and “breed a new generation of bigoted caucasian officer,” Hispanic officers who demean and disrespect other Hispanics to gain the acceptance of white officers, lesbians in positions of authority who go out of their way to demean male officers, and Asian officers who watch it all without raising a word of protest because they just want to avoid conflict.
Dorner even encourages civilians not to help police officers in need because “they would not do the same for you.”
“They will let you bleed out just so they can brag to other officers that they had a 187 caper the other day and can’t wait to accrue the overtime in future court subpoenas,” he wrote. “As they always say, ‘that’s the paramedics job…not mine.’ Let the balance of loss of life take place. Sometimes a reset needs to occur.”
Dorner paints a disturbing, damning picture of the environment in the LAPD, if public officials can find a way to look past Dorner’s dastardly deeds and take a closer look. This is what he wrote about the way he has seen his fellow officers treat a deceased victim:
“When your family members die, they just see you as extra overtime at a crime scene and at a perimeter. Why would you value their lives when they clearly don’t value yours or your family members lives? I’ve heard many officers who state they see dead victims as ATV’s, Waverunners, RV’s and new clothes for their kids. Why would you shed a tear for them when they in return crack a smile for your loss because of the impending extra money they will receive in their next paycheck for sitting at your loved ones crime scene of 6 hours because of the overtime they will accrue. They take photos of your loved ones recently deceased bodies with their cellphones and play a game of who has the most graphic dead body of the night with officers from other divisions. This isn’t just the 20 something year old officers, this is the 50 year old officers with significant time on the job as well who participate.”
Dorner also paints a disturbing image of the havoc he will wreak. He advises the federal government’s law enforcement agents to stay away from the case because he does not wish to hurt the federal government, which he says he supports 100 percent. He indicates that any gatherings of officers he will consider “target rich environments,” whether they are on duty or off. In addition, he says he knows the locations of their family members and children.
“I know your route to and from home, and your division. I know your significant others routine, your children’s best friends and recess. I know Your Sancha’s gym hours and routine. I assure you that the casualty rate will be high.”
He says that if the analysts have done their homework, they know “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,” he wrote. “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.”
In a twisted appeal for an assault weapons ban, Dorner runs down all the sophisticated weaponry he was able to buy legally, in stores and online, to carry out his murderous rampage against law enforcement.
“In the end, I hope that you will realize that the small arms I utilize should not be accessed with the ease that I obtained them,” he wrote. “Who in there right mind needs a f**cking silencer!!! who needs a freaking SBR AR15? No one.”
Dorner even wades into politics, expressing his outrage at the racist treatment of President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama — whose new bangs Dorner praises in the midst of his tirade. But though he has high praise for the president, Dorner says he actually preferred Republican candidate Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah.
Dorner ends by expressing his love for the personal friends who have impacted his life and also the public figures and celebrities for whom he has much respect and admiration, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Vice President Joe Biden, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Gen. Colin Powell, Ellen DeGeneres, Charlie Sheen and a list of women he considers beautiful and comedians he considers comic geniuses.
But Dorner closes with these words of reproach and encouragement to the black community:
“Blacks must strive for more in life than bling, hoes, and cars. The current culture is an epidemic that leaves them with no discernible future. They’re suffocating and don’t even know it. MLK Jr. Would be mortified at what he worked so hard for in our acceptance as equal beings and how unfortunately we stopped progressing and began digressing. Chicago’s youth violence is a prime example of how our black communities values have declined. We can not address this nation’s intolerant issues until we address our own communities morality issues first. Accountability.”