San Diego Police Warn Citizens of Racial Profiling as Dorner Hunt Continues

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dornerThe San Diego Police Department has warned citizens that its officers may employ racial profiling tactics in the search for suspected murderer Christopher Dorner.

Sgt. Benjamin Kelso, the president of the San Diego Black Police Officer Association was the one to deliver this message, including himself among those who fit the description of Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer.

“If you’re an African American man, you could be stopped and questioned,” Kelso said, admitting the reality of the situation. “There are many people that may look like Chris Dorner, myself included. If you are stopped and questioned it’s important to cooperate with officers.”

Dorner’s case has provoked exhaustive efforts from California law enforcement officials, and Kelso’s statement reflects the increasing pressure of the ongoing manhunt. In Los Angeles, two officers shot at a vehicle they believed was being operated by Dorner, injuring two women inside. That incident, combined with Kelso’s warning to African-American men, is provoking unease in California’s black communities.

The hunt for Dorner may be entering its final stages, with reports of a shootout between the ex-cop and police coming Tuesday afternoon. Dorner allegedly shot two officers and took two women hostage, stealing their car near Big Bear, Calif. He later crashed the car and escaped to a cabin on foot. The two women were reportedly left uninjured and rescued by emergency personnel.

Police have closed off the roads leading toward the mountain cabin, and created a no-fly zone in the airspace above it. SWAT and tactical units have reportedly been mobilized to the cabin. At one point, federal officials feared that Dorner had fled to Mexico and they served warrants in Nevada, as well. Another report placed Dorner in San Diego on Thursday, where he unsuccessfully tried to steal a boat to flee the country.

“The search for Christopher Dorner will continue until he has been apprehended or it has been determined that he is no longer on the mountain,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon announced Tuesday.

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