The case of former Los Angeles Police Department Officer Christopher Dorner is not yet over, with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announcing that an investigation of Dorner’s 2008 firing is currently underway. Dorner declared “unconventional and asymmetric warfare” on the LAPD unless the department admitted that his firing was in response to his report on the use of excessive force by a fellow officer. In the now infamous manifesto posted to his Facebook page, Dorner suggested that race played a role in his termination.
During a manhunt that lasted more than a week, Dorner was linked to four shooting deaths before he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a cabin near Big Bear Lake, Calif. Unaware of his suicide, police set fire to the cabin during an effort to flush Dorner out, leaving his body to burn on the night of Feb 12. Beck supported the use of flammable tear gas as the manhunt came to a close.
“They had to take aggressive police action to stop that,” Beck said, making his first public statements since Dorner’s death. “They had already lost one deputy and nearly lost another.”
On Feb. 9, Beck confirmed that the department would review Dorner’s termination to prove that the police force conducts itself in a fair manner. Dorner’s initial victims were specifically targeted for their ties to the LAPD.
During the ensuing manhunt, LAPD officers shot at three civilians they believed to be Dorner, bringing harsh criticism to the handling of the case. Beck said that in addition to Dorner’s firing, an entire review of the manhunt is underway, acknowledging the damage that the case has done to the department’s reputation.
The LAPD had offered a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner’s capture, which skeptics believed might be withdrawn after the ex-cop’s death.
During Tuesday’s press conference, Beck said that he hopes the reward will still be paid out, but that it will take time to decide how it would be distributed. Beck said that the department will need to review the contributions from 31 sources before making a final decision.
“It isn’t as easy as me coming out with a big check two days later,” Beck said. “We will meet with individuals involved and ensure that it’s fairly and equitably distributed.”