Monday, February 18, 2013

Dorner Follow-Up Post

So I wrote this comment on another blog a few weeks back and I have this urge to do a post-mortem on it to see how this Dorner thing turned out before it fades away from our collective memories altogether.

First, here’s the comment:

I’m following this Dorner fiasco with curious attention.  Unlike a lot of the folks on my side of the aisle, I’m not on his side.  Assuming we’re getting the full story, here (which I guess could be a big assumption) Dorner is a killer.  After reading his “manifesto” it appears to me that we don’t have a nutcase so much as we’ve got a narcissistic bully that thinks that the entirety of the world, as well as a bunch of celebrities and politicians, need his advice.
 That being said, it appears, after two separate incidents where civilians were shot or shot at for committing the crime of driving a pickup truck, that the LAPD has issued a shoot-on-site order for Dorner, and if a bunch of the “sheep” get shot by the “sheepdogs” that are out there to ‘protect” them…  well, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.
 That being said, I do not find it the least bit curious that Dorner has become a folk hero on some fronts, for the following reasons:
 1.      The increased militarization of the police on all fronts in the United States has lead to an increased feeling of “us vs. them” in the rank and file of many police forces, and that feeling has not been well concealed, causing the non-law enforcement community to show increased resentment (I’ve spoken to this before).  This, in turn, has lead to a lot of people feeling like they’ve been abused, hassled, or harmed in some way from police interactions, which has increased the total amount of resentment against police forces by large factors in all groups, and especially in certain demographics, which leads me to my next point:
2.      Dorner is a black man.  Because of #1, there have to be a lot of disenfranchised black people in the country who are happy as hell to see a police force being given hell by a black man, even if that black man (by all accounts) would likely have been the first in line to give them grief before he got fired.  Many people live by the rule that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”;
3.      The actions of the LAPD subsequent to Dorner’s having gone rogue.  When you’re shooting Hispanic delivery women and short white guys simply because they drive a pickup truck (neither of which bear even a passing resemblance to Dorner’s, or at least, shouldn’t have to a trained police officer) without giving warning, without identifying the target, and without first verifying that a threat even exists (point being, even if it was Dorner – what if he was attemting to turn himself in?), you are going to feed conspiracy theories that the LAPD is scared of Dorner due to what he knows, and wants to “get rid” of him before he has a chance to speak out.  In other words, you’re going to feed the belief that the LAPD has a standing kill order out on him, and has no intention of even attempting to bring him in alive, because that would be catastrophic for them.  As much as I hate to admit it, I am actually starting to believe that this is the case – not that I’m given to conspiracy theories in general, but this one is just too much to not start suspecting something is going on here).
4.      The seeming irrationality of the crimes for which he has been accused, and his having committed no further crimes beyond those.  So you’re mad at the chief of police, your ex-boss.  So you kill his daughter and her fiancĂ©?  That doesn’t make any sense.  To a public already skeptical of the intentions of the LAPD here, this seems beyond belief.  I believe that he did it.  Many folks think that it was a setup – that some high-rankers in the police department had a disagreement and that Dorner was used as a convenient patsy.
 All of that being said, I am not taking sides in this thing, because I think both sides are acting irrationally and in an abjectly evil manner.  To me, this entire situation is kind of like watching a bunch of Nazis and a bunch of communists going to war against each other – who would you root for?
 I’m rooting for winter.  Or Spanish Flu. Is it possible that neither side gets to win?  One can only hope.
 Best case scenario – Dorner doesn’t hurt anyone else.  He gets out of LA, gets caught and brought in by another police agency, and extradition to LA is denied.  He gets tried in that second venue, has his day in court, gets his say, and all that he knows that the LAPD is obviously afraid of gets brought to light.  Then, he goes to jail forever.  

 I stand behind my entire analysis above, including the part about the seeming irrationality of Dorner’s actions.  I also stand behind my belief that Dorner is guilty of those crimes, in spite of the conspiracy theories being bandied about in various other forums, and also that Dorner was not a hero, dark, anti-, or otherwise.

By all accounts, Dorner was a corrupt cop who got canned, then threatened to spill the beans on other corrupt cops in the department.  The fervent, violent, and irrational manner in which the PD went after Dorner seemed to me, at least, to prove this point, and also to indicate that Dorner’s claims to have some dirt were probably justified.  There seemed to be a shoot-on-site order out on Dorner.  Proof of this is the fact that in two separate indcidents, the police in LA opened fire on civilians simply because their vehicles vaguely matched the description of “pickup truck” which is what Dorner was last seen driving.  This sort of thing doesn’t happen during normal manhunts, so I’d have to figure that there was nothing normal about this one. 

Dorner, himself, was nuttier than squirrel turds, and showed it by turning violent instead of turning state’s evidence. 

As I said, above, I had really hoped that neither side would win, but it seems that the LAPD can put a notch in their stock and call this one a “win” because there is no outcry over this beyond the typical tinfoil hat sites on the internet.  No one is calling for heads to roll at LAPD headquarters, and DOrner is dead – burned to death in much the same way as the folks at the Waco compound in Texas. 

I do not give any credence to the idea that the police purposely allowed Dorner to burn to death in his cabin out of spite or in an effort to silence him, and this for two reasons – one, he had proven himself dangerous and willing to kill at the slightest provocation.  Any fireman sent to extinguish the blaze would have been in imminent danger from Dorner.  Were I a fireman in that situation, and they ordered me to put the fire out, I’d have refused unless I had some proof that the irrational nutbag inside wasn’t going to cap me for the trouble.  Two, the police running the standoff were not LAPD and so had no vested interest in covering up what Dorner had to say. 

SO, in summary, winter did not prevail.  The LAPD did.  Unfortunately.  However, at least Dorner lost finally, and is no longer out there shooting people and causing the LAPD to be so jumpy that they’re shooting people (and in fact, racking up a larger victim count than Dorner did, himself.)

The take-away from all of this is that once again, a police force has broadcast to the world that they are not out there to protect the citizenry, they are out there to enforce at any and all costs.  If a few elderly newspaper delivery women get shot in the process, well, quit your bitching or else we’ll accuse you of being PRO-CRIME!  So, you’re responsible for yourself, and keeping you and yours safe from harm, and away from the Dorner’s of the world.  Don’t rely on the police – Dorner WAS the police.  You are the only one you can trust when the chips are down. 

Finally, one more point – if I saw a truck pull up outside my house, and decided that the people in it meant me harm, and shot them to pieces while they tried to drive away, I’d be in jail and would probably not walk away a free man for the better part of the remainder of my life.  The police in this case did just that to those newspaper ladies, and they got a paid vacation and will almost certainly be back on the force, carrying guns amongst the public once again, once this all blows over.  You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet, civilian.  How dare you question those who put their lives on the line daily to protect your helpless ass?  

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