Alleged Crimes: Murder, Conspirary, and Corruption — The Christopher Dorner and LAPD Saga

11 Feb

When the story of Christopher Dorner’s manifesto came to light, my initial reaction was total recall of two similar tales of corruption in a police department — one fictional and the other nonfiction. The first recollection was The Negotiator, a fictional movie in 1998 starring Samuel Jackson and Kevin Spacey about corruption in the Chicago PD. Jackson (Lt. Roman), a hostage negotiator, was framed for murdering his partner and embezzling money from the PD’s pension fund. The only way Roman believed he could prove his innocence was to take hostages, and demand an expert hostage negotiator Spacey (Lt. Sapien) to find out who was conspiring to kill him to shut him up before he was killed by fellow police officers.

The second recollection is Serpico, a nonfiction movie 40 years ago in 1973 starring Al Pacino. Serpico, a cop in the NYPD, refused to accept money that other cops routinely extorted from local criminals. Due to his staunch position, his life was constantly in imminent danger from his partners. During a drug bust in which he was shot in the face and screaming for backup from his fellow officers, they failed to immediately call for an ambulance, which almost cost Serpico his life. As a whistle blower, he complained to the highest authorities in the NYPD about the extortion but nothing was done.

We know it’s only a matter of time before a third movie will be released, probably starring Michael Clarke Duncan as Christopher Jordan Dorner. We’ll all be waiting with open eyes and minds to find out if it will be a fiction, nonfiction, or based on a true story.

The tangible link that holds these horrific tales together is its ring of truism. It is both a scary and sad fact that the common denominator is always the same: a police officer and corruption within. We don’t know whether Dorner’s manifesto is true or false; however, more than 3,000 comments and/or likes to date on Facebook appear to support Dorner, which may validate that the majority believes his manifesto has some truth to it. But even if in the final analysis Dorner’s manifesto is found to be credible in whole or in part, I wish exacting revenge had not been his “last resort.” But since I have not trudged five years in his obviously very leaden boots and heavy heart, I won’t pretend I understand what caused this fired police officer to deploy tactical warfare in such an explosive manner. And, I won’t dignify an elementary response to what a man will or will not do to clear the one thing that he holds in high regard — his name.

In this one-man war perpetrated against the LAPD, it is possible that the only person who could identify with Dorner and have some insight into his turmoil — whether his uproar is a confused imagination or a wronged and targeted man — is Frank Serpico, who complained incessantly and loudly about widespread corruption in the NYPD. Although the similarities regarding corruption are chilling, there are two very distinct differences. First, Serpico didn’t murder anyone in order to be heard; and second, Serpico had someone I’ll describe as a savior, David Durk. Even in the fictional movie, The Negotiator, Lt. Roman didn’t murder one hostage and also had a savior who made it crystal clear: “If you hurt one of the hostages, you burn up any currency you have with me. The hostages are all I care about. Getting you out of there alive is a distant second.”

As far as I can surmise from the news media, Dorner had no savior. His complaints about continued, unabated racism and conspiracy in the LAPD are told in his own 11,000-word manifesto. Maybe if Dorner had someone he could have turned to, just one person, he might have envisioned an alternative solution at the end of a quickly darkening tunnel. Instead, his anger was fueled by his plight and escalated to a crescendo, which has triggered the largest manhunt in Los Angeles history and a $1 million bounty for his capture. And from the LAPD’s action of shooting two innocent citizens in their zeal to get Dorner, it appears that capturing Dorner alive just may be a distant second.

Now, Chief Charlie Beck’s hands are tied. He is forced to open an internal investigation into Dorner’s allegations, which I hope will provide clear and straightforward answers to every single accusation in the manifesto.

Will another police department be publicly accused of an injustice against one of its own or vindicated of false accusations? It may be time for Mayor Villaraigosa to form yet another independent commission to look into suspected or alleged charges of racism and conspiracy within the LAPD. The commission could model the Knapp Commission hearings formed by then New York Mayor Lindsay — a hearing that sparked the biggest shakeup in the history of the NYPD. But, even if another commission is formed and racism, conspiracy, and corruption are found, it will not and does not justify the murders that Dorner exacted out of revenge. He literally signed his death certificate — not by violating any Omerta, speaking out — by vowing an all-out war against the LAPD.

Why are we here again? Twenty years since Rodney King and the LAPD is front and center once again and forced to answer questions about corruption within its leadership, and rank and file.

Dorner, unlike Serpico, has resorted to murder to avenge corruption and racism in the LAPD. However, both men only wanted to be honorable police officers. In 2010, Serpico told New York Times reporter Corey Kilgannon,

“[The NYPD] took the job I loved most. I just wanted to be a cop, and they took it away from me.”

In 2007, Dorner thought he was doing the right thing by reporting an officer that he believed used excessive force during an arrest by kicking the suspect in the chest and face. Instead, Dorner was accused of filing a false police report and later fired from the LAPD, which impacted every facet of his life. Dorner’s epitaph will be a statement extracted from his manifesto:

“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 [an] adolescent, young adult and adult. Don’t let anybody tarnish it when you know you’ve live[d] up to your own set of ethics and personal ethos.”

I believe Dorner has no intention of being captured. So, in order to have the last word, I foresee suicide as the final action of his master plan. I only hope and pray that no one else is murdered.

When all is said and done, my main issue/question/concern is:  At any time during Dorner’s hearings, were there any conflicts of interest? As in the judicial system, impartiality is a significant element of justice. Hopefully, those deciding Dorner’s fate would have been free of any personal bias or prejudice. If there was a conflict of interest, impartiality could not be maintained. Therefore, anyone who may have had a conflict of interest should have been immediately disqualified to hear Dorner’s case.

The public will be waiting patiently, and watching closely and monitoring everything the LAPD’s internal investigation will provide. No matter the outcome — true or false — three citizens have been murdered thereby putting the entire LAPD on high alert.

Another movie about a police officer and corruption is already in the making.


Posted by on February 11, 2013 in People


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4 responses to “Alleged Crimes: Murder, Conspirary, and Corruption — The Christopher Dorner and LAPD Saga

  1. jumbledwriter

    February 11, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    “We know it’s only a matter of time before a third movie will be released, probably starring Michael Clarke Duncan as Christopher Jordan Dorner. We’ll all be waiting with open eyes and minds to find out if it will be a fiction, nonfiction, or based on a true story.” That’s so very true. Great observation on the nature of Hollywood and pop culture.

  2. Larry

    February 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Michael Clark Duncan is dead.

    • Gwen Pegram

      February 13, 2013 at 7:15 am

      Thank you for bringingthis to my attention. I don’t know how Imissed this news that he went into cardiac arrest last September.

  3. Anonymous

    February 15, 2013 at 1:14 am

    We won’t get the full story.


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