Sunday, February 17, 2013

Former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner: Hero or Villain?

I will admit that when former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner uploaded his manifesto and decided the only means to clear his "good" name was to take to the streets of Los Angeles and enact revenge, I really didn't care to follow. People snap for various reasons and take vengeance out in any manner they see fit; unfortunately. As I read the various websites I routinely look at this morning, I saw on www.nbcnews.com (http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/17/16990419-protesters-call-for-clearing-fired-lapd-officer-christopher-dorners-name?lite) that about 200 protesters went to LAPD headquarters yesterday to show support for former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner.

The protest raised my curiosity as to why might a pocket of our population take time of their day to advocate for a man that just terrorized and killed people in California. The NBC news article quoted one protester:

"We're protesting some of the police brutality -- not just LAPD, but all over the nation," said protester and Lomita resident Vincent Namm, a former Marine. "With Chris Dorner, habeas corpus just got thrown out the window.''


The article prompted me to search and see what else may be said in support of former LAPD officer Chris Dorner. In a CNN article a professor of English at Columbia University is quoted as (http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/13/us/lapd-dorner-fans) :

"But when you read his manifesto, when you read the message he left, he wasn't entirely crazy. He had a plan and mission here, and many people aren't rooting for him to kill innocent people, they're rooting for somebody who was wronged to get a kind of revenge against the system." Hill added. "It is almost like watching 'Django Unchained' in real life."

Django Unchained! Before I continue here is a link to the manifesto in the event you haven't read it: http://christopher-dorner.com/christopher-dorners-manifesto-full-unedited-copy/ . Okay, former LAPD officer Chris Dorner is being compared to Jamie Foxx's character in Django Unchained? Now I have not seen the movie, yet it is on a long list of ones to see, but my understanding of the movie is a freed slave seeks to rescue his wife from a slave owner. How does this equate?

Not to digress to far, but what makes a manifesto sane or crazy? I mean if one reads the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels one will see that both men had a plan and mission. That being said does it wash away the tyranny and death that Marxist thought brought to Russia all okay? Dorner reflects, in his manifesto, of an altercation with Jim Armstrong on the playground at the Norwalk Christain elementary school as his first encounter with racism:

My first recollection of racism was in the first grade at Norwalk Christian elementary school in Norwalk, CA. A fellow student, Jim Armstrong if I can recall, called me a nigger on the playground. My response was swift and non-lethal. I struck him fast and hard with a punch an kick. He cried and reported it to a teacher. The teacher reported it to the principal. The principal swatted Jim for using a derogatory word toward me. He then for some unknown reason swatted me for striking Jim in response to him calling me a nigger. He stated as good Christians we are to turn the other cheek as Jesus did. Problem is, I’m not a fucking Christian and that old book, made of fiction and limited non-fiction, called the bible, never once stated Jesus was called a nigger.

Now the word "nigger" is a very powerful word. As with any word the definition of the word is dependent on the use of it. I agree with Dorner that Armstrong should not be using derogatory language and that Dorner should let it be known that usage of such language ought not to be tolerated. Equally intolerant to the derogatory language is the use of violence to illustrates one objection to intolerant language. Regardless of ones religious dogma to resort to violence as a primary mode of defense or objection is not acceptable in a free society.

Personally, I do hope that journalists take note of items within Dorner's Manifesto for if he is telling the truth of events that took place as far back as 2009 then it should be known. Everyone understands that the LAPD does not have a stellar track record in relations with the public regardless of ones race, sex or other cultural divisions. Was this a cover up? Time will tell.

Although I am not one for conspiracy theories, I do find it a bit odd that Dorner would take his own life when he wrote:

If possible, I want my brain preserved for science/research to study the effects of severe depression on an individual’s brain. Since 6/26/08 when I was relieved of duty and 1/2/09 when I was terminated I have been afflicted with severe depression. I’ve had two CT scans during my lifetime that are in my medical record at Kaiser Permanente. Both are from concussions resulting from playing football. The first one was in high school, 10/96. The second was in college and occurred in 10/99. Both were conducted at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in LA/Orange county. These two CT scans should give a good baseline for my brain activity before severe depression began in late 2008.

If Dorner hoped for his brain to be studied then why shot yourself in the head? At the end of the day, society needs to address the lack of accountability, respect and candor that exists in our society today. There are numerous angles and topics of discussion to be had from this, but let's not make this guy a hero or a martyr just yet. Nor do we make the LAPD the bogey man just yet either regardless of the track record. For if we solely go on track record then to Dorner's own admission "Unfortunately I was swatted multiple times for the same exact reason up until junior high" then Dorner is a bully.